Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Selecting a LawyerSELECTING A LAWYER
Like every other profession, there are numerous attorneys who are dedicated to charging fair fees and zealously representing their clients. On the other hand, there are numerous attorneys who are either not qualified in certain matters, but will become involved if ‘the price is right,’ or who are not dedicated to putting the interests of the clients first. If you are charged with a criminal offense, there will be several considerations before you can select an attorney who is truly committed to giving you the best representation possible.
Criminal Defense Specialist NeededCRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER OR PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER?
First, do you want an attorney who practices exclusively criminal law? Whether or not you choose to retain us, we strongly recommend hiring an attorney whose practice is almost entirely dedicated to criminal defense. Criminal defense is a highly specialized field of law and it is very difficult for an attorney who practices in several areas of the law to have the knowledge necessary to provide the type of representation that a person who is charged with a criminal offense deserves. Do you want an attorney who writes a will on Monday, represents a plaintiff in a car accident case on Tuesday, appears at an immigration hearing on Wednesday, represents a client for a speeding ticket on Thursday, to represent you, when your liberty is at stake, on Friday? Review the website of any attorney that you are contemplating hiring to determine how much of his or her practice is dedicated to criminal defense. A Specialist?
No Former ProsecutorsA PROSECUTOR OR A DEFENSE ATTORNEY?
Third, do you want an attorney who was a former prosecutor or an attorney that has always fought for the citizen accused? Former prosecutors will argue that experience from “the other side” is a valuable asset. On the other hand, many criminal defense lawyers were trained since the beginning of their careers to develop creative defenses that might not occur to a lawyer with a more prosecutorial frame of mind. Defense lawyers that never worked for the prosecution also have no allegiances and may be more comfortable vigorously challenging the opposition. You want your lawyer’s allegiance to be to you and not to a relationship he has formed with the prosecutors. Moreover, you want an attorney who believes in your innocence and does not approach your case as a prosecutor where you have to prove your innocence. . Be very wary of an attorney who tells you that he can get you a “special deal” because he or she was a former prosecutor or “knows” the judge. That is NOT how the system works.