crimnal lawyer

What To Ask Before Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

Time is usually of the essence when you require the service of criminal defense. Lawyers often provide a little cost or a free consultation to discuss the details of the case and provide you with an opportunity to ask some fundamental questions about the lawyer and the case. This meeting can help you decide whether you should hire a lawyer in this situation or if you should proceed with this particular lawyer. Criminal law is a serious matter so you’ll want to have a list of questions to ask during the meeting. Here are few questions you need to ask any criminal lawyer.

The Lawyer's Background 

It is essential to find out the criminal lawyer prior experience while defending similar cases. For instance, if you are charged with DUI, you don’t need a lawyer that mainly defends felony murder suspects. Some of the questions you can ask in regards to this include how long the lawyer has been practicing criminal law, school attended, how often he/she appears in the courthouse that will handle your case, how often clients go to trial, and how familiar is the lawyer with the charges against you.

The Evaluation of Your Case

You’ll want your defense lawyer to give you the picture of what to expect. Some of the vital questions you should ask include: What part of the case can work in your favor? What are your options? And would you recommend a plea agreement, guilty plea, or a trial? What potential issues do you see with my case?

Logistic of the Case

It is crucial to know what happens behind the scenes when it comes to your situation so there wouldn’t be any misunderstandings. Ask if the lawyer will be available to represent you, who are the other people that will work on your case and can you meet them, will the lawyer personally represent you in court, or will that be the task for someone else, and if so who? 

Legal Fees

Most lawyers either charge for a flat fee or by the hour. Rates are usually competitive, so it pays to look around. However, lawyers with good reputation typically charge more. You have to decide if it pays to pay for a law firm with an excellent reputation or a lawyer given the charges against you. You should ask if you are to pay a flat fee or hourly rate, in the case you are charged by the hour, what will be the rate, will you have to pay for a retainer fee and how will it work? 
If they charge a flat fee, how much is it and what does it include and also ask if you will have to pay up front. You should know if you will have to pay outside your fee and what will be the total estimate for everything. 

Hiring the Right Lawyer

After your meeting with a couple of lawyers, it is time to choose one because time is usually very crucial in criminal cases. It is not a must you meet with lots of lawyers, if you are confident with the first lawyer you find then your decision is an easy one. However, if you have challenges deciding, you may want to speak to present or former clients of the lawyers. The answers you get should lead you to the best criminal lawyer to represent you.

Revised: June 18, 2018, 10:19 a.m.
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