Tips for Hiring a Criminal Lawyer
It probably goes without saying that most people hope they never end up in a situation where hiring a criminal lawyer becomes a necessity. However, even if you strive to walk on the right side of the law at all times, circumstances may arise where youâ€™re facing criminal charges. If this ever happens, itâ€™s crucial that you understand your rights and are well represented so you can minimize the damage. Here are some important tips for hiring a criminal lawyer that will help you get the best defense possible.
When Do I Need One? If you are serious about defending yourself, you need a criminal lawyer as soon as you’ve been arrested as a suspect in a crime. Being arrested doesn’t mean you’ve been formally charged, but that step could be coming in the near future. Everyone who is arrested is informed of his or her right to an attorney. If you find yourself in this scenario, exercise that right and find an criminal lawyer before you end up saying something you’ll regret later. If you know you’re being investigated for a crime but haven’t been arrested yet, that’s another perfect time to contact a criminal lawyer.
Ask About Experience Experience is an important consideration when hiring any professional, and especially when your freedom may be at stake. Every great criminal lawyer started somewhere, but that somewhere doesn’t have to be with you. Ask how long he or she has been out of law school and how many years they’ve been in practice. Look for at least a few years experience so you know they’re comfortable with the system and know what to expect.
Ask About Relevant Experience Along with the number of years of experience comes the relevance of that experience. Knowing that a criminal lawyer has handled cases just like yours will increase your chances of a favourable outcome. Ask if he has handled cases similar to yours, and how many cases he has argued in court, if thatâ€™s where your case is headed.
How Is the Practice Divided? Next, youâ€™ll want to find out just how much of the law practice is devoted to criminal law. If it is primarily focused on something else, but has a criminal lawyer or two in the ranks, you may want to look elsewhere. You donâ€™t necessarily need to have a 100% criminal law practice, but at least look for criminal law to be the main focus.
Winning Percentage Lots of experience and a criminal law focus doesnâ€™t mean anything if they lose more often than they win. Find out what type of track record the lawyer has with cases like yours, so you can maximize your chances. A proven track record means a criminal lawyer really knows his way around the legal system and a court room, and will give you the best chance to beat the charge and win your case.
Fee Structure Hiring an experienced and successful criminal lawyer won’t be cheap. It’s important to figure out exactly what kind of budget you’re working with and then ask questions like these to find one you can afford: • Is there a retainer involved? If so, how much? • Are fees charged a s flat rate or hourly? • How much are those fees? • Will you provide an estimate? Is it accurate? • Does the client pay for any other expenses related to the defense?
Gut Feelings In many instances, you won’t have all the time in the world to go out and shop around for a criminal lawyer, but it’s still wise to take your own gut feelings into account. If you don’t feel quite right about a specific lawyer despite his qualifications, consider looking elsewhere. Keep in mind that this person is in charge of preventing you from having a criminal record, or keeping you out of jail, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them.
References Carlos F. Rippell is a top criminal lawyer Toronto. He is located at 481 University Ave #510 Toronto, ON M5G 2E9â€Ž (416) 738-7839â€Ž.