Being arrested and charged with a crime is a serious matter and it's important to make some smart moves when proving your innocence. Competent legal representation is a key part of making sure you take the right actions, and who you choose to represent you is very important. You might want to consider the following tips when it's time to make that phone call to a criminal defense lawyer, so read on to learn more.
Don't Try to Go It Alone
It can be difficult to face facts when dealing with legal matters. Some defendants put off hiring a lawyer for far too long. The longer you wait, however, the more difficult it might be to defend yourself against the charges. To build a strong case, lawyers need time to investigate the facts of the case and to gather evidence. You want to be as prepared as possible when confronted with a plea bargain, and that means hiring a lawyer as soon as you are able.
Choose Lawyers With Specialized Experience
Some lawyers practice only certain types of criminal law, and that is often the area they excel at. For example, if you have been accused of driving under the influence (DUI), you should look for a lawyer who practices in that area. Capital murder cases require lawyers who have experience in that particular need. You don't, for example, want a lawyer who usually represents reckless driving offenders to represent you for a rape case. If you are not sure what type of law a particular lawyer practices, a quick phone call should clear things up for you. You can also ask other lawyers you know to recommend a lawyer for you.
Try to Shop in Your Own Backyard
Staying local with your attorney can mean a lot more than just convenience. Locals are experienced with how things work at the courthouse and can tailor their advice accordingly. Everything from sentencing to verdicts vary from place to place. The judge that is assigned to you has a great deal of power over your case and a local lawyer knows all the players, from judges to prosecutors. This knowledge helps when considering whether or not you take a plea deal or go to trial and for so much more.
Final Points to Consider
You may be spending some time with your lawyer and their legal team so try to pick one that you can talk to easily and that you like. The staff matters too so also evaluate everyone from the front desk assistant to the paralegals.
Don't let money be the deciding factor. Legal fees can be costly but the cheapest lawyer may be far from a bargain. This is no time to base your decision on the cost. Lawyers offer clients a number of ways to make things more affordable so be sure to speak up and find out about the fees at your first meeting.