Getting involved in criminal charges is nerve wracking. It exposes you to the possibility of serving jail time, affecting your career, tarnishing your reputation and putting your future at risk.
With the complexities that come with facing a court with criminal defense charges and the outcomes you’re likely going to face, especially if you’re convicted, you’re left with no option rather than to hire the best criminal defense attorney in California.
There are many factors to consider before choosing the best criminal law attorney, and without the right guidance you might end up making the wrong choice.
This guide will discuss the top tips to help you in finding the right criminal defense attorney. Let’s go!
Who Is a Criminal Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney specializes in the defense of companies and individuals charged with criminal offences.
Some criminal attorneys are employed by jurisdictions of criminal courts to represent underprivileged individuals, they’re also known as public defenders. While others are working privately in their law offices.
Tips to Consider When Hiring a Criminal defense Attorney
Here are some tips to consider when choosing a criminal defense attorney in California.
- Level of Experience
The first thing to consider when choosing an attorney for criminal defense is the level of experience. Being charged with a criminal offence is a serious situation that needs an attorney with experience.
Look for an experienced attorney like Louis J. Goodman that has experience in the jurisdictions of different courts as your case might be heard in different courts.
Another pro of an experienced lawyer is, that the level of expertise determines your success rate largely. Having an attorney that has a track record of success in criminal cases will raise your probability of winning the case.
- A Responsive Attorney
Time is very precious when you’re charged with a criminal offence. Wasting time is a recipe for losing your case. Choose a criminal law attorney that will work on your case right away.
When choosing a criminal law attorney, keep a keen eye on how fast they respond to your phone calls and messages and how responsive their legal team is in arranging meetings with you. If a lawyer doesn’t respond to your calls and texts on time, they’re likely not going to represent you well in court.
- Local Connections
Get an attorney that has connections to a great criminal defense law firm as these relationships are extremely helpful.
A well-connected attorney has a better understanding of the local techniques and has come across most judges and prosecutors. They know those that are lenient, those that entertain pleas and those that are strict.
Having enough knowledge of the inner workings of the local courts, well-connected attorneys are in a better place to change the outcome of your case to a positive one.
- Go for Reputable Sources
You can get lots of information about an attorney online. Simply search for a criminal defense attorney near me for free consultation and check the state bar to see if they have any formal discipline on their record.
The internet is a good place to research your attorney as most websites don’t remove reviews of clients. Sites like Facebook and Google are good places to know how reputable an attorney is.
However, some sites allow the attorney to paint a fake image and add or remove reviews. Whatever the case, make sure you check the reviews of former clients on an attorney to get an overview of how they work.
Also, take advantage of the free consultation the attorney offers and use your instinct to determine whether this attorney is worth working with.
- How Much They Charge
The amount charged by a criminal defense attorney in California varies depending on their expertise and the gravity of your case.
You shouldn’t go for the cheapest attorney as you might not get the legal representation you require. Also, going for the most expensive attorney doesn’t guarantee that you’ll win the case.
Attorneys that charge less usually doesn’t have experience while those that charge high are more experienced and tend to solve cases quicker. It’s best if you go for an experienced and affordable criminal defense attorney.
- Go for a Confident Attorney
While general experience is inevitable, you must get an attorney that has courtroom experience. There’s no time to waste in criminal trials, and your attorney might change the outcome of your case by a single objection.
Make sure your attorney knows the court rules and has the confidence to face the court hearing and represent you comfortably.
You can ask former client’s about the courtroom confidence of an attorney, and also notice how well they speak when you first meet.
- Board Certified Attorneys
An experienced criminal defense attorney will likely have board certification. This certification ensures that they’re experienced in the specialty, know most local judges and prosecutors, and have a substantial amount of jury trials. All these are factors that help increase the positive outcome of your case.
- They Understand Your Priorities
The job of a criminal defense attorney is to represent you and speak for you in court. While your attorney is in charge of filing court motions, getting witnesses to testify, and making objections in your favor, the big decision is still yours.
It’s left to you to decide whether you’re going to plead guilty or go on a trial. Choose an attorney that will take direction from you, understand your priorities and take them into account when representing you.
If you or your loved one is charged with a criminal offence, consider hiring a professional criminal defense attorney to get the most favorable sentence in court.
While choosing the right attorney can be hard, especially in tight situations like when you’re charged with criminal cases, you must take your time to avoid making the wrong decision.
Consider taking time to hire a top-rated criminal defense attorney, seeing as the quality of lawyer you work with will significantly affect your court case’s outcome.