Friday, August 9, 2013

How To Choose A Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or your loved one has been arrested for a crime you may be facing serious consequences such as jail time, probation, a criminal record or fines. Whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, or even “under investigation,” the best way to prepare for the next court date is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

How do you know who to hire? How do you know who to trust?

Pick an attorney that practices criminal law

Whether or not your particular case will be settled through a plea bargain or headed for trial, it is important to choose an attorney who is knowledgeable in criminal law and is able to try your case in front of a judge or jury if it gets to that. Lawyers with no experience in criminal law won’t have a comprehensive understanding of the rules of evidence, will have difficulty identifying the weaknesses and strengths of your case, and will have no credibility to negotiate a good deal for you. Most importantly, the criminal world of law moves differently that the civil world and it is important for your lawyer to know how the Judges and District Attorney operate.

Watch out for a lawyer that practices in various areas 

A lawyer who practices personal injury law one day, divorce the next, and later criminal defense lacks the specific experience and knowledge necessary to provide you with the commitment or specialization that your case requires. Only choose attorneys who practice criminal law exclusively.

Avoid lawyers that guarantee a result 

If you consult with a lawyer who promises you certain results—particularly before they have evaluated your case—immediately cross him/her off your list. Criminal law is complicated and every case is unique. There are no guarantees, or simple answers. Any attorney who makes promises to obtain certain results in a criminal law case is not worth your trust, time or money.

Choose a lawyer that can clearly explain your situation and your legal rights

Your lawyer should be able to simply and clearly explain the criminal charges against you, what they entail, your legal rights, what prosecution has to prove, and how evidence can be used against you in court. Your criminal lawyer should also explain the possible consequences you may face for your charges. Your lawyer should always be direct, honest, and to the point, rather than promising that you will “win your case.”

Do not bargain shop for a criminal lawyer

While an affordable attorney is a concern, it should never be the main priority. There are too many things at stake and you need the best attorney who can ensure your rights and interests are fully protected every step of the way. Attitude, compassion, and experience are very important when it comes to choosing a criminal law lawyer. Many lawyers will quote a flat fee, but this fee is not just for the hours they may work on your case. You are also paying for their skills, knowledge, experience, and qualifications. Fees are often based on the difficulty of the case and the amount of time the lawyer etc. will spend in court and researching and preparing. Your fee will be higher (often a separate charge) if the case is expected to go to trial.

Do not be scared to discuss lawyer fees

You have a right to know how much a criminal law lawyer will charge you before deciding to hire him or her. The lawyer should be able to tell you during the initial consultation how much the services will cost you. Do not choose a lawyer that can’t answer your questions or address your concerns Does the lawyer answer all of your questions using language and terms that you can understand? Does he/she return your phone calls and spend time with you going over your case? Are you frequently updated on the circumstances surrounding your case? A good criminal law lawyer should be able to provide you with all that and make you feel relaxed and at ease.

Go with your gut

Did you feel better after speaking with that attorney? Were your questions answered? Or did you feel like just another number? If you experience a bad feeling with one lawyer, seek the assistance of another one.

If you need help with your case please contact the Law Office of Katie Walsh at (714) 619-9355.


  1. Thank you for sharing the information.

    Hiring a criminal lawyer is a very sensitive thing as a good criminal lawyer will not only help you in defending for your crime related case but, will also help you to get all your rights that you are faced with the crime you are charged.

    Many criminal firms are providing the service of criminal attorneys and one such firm is Crim Law Firm who is providing the service of criminal attorney by defending in many cases like drug crimes, dui, violent crimes etc.

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