These five questions to ask a criminal lawyer should be asked to any criminal lawyer you are considering hiring. By not asking questions to a potential criminal lawyer, you may end up with a lawyer you are not happy with. Asking these questions will help to ensure you find the right criminal lawyer for you.
If you are in need of a criminal lawyer, you need to make sure you hire the best one for your situation. You want to know that this lawyer has experience dealing with cases similar to yours, that you will not be overcharged or encounter hidden fees, and that this lawyer will be available when you need to talk. Here are five questions you need to ask any criminal lawyer that you are considering hiring to defend you.
Do you have experience with similar cases as mine?
You want to know that a lawyer understands the laws related to the offense(s) you are being charged and has a plan on how to defend it! You want to make sure the criminal lawyer has the ability to recommend the best course of action to defend you, such as rather a psychological review of yourself would aid you in your defense. Make sure to ask a lawyer prior to hiring him/her what type of success they have had with cases similar to yours.
I have represented people on almost every type of case imaginable. When you meet with me I will explain in detail the various ways I intend to defend your case.
What will this cost me?
Will the fee be a onetime fee that includes all the services provided by the lawyer or will there be additional fees for such things as going to trail? You want to make sure you have an idea how much this lawyer will cost you in the end prior to hiring him/her. Some lawyers will include all fees and service charges in one amount and will let their potential client know what this charge is. Other lawyers charged based on the service provided or by the hour. You do not want to hire one that charges by the service if you are unaware of this practice by this lawyer. By not understanding the fees a lawyer may charge to defend you, you may end up paying a great deal more then you first thought.
I charge people a flat one time fee. Depending on the case, I usually charge one fee to investigate and negotiate a resolution you are happy with. If the case is going to trial, there is an additional flat fee. I pride myself in being upfront and realistic with my clients about costs and I am always willing to do monthly payments
Do you have the time to handle my case?
There is nothing worst then hiring a criminal lawyer and not being able to get a hold of him/her. You will want to make sure that the criminal lawyer you plan to hire has time to answer your questions and is available to you if you need him/her. Also, make sure that the lawyer you plan to hire is going to be the one handling your case. Some larger law firms will pass off cases to lesser experience lawyers that work in the firm. Ensure that the lawyer you hire is going to be the lawyer that shows up in the courtroom with you.
If I don’t have the time to handle your case I will not let you hire me.
Do you have experience defending clients in the jurisdiction I have been criminally charged in?
You want to ensure that the lawyer has experience in the jurisdiction your criminal case is pending. A lawyer that knows the judges and prosecutors will be able to provide you with a better understand of how things work in that jurisdiction. This provides a benefit to you because a judge and/or prosecutor that knows the lawyer you are considering hiring could be more likely to take into account what this lawyer has to say. A lawyer that has a good reputation with the judges and prosecutors in a particular jurisdiction (especially smaller jurisdictions) will be more trustworthy and may be able to make a deal then a lawyer with no reputation in that jurisdiction.
I only take cases in Southern Arizona.
Are you willing to take my case to trial?
Find out if this lawyer would be willing to take your case to trial, even if this is not something you are considering. This will help determine if the lawyer will do what it takes to defend you. Find out if the lawyer has taken many cases to trial. Also, find out what type of results he/she has experienced. If the prosecuting attorney knows the lawyer as a trial lawyer, it may also give you help you in your defense. Many prosecutors before to make deals out of court then take cases to trial.
I like going to trial! I became an attorney so I could try cases. I have tried many many cases, and won more than my fair share of them! Please see the results sections to see some of my prior trial results.
After asking these five questions to a criminal lawyer you are considering hiring, you should be in a better position to determine if this lawyer is right for your case or not. Listen to your gut when making a decision as important as this. By not asking the right questions or by not going with your gut feeling, you may end up with a lawyer and results that are not satisfactory to you. However, by asking questions, listening to yourself, you should be able to find the best lawyer for your situation and have results that are more favorable.