If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to find a criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate your trial and work toward a satisfactory outcome. Whether you’ve been charged with a DUI or something more serious, knowing how to choose a defense lawyer is essential.
Look for a Lawyer Who Has Local Experience
Consider the city in which you were charged and look to hire a lawyer who has already worked on cases in the courthouse. For example, if you were charged in northeastern Ohio, you probably want to find a law firm Cleveland OH. Attorneys who already work in the area understand the courthouse’s specific procedures, such as whether there is a plea bargain policy. They are also often already knowledgeable about the police officers and judges in the case, which means they can try to predict how they will react to your case.
Choose Someone You Feel Comfortable With
Depending on your offense, your freedom may literally be on the line. It is important to hire a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable doing business. Consider whether you feel comfortable being open with your attorney, whether he or she speaks in terminology you understand, and whether you feel your lawyer has a genuine desire to help you.
Opt for an Attorney Who Has Specific Experience
Not all crimes are treated equally in the courts, so it’s important to choose an attorney who is knowledgeable about your type of case. For example, an attorney who typically deals with drunk driving charges may not have the right knowledge or experience to defend you against a charge for tax fraud. Ask about an attorney’s experience during your consultation appointment to ensure he or she has represented cases like yours before.
Regardless of what criminal charge you are facing, avoid going into court without legal representation. A lawyer ensures you meet all deadlines, perform all tasks required of you, and navigate the court process to the best of your ability.