How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or your loved one is convicted of a crime, selecting the right criminal defense attorney for your case can be one of the hardest parts of the entire procedure. Below is a guide outlining the important points to be aware about and the procedure of selecting a criminal defense attorney in Denver, Houston, Miami, New York or anywhere in the United States.

Important Things to know when selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

What does a Defense Attorney do?

A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who represents people convicted with the charge of a criminal offence. These attorneys often know the prosecutors who are involved, have most probably handled cases similar to yours’ in the past, can get you concessions, and can advise you appropriately.

They also understand your case in-depth, identify critical issues, and take actions to help improve your situation.

Who’s a public defender? Should I opt for one?

Public defenders are lawyers generally reserved to represent the cases of individuals who can’t afford private attorneys. Many of the public defenders manage about 200 cases at once, whereas 100 cases is the recommended guideline by the American Bar Association. Hence, they usually have little resources or time to work on specific cases.

It is advisable to opt for a private defense attorney if you can afford one.

How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

Following is a set of parameters on the basis on which it will be easier to compare and select a criminal defense attorney:

What kind of criminal defense attorney do you need?

Depending on the type of your case, you can choose between a state and federal attorney. If you have violated a law pertaining to the state, you should opt for an attorney that specializes in state law. If you have broken a law of the US Constitution, you need to opt for a federal attorney.

Cases that are involved in federal laws are often more complex. Also, on breaking a federal law, the prosecution takes place from the United States Attorney’s office. Hence it is important that you choose a well-experienced attorney with prominent credentials.

Can I find a specialized defense attorney?

There are a number of criminal defense attorneys who hold specialization in one or more focused domain. There are attorneys who focus on DUI, domestic violence, child abuse, drug possession, sex crimes etc. Find an attorney who specializes in the crime involved in your case and has experience in representing the same.

Also, ensure that you select your attorney based on the stage of your case. A number of attorneys represent clients in the trial stage. Appellate attorneys represent clients in specific courts and require additional certifications and experience. Choose your attorney according to the stage that you require for.

What qualities should my attorney have?

There are certain qualities of your attorney that would impact your case – his communication skills, his knowledge and experience, past record etc.

Check if your attorney has handled cases similar to yours in nature, in the past. If yes, what were the outcomes? Was the attorney able to get the best possible outcome for his client? These factors will help you gauge his specific experience in the field and the attorney’s execution.

What is my lawyer’s background?

Research is a critical factor in the selection of a criminal defense attorney. You should research and learn about your attorney’s background in detail, before selecting. Following are the factors you should consider:

1)  Know about the legal organizations that he belongs to. Extensive association with criminal law associations like NACDL, ABA etc. indicate that he has focused interest in the field of criminal defense.

2)  Find out his educational details – which college/law school has he attended – and the degrees he holds. It’ll help you ascertain his standing in the legal community.

The above mentioned aspects will help you in determining which criminal defense attorney is appropriate for you. Make the right choice for a secure future!

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