Written by attorney David Ashley Haenel

What to look for when hiring a Criminal Lawyer in Nassau County, New York

When you are facing criminal charges in Nassau County, New York, it is imperative to find the best legal representation to handle your case. It isn't uncommon to feel stressed out and overwhelmed about the circumstances surrounding your need for a lawyer, but don't let those feelings deter you from obtaining proper legal counsel. Remember, the lawyer is going to be working for you, therefore, choosing a lawyer based upon a specific set of guidelines and principals is essential.

Step one: Find a Lawyer

The first step on the process is to find a lawyer to interview. Use the phonebook and the Internet to help narrow down your search. When creating your list of potential lawyers, check out the following sites for listings:

Step two: Prepare Interview Questions

Once you have created a list of potential lawyers, the next step is developing a set of interview questions. These questions will help you decide exactly what to look for when hiring the best criminal lawyer in Nassau County, NY. Here are some sample questions you can ask when meeting with lawyers for the first time:

  • Can you tell me about the law school you went to and what year you graduated?
  • How long have you been handling criminal law cases?
  • How much experience do you have handling criminal cases like mine?
  • Does your law firm specialize in criminal law, or are other types of cases handled here as well? If so, what types of cases are they?
  • How are your fees charged? Do you charge by the hour, a flat fee, or on a contingency basis?

Step Three: Do Your Homework

After the interview process is complete, and you have all of the lawyer's answers written down or recorded for reference, your work is not complete. Not it's time to conduct some research. Choose several of the lawyers you have interviewed and create a top three or top five listing. This will help you sort out who you believe you can work with, which lawyers are too expensive, and which lawyers don't have a lot of experience handling cases like yours. Once this list is generated, research each lawyer's background:

  • What is their track record for handling cases similar to yours?
  • What type of reputation does the lawyer have within their field, as well as with your peers?
  • Are their state bar records available?
  • If there are questions you couldn't have answered during the interview, can this information be researched?

The Interview Goes Both Ways

This information will help you make the best possible choice in your decision to hire a lawyer. Remember that when you are meeting with lawyers, they are interviewing you the same time you interview them. They will want to know the circumstances of your criminal case and as many other details as you can provide. At that point, they may decide they don't want to handle your case. If you come prepared with interview questions and preliminary background information gathered about the lawyer and the law firm, you are proving to them that you are serious about working on your case.

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