How do I find the best criminal defense lawyer? How do you choose between similar records?

Asked over 2 years ago - Columbus, OH

I want the best possible attorney. I have several recommendations and don't know who to choose! This for a relative. The case is in Montgomery County; i live in Franklin County (Ohio)

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Danny James Weisenburger

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In Ohio lawyers can be certified as criminal defense specialists. The organization that certifies criminal defense specialists for the Ohio Supreme Court is the National Board of Trial Advocacy. You can see which attorneys are listed as Board Certified Criminal Defense Specialists in Ohio by going to their website at They also explain the screening process for criminal defense lawyers, etc.

    In Ohio, many criminal defense lawyers are also members of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (O.A.C.D.L.). Their website can be located at where members are also listed.

    Dan J. Weisenburger
    Attorney at Law

  2. Jenna Cyra Finkelstein

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It is important to choose an attorney that you feel comfortable with, in addition to their knowledge and experience and of course, cost. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation, so you may want to meet with them before you make a decision.

    The attorney's responses to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client... more
  3. Dennis Armand DiMartino


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your question is difficult ti answer, but I'll cover a few area for you to consider.

    One of the best and most direct ways to make the decision is simply ask the potential lawyer "How many other cases like mine have you had? Did most of them plead out OR did they go to Trial? What were the results? Of the ones that plead out, did the client get Probation or did they have to go to prison??"

    Another good way is to ask a criminal defense lawyer in Franklin County for a referral to a similarly-situated attorney in Montgomery County. Make sure you tell the Franklin County attorney if you will likely go to Trial or whether you are considering taking a plea. It helps the referring lawyer to make a good connection with a suitable candidate.

    You can also look in professional association websites, such as the Ohio Assn. of Criminal Defense Lawyers ("OACDL") or the national one ("NACDL"). Look for Life Members in their directories.

    I hope this gave you some more ideas. Good luck in your case and beyond!

    Atty. Dennis A. DiMartino
    1032 Boardamn-Canfield Rd., Ste. 103
    Youngstown, OH 44512-4238
    330.629.9030 Ext. 111 Phone
    330.629.9036 FAX

    The above information is shared for educational and discussion purposes only. No Attorney-Client relationship is... more
  4. Cy M. Abdo


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Although I am an attorney in MIchigan, your question is hard to answer. Both of the answers which are posted are good. I especially recommend that you meet with the lawyer as has been recommended. You may need a trial lawyer if you do not intend to plea bargain the case. On the other hand, you may need an attorney who has better negotiating skills if you need a special plea bargain or diplomacy. In general, stay away from big mouth lawyers that attack every other lawyer in town and tell you how great they are without showing you any case results. It doesn't hurt to ask the lawyer about his or her relationships with the prosecutor and judges in your community. In general, look for a lawyer that specializes in criminal defense rather than a general practice lawyer who rarely does criminal work. Make sure you never say this to any lawyer: "money is no object." Really, ask the lawyer to give you a quote as to his fees. Trial fees cannot usually be ascertained until the attorney knows the extent of the case, the amount of time involved, need for expert witnesses, number of days for trial, whether he will have to turn down other work to accept your case, and other variables. Often, an attorney can quote a fixed or flat fee for something that he or she does regularly like a DUI or domestic violence. Some cases are more involved and the lawyer may need a retainer and hourly fee agreement. These are just a few thoughts. Good luck.

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