One of the first steps in responding to charges brought against your name is to hire a criminal lawyer, but what must you be aware of during this process? Here are ten crucial things you must know when hiring a criminal lawyer.
1) Hire a criminal lawyer you feel comfortable with. This is an important aspect because communication is an essential part in helping to defend your case. Your lawyer must be well aware of the circumstances of the case as well as how the case and possible resolutions may affect your personal life, work life or even educational pursuits.
2) Any communication between yourself and your criminal lawyer is absolutely confidential. Under no circumstances will your criminal lawyer share information on the case or any other personal information with anyone else who is not authorized to hear it.
3) A competent criminal lawyer will view you as a person not as just another client. This means your lawyer will be concerned with your needs as well as make time to accurately discuss your case and possible outcomes.
4) A good criminal lawyer will be able to guarantee their best efforts. Knowing that your lawyer is doing everything in their power to defend your case is a significant part of the process in hiring a criminal lawyer as it will add comfort during this difficult time.
5) Your criminal lawyer is always on your side. Whether your lawyer brings you good news or bad news you can be confident that no matter the outcome your lawyer is always on the side of the client.
6) A criminal lawyer works for the client and not the individual who may be paying the bills. A lawyer will understand if family or friends are helping pay for your legal defense but a criminal lawyer is responsible to the client’s needs over anyone else.
7) Criminal lawyers do not work for the government. Although many lawyers have positive work-oriented relationships with prosecutors and other individuals, it comes down to working strictly for the client.
8) Find a personal fit between yourself and your criminal lawyer. For example, if a lawyer has lived in the same neighborhood as you during childhood, attended the same high school or even shares some of the same interests as you such as sports, this will make it easier to build rapport and a positive client-lawyer relationship.
9) Consultation is a process. This means as a client you should consult with different criminal lawyers until you find the best one who will defend your case and meet your needs. This may involve asking for references of previous defense cases or even searching for reviews on the law firm’s website.
10) Ask questions. It is very important for the client to understand how the criminal lawyer will be defending them. A good strategy is to write questions beforehand to bring to the consultation process to see if a criminal lawyer is a good fit, but don’t stop there. During the case if you have any questions that come to mind make sure you write them down, this will ensure you do not forget to ask them during the next meeting.
Understanding and implementing these ten factors will ensure you find a lawyer you trust and are comfortable with who will best serve your needs.