Choosing a good lawyer, your relatives or even for yourself can be the toughest parts for any court of law. This instruction is created to guide you through this difficult time and also make it easier to search for a high-quality attorney.
First of all, you have to determine if you need an attorney or not. If you are charged with a criminal assault, you will totally benefit from having a conversation with a defense lawyer. Whether you don’t want to hire a lawyer to represent you before the judge, a good consultation with him may help you understand clearly about the charge against you, those defenses which are available to you, the plea bargains which you can be offered and what you should do in case of being convicted.
Secondly, you should know what an attorney can do. Criminal defense attorneys are those who represent other people having a criminal lawsuit filed against them. Examples include false accusations of rape, indecent exposure cases, and other sex crimes. These attorneys who focus their professional practice on criminal defense usually know prosecutors who are involved, which can give concessions other lawyers may miss and can be better at advising you of good options maybe because they have handled some cases like yours.
Thirdly, know what type of defense attorney you should hire. You will have to determine whether you need a federal or state attorney. If you violate state law, hire a state-law professional attorney. State law cases may include family law issues, traffic violations, workers’ injury claims, robberies,… On the other hand, federal cases can include cases which involve in violation of US Constitution, cases which the US is also a party in, cases of copyright, patent or bankruptcy…
Next is understanding the difference between a public defender and a defense lawyer. Public defenders are commonly dedicated to people who can’t hire their own attorneys. Those public defenders, however, have too little resources and time to solve most criminal cases, according to a research of the Justice Policy Institute.
In addition, you need to define what qualities are most important to your case. Perfect communication skills, excellent negotiating skills, careful track record and experiencing with your particular type of crime are the qualities of a flawless defense attorney.
Besides, you will have to do a small research. Interview your attorney thoroughly and search for his background is the best way to make sure your payment is worth the price. Figure out which legal organizations your attorney belongs to. He or she should belong to a well-known organization, such as County or State Bar Associations. Last but not least, search for the educational background of the attorney. Some useful information like which law schools he had attended, what certifications he has got… This kind of information is usually on the attorney’s official website.