If you’re accused of a crime, you need to ensure you get an experienced and skillful lawyer on board who you feel comfortable with and who will do his or her utmost to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Therefore, it’s important that you ask the right questions during an initial consultation to ensure you hire the right attorney.
Here are six key questions that you should always ask.
1. How long have you practiced criminal law?
You need to ensure your lawyer has a wealth of experience in criminal law, so it’s crucial that you ask a prospective criminal defense lawyer how long he or she has practiced criminal law.
When you hire someone with lots of experience, your lawyer will be able to properly advise you, tell you what to expect during each phase of the legal process, and help you to attain the best possible outcome by using a strong and suitable defense strategy.
2. What types of cases do you handle?
You not only need to ensure that the lawyer has experience in criminal law cases. You also need to make sure that the attorney you hire has experience in handling your specific type of case.
For instance, the Monmouth County Criminal Attorneys at Marshall has experience in areas of criminal law like assault, sexual assault, theft, drug offenses, and more.
If a law firm you’re considering hiring doesn’t have experience in handling the type of crime you have been accused of, you should find a different law firm that does have the experience.
You could also ask a prospective lawyer if the cases that are similar to yours that he or she has dealt with in the past have gone to trial and what the results of those cases were.
3. What are your credentials?
In addition to asking about a lawyer’s professional experience, you should ask about his or her credentials.
Find out things like which law school the lawyer attended and which bar associations he or she is a member of in order to get a good overview of how credible the attorney is.
The better your lawyer’s credentials are, the more you can be sure that he or she can handle your case in the best way and give the right advice.
4. Can I read testimonials from past clients?
While lawyers are unlikely to have testimonials from every person they have represented, they should have some testimonials that you can read to find out how satisfied those clients were with the lawyer you’re considering hiring.
So, just like you would read testimonials or watch video testimonials from companies to discover customer satisfaction rates, make sure you read testimonials from clients before you hire a lawyer.
You can learn much about an attorney by finding out what past clients have to say about him or her.
5. How strong is my case?
It’s also a good idea to ask a potential lawyer about how strong your case appears to be.
While no lawyer will be able to guarantee specific outcomes for your case, he or she should be able to give you professional guidance and assess how your case could potentially play out based on the preliminary information you give him or her.
Be wary of any lawyers who make promises of precise outcomes.
6. How much do you charge?
It’s important that you find out how much a lawyer’s legal fees are and what the lawyer’s fee structure is before you proceed with hiring.
Remember that criminal defense lawyers have different ways of calculating fees. So, make sure you know things like whether the fees are fixed or charged on an hourly basis and what other expenses are likely to arise throughout the legal proceedings.