While hiring a defense attorney is essential, when facing any criminal charges, you want to be sure you’re hiring a good and capable professional. Just like any other profession, the legal field has its share of both excellent and poor professionals. Knowing what to look for, when it’s time to shop for a lawyer, can help ensure you hire a skilled and competent legal advocate.
1. Experience Matters
The lawyer you choose should have experience handling the specific charges you’re facing. For instance, if you have been charged with a DUI, you want to make sure the attorney you choose has handled other DUI cases.
2. Results Matter
In addition to ensuring your attorney has handled your type of case in the past, find out how many of those cases had successful outcomes. If most of his DUI cases have resulted in convictions, this may not be the best lawyer for your case.
3. Evaluate Response Times
As you’re discussing your case in the initial consultation, judge how the attorney is responding, as well as what he’s saying. If he takes too long to respond or seems to be thinking of his response, this may indicate a slower analytical process. In negotiations and in court, a quick mind and speedy response is often necessary.
4. Professional Demeanor
First impressions are everything. When you first meet the attorney, how does he present himself? Is he dressed well? Does he seem courteous and attentive? How you perceive him is an indication of how a judge and jury will also perceive him.
5. Assess His Negotiation Skills
Your attorney should have strong negotiating skills, as well as a sharp analytical mind. These tools will be helpful in possibly securing a plea deal that can help you avoid a trial.
6. Do You Feel Valued?
The attorney should seem concerned with setting your fears at ease and should be interested in the facts of your case. If he doesn’t seem invested in your case, he may not be the right attorney for you. You should feel confident that he will be motivated in handling your case.
7. Do You Like Him?
This may seem like a silly point, but it’s more important than most people realize. You’re placing your trust in this individual and telling him things about your life that you may not tell anyone else. For those reasons, it’s important that you feel comfortable with him.
8. Is He Local?
This can be an important factor, especially in criminal cases. A local attorney, who is familiar with the police and local courts, may be your best chance for getting a plea deal or other positive outcome. A strong network of professional acquaintances can give your attorney insights to which he might otherwise not have access.
9. Judge His Moral Compass
There will be things you’ll tell your attorney that you won’t want to become public knowledge. You’ll also want to know that your attorney is doing everything possible to help you. This is why it’s important to evaluate his integrity. Ask around and find out what others think of him, if you’re a poor judge of character, yourself.
10. Investigative Skills
Some attorneys rely on a staff to help in this area, while others will do most of the legwork themselves. In either case, the attorney should be able to explain the investigative process and how he will apply it to your situation. Gathering evidence and identifying witnesses is a vital part of the process, so make sure your attorney can investigate your case thoroughly.
Your legal defense is only as strong as your attorney, so make sure you hire a professional best qualified to handle your case. Like many other satisfied clients, you might choose to consult William Hanlon, St Petersburg Criminal Lawyer . An initial interview can help you learn more about his expertise and will give you better insight into your own case.