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How can I choose a good attorney for a criminal case? Do I ask my friends, facebook, google, avvo, go with my gut, or what...

Paterson, NJ |
Filed under: Criminal defense

It's difficult... Do I choose a "connected" lawyer? A cheap lawyer? An honest lawyer? I need to know who to trust, this is an ordeal for me.

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

This is a very personal decision that will hinge on a number of different factors that you will weigh in a that is unique to your situation. It is for that very reason that attorneys are the only professionals for whom covenants-not-to-compete are automatically void as a matter of law. Everyone is entitled to hire the lawyer of their own choosing --no exceptions. That said, do not pick the cheapest lawyer. Interview a number of lawyers and hire the one whom who satisfies all of your requirements -- smart, open, communicative, responsive, well-mannered, attentive to you, etc. If your gut normally guides you well, go with it when you want to make your final selection.

IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during an attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private attorney-client consultation. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, an attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on Avvo.com are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual. For persons located in New Jersey: To the extent that Mr. Murray's profile can be considered an advertisement in New Jersey, which is denied, be advised that NO ASPECT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY. Furthermore, the selection methodology for the SuperLawyers' "Rising Stars" awards is set forth at length at this website: http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you. I will hire the one "who whoms" satisfies me! I want her to be smart, open, attentive, etc.! I will listen to my gut! Very informative and intellectual advice! Thank you Jesus!

Posted

Below is a brief video concerning how to select an attorney.

If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer". Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Peter J. Lamont, Esq. Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont 623 Lafayette Avenue, Suite 2, Hawthorne, NJ 07506 Phone: (973) 949-3770 Fax: (866) 603-0471 Toll Free: (855) NJLAW01 (855) 655-2901 www.peterlamontesq.com Additional Offices in New York, Monument, CO, San Juan, PR and affiliates throughout the country. PLEASE NOTE: The above statements are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained on this site without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

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Posted

You call a few and look for someone who is honest, knowledgable and experienced. You must be comfortable with your lawyer. If the best pitch a lawyer has is connections I would be cautious. Cheap is not a good option. You will get what you pay for. You want to pay a reasonable fee so the attorney can invest the time and effort necessary to defend your case.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

How do you define "cheap"? Is that a buzzword? So that ALL pro bono work done by attorneys is substandard? Then the State of New Jersey should do away with PRO BONO! Since, per your comment, money is the only sure motivator for any attorney and if he or she bills too low, they MUST be substandard.

Eric M. Mark

Eric M. Mark

Posted

Pro bono is very different than low legal fees. I do a lot of pro bono work. I am not going to argue with you over the value of pro bono. For criminal defense, you can use a public defender, which is why you will not find attorneys who do criminal defense pro bono. But, if most lawyers are handling cases in the 3000-6000 range and you find a lawyer charging 800, that would be cheap. The lawyer is not doing it pro bono, he is trying to make money, but he cannot do the job properly and maintain a business charging that rate. I hope that helps you understand, and, I'm not sure why you are so hostile to someone trying to offer you helpful advice.

Asker

Posted

I just think sometimes attorneys exhibit scant transparency. You may a well-intentioned young professional, I do not know you, you may be correct, but certainly not necessarily so. Thank you for your time nonetheless, which is appreciated.

Posted

There are many good criminal defense attorneys to be found on Avvo. You can also ask friends or family to refer someone. Do not choose based on price alone. Pick an attorney who you feel comfortable with and who you believe can help you with your defense.

This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.

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Posted

I would suggest consulting with several attorneys and choosing the one you feel most confident about. Many attorneys offer free consultations and that would be your opportunity to get an idea of how they will handle your case. This is a good chance to feel them out and see if you are getting the type of lawyer you are looking for.

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Posted

Friend and family recommendations are a good place to start but you need to speak with them to make sure you are comfortable and confident in the attorney. It is a big decision so take your time and don't be afraid to speak to many different lawyers. Good luck.

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Posted

In the criminla arena nothing beats experience. Google the attorneys and see if they have extensive criminal law experience. Read reviews. The interview attorneys. You have to like their "bedside" manner as well. Most attorneys are going to cost what a new car would cost. Do you just buy there or do you do your homework.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

What if they had "bad" experiences and were traumatized by them? Let' say the attorney, from experience, learns that all drug distribution clients also have a drug consumption problem. Well, then, if a client that DOESN'T have a drug consumption client walks in to see the attorney, then the attorney will make incorrect assumptions about her. I think I would rather go with a wise attorney - with the caveat that experience is not the only road to wisdom. Wouldn't you agree Mr. Cheser?

Asker

Posted

What if they had "bad" experiences and were traumatized by them? Let' say the attorney, from experience, learns that all drug distribution clients also have a drug consumption problem. Well, then, if a drug distribution client that DOESN'T have a drug consumption problem walks in to see the attorney, then the attorney will make incorrect assumptions about her. I think I would rather go with a wise attorney - with the caveat that experience is not the only road to wisdom. Wouldn't you agree Mr. Cheser?

Asker

Posted

The second comment corrected grammar errors.

Mark M Cheser

Mark M Cheser

Posted

Any good attorney represents the client, whatever their situation. Assumptions have nothing to do with the representation. The experience I meant was the procedures, evidence rules, court rules, specific variations each county may create, the individual prosecutors, the Judges by name, the technicalities of a particular kind of case, weaknesses of lab personnel, what one judge or prosecutor will allow, playing the wheel to get a favorable Judge etc., ect., ect., If that is wisdom OK I call it experience.

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