There are times when hiring a lawyer is necessary but it also becomes the scariest and most stressful period in your life.
It should not be hard to look for a criminal defense attorney but the entire process can certainly be daunting.
You cannot simply google and find a lawyer that works for you. To find the ideal professional, you need to ask them a few questions.
Here is a complete guide on everything you need to ask a criminal lawyer before hiring one.
1. Do You Have A Specific Focus On Criminal Law?
You need to keep in mind that criminal law is a very wide category and there will be those who specialize in the broader category. If you want to ensure that they fit your needs and have the right expertise, you need to ask them about their specific focus areas in the field.
The attorney will have to find a defense based on the law, irrespective of how unique the case is. When you hire one that focuses on a specific area, it will have a positive impact on the outcome.
Scott Thomas, an expert white collar crimes defense attorney near Santa Ana, California states that the specialties could range anywhere from felony assault to minor drug offenses and no matter the charges, it is advisable to hire a lawyer with experience.
2. Will Anyone Else Handle This Case?
When you decide to work with a lawyer, you agree to work with their entire team. The attorney will be working within the entire industry and when you ask this, you will be able to understand who will have access to the information about your case. You need to check how large is the team and if you will be contacted by anybody else.
3. How Much Do You Charge?
One of the most important questions to ask as a client is a cost. Every lawyer will have a different cost structure and it helps to be aware of the same before you proceed. You also need to understand how the payment process will work and how often you have to pay.
A transparent approach to the payment and cost will build confidence and trust with the lawyer. Some attorneys also ask for a deposit or a retainer before the trial or you could be asked to pay the complete amount once the trial ends.
Irrespective of how the payments work, be ready before you proceed. When you do not clarify this at the start, it could become very difficult at a later stage.
4. How Do We Communicate?
It is very important to have a clear channel of communication with the criminal defense attorney. They will speak for you in the legal process and will share the details about the case while also guarding your well-being. This is why you must know how often you hear from them and what will your channel of communication be.
5. How Long Does The Process Normally Take?
There is no certain answer to this but it helps to ask your lawyer about it. With a clear idea of how the trial works and how long it can take, you will be able to prepare yourself for what is to come ahead. The attorney must be clear about it and they will be able to throw light on how and what it might look like.
6. Have You Handled Such Cases In The Past?
When you ask this question, you will know about the expertise and experience of the lawyer. It helps to have the confidence of having chosen the right person and by asking if they have worked on cases like yours in the past, you will be able to get an insight into the results. In some cases, the attorney may also let you speak to their former clients so you can learn more about them.
7. What Will You Need From Me During The Trial?
You should leave the attorney’s office well-prepared. So, if you are prepping for the trial or in the initial planning stages, always remember to check what the following steps will be. The right attorney will always be thinking ahead and will have something for you to do to make the trial move forward quickly.
There is no quick or short process of finding a defense attorney and asking these questions could make it easier for you to come to a decision. When you ask these questions, it will help build confidence in the choice of a lawyer throughout the process.
You need to ensure that you choose someone with the right experience and expertise. There should be a clear channel of communication and if your attorney answers all your questions well, you will see the confidence reflect in the courtroom.
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