If you find yourself in a situation where you need a criminal defense lawyer, likely the first thing on your mind is finding someone that is available immediately. When time is of the essence and you are in immediate need of representation, it can feel like it is an impossible time to try to research different lawyers in order to find the best one for you and for your situation, but there are still a few filtering questions that you should ask every potential lawyer before you decide to hire them.
- Look for experienced lawyers in the field of criminal defense. You want to make sure that you are getting the best possible representation that you can, and that means making sure that the person that you are hiring to represent you is familiar with all of that state’s particular laws and systems, and that they have successfully defended clients in the past. Choosing to pay to hire a criminal defense lawyer that does not have any past experiences or successes to their name is not going to be any more beneficial than using a public defender for free, so make sure that you find someone with experience to give your hard earned money to.
- Ask to meet the lawyer in person. There is a lot of value in meeting a potential lawyer face to face before you hire them. You can observe them in their “natural habitat” and find out more about how they are going to treat you and your case if you hire them. If they are constantly interrupting your meeting by taking phone calls or emails or allowing their assistant to interrupt the meeting before you ever hire them, then you should expect that same treatment from them when they start working for you. If they speak disparagingly about past clients or divulge private information about others, then you should have no reason to assume they will not do the same thing to you. During the first interview, they should be attentive and should review all of the basics of your case with you, and then offer you their opinion on what the best next course of action will be in your case. Only once they have done all of that should they start to talk about contracts or fees and payment. If you feel like you are being given the hard sales pitch verses any real legal advice, then you may want to look somewhere else.
- Ask who exactly in the office will be representing you and if you can also meet them. It is also a good idea to ask who you will be in contact with if you have questions and how long you should expect them to take to get back to you. You also should not feel shy about asking blunt questions about how their fees work and what their retainer fee will be (if they have one.) To speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact Adam Kretowicz ESQ today!