Tips on Finding a Private Defense Attorney
If you are accused of a crime, you usually have options available to you regarding representation. You may have the choice to represent yourself, although a judge will make the final decision whether to allow this. The judge may also assign you a public defender depending on your financial circumstances and the seriousness of the charges. Regardless of the situation, however, you also have the option of hiring a private defense attorney.
It is almost always in your interest to have a defense attorney represent you. However, not all private defense lawyers are equally skilled, and if you decide to hire your own, you want to be sure your money is well spent. Here are some tips on how to find a good private defense attorney to represent you.
1. Don’t Choose the Most Expensive Attorney
There seems to be a perception in the mind of the public that the more you pay for an attorney’s services, the more competent or skilled the attorney is. This is not necessarily the case. Fees are an important consideration when choosing a defense attorney, but it shouldn’t be your only selection criterion.
2. Seek Referrals
Perhaps you know some attorneys socially, or have acquaintances who have required the services of a defense lawyer in the past. Ask these individuals for recommendations. Find out specifically what your acquaintances like about the attorneys they are referring you to. Find out as much as you can about his or her reputation.
3. Conduct Web Research
The internet should not necessarily be the first place you go to find defense attorneys, but it can be a valuable tool in evaluating them. A good defense attorney should have an accessible and professional-looking website. You should be able to find objective information there that will help you make your decision, such as years of criminal law experience and outcomes of important cases, as well as anecdotal evidence that may also be of some value, such as testimonials from former clients. You should evaluate this information critically and give more weight to verifiable facts and statistics than to subjective information.
4. Trust Your Instincts
Though intangible, your personal impressions of an attorney can tell you a lot about how he or she will represent you. Your criminal offenses attorney in DC should seem knowledgeable about the law and at home in the courtroom. He or she should treat you with a baseline level of respect, listening to your questions and providing intelligent answers. You are paying for the attorney’s time, so he or she should minimize interruptions and provide you undivided attention to the extent possible.
Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and finding a defense attorney.