If you’re going to spend money on a criminal defense attorney, you should make sure you find someone effective. Here is what you need. If you need a criminal defense lawyer, there are several ways to get one. The easiest route for those without a substantial amount of money coming in is to accept the public defender. However, while these lawyers are perfectly competent, they may not have the time to devote to your case that you may wish they had. With an overburdened schedule, they may only be able to provide you with the bare minimum as it pertains to your representation. It is far better to find a private attorney, though this can be expensive. If you’re going to spend the money, though, you should make sure you find someone effective. Here is what you need.
There are few law firms out there that simply represent everyone of every stripe. However, most firms have a specialty of some kind, and this is what you need to look for when finding a criminal defense lawyer to handle your case. Does that mean you just need to find a lawyer who specializes in “crime?” Maybe. But you can often do better than that. Try to find an attorney who has specific experience in handling your exact type of case. If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting, for example, you don’t want a lawyer who specializes in murder. The more specific experience you can find, the better off you’ll be.
In some of the larger firms, the lawyer you meet with initially may not actually be the attorney actually defending you case in court. This is an unfair bait and switch, yet it happens all the time. Part of the point of an initial consultation is finding a lawyer with whom you have a rapport. How can you determine this if you’re just talking to what amounts to a company representative? Insist that you be allowed to meet with the criminal defense lawyer who will be working on your case or walk out the door. You need to be comfortable with your choice.
You may think that a busy criminal defense law firm is one that you should enlist. After all, you assume, they wouldn’t have all these cases if they were doing something wrong. This is a bad way of thinking about it. No one sells more burgers than McDonald’s, but does that mean they have the best food in town? No, it means they are masters of marketing and have managed to provide prices that few can compete with. The same might be said of that busy law firm. Even if the situation is not entirely analogous, you have to question how much personal attention your case will get if they are that busy.