Facing criminal charges, whether minor or major, is a stressful matter. You risk hefty consequences such as having a criminal record, losing your relationships, or ending up in jail. It is critical that you get immediate help from a criminal defense attorney. However, finding one can be a daunting task.
Here are a few things you need to ask about to help you determine the suitability of a lawyer to your case. Prepare now so you can have the best outcome possible for your case later.
Ask About the Preliminary Process
Time is of the essence when trying to get an attorney. Therefore, the more you prepare the more time you’ll save. Keep all relevant documents that can help your lawyer build your defense. Ask questions about how these documents impact your case and what other information you need to gather.
You should include a copy of the police report if you have one, documentation of your charges if you have already appeared in court, and any bond or bail papers. If the police confiscated anything from you or searched your property, you should bring any paperwork you received from them. An attorney will gather any unfinished paperwork such as police reports on your behalf.
Ask About the Lawyer’s Experience
When you first meet a lawyer, one of the most critical questions to ask is how many times they have dealt with a case like yours and what the outcomes have been. Also ask how long they have been practicing.
Find out how well the attorney understands the charges against you. Ask about their relationship with the prosecutor’s office where you will attend court, as well as their ability to negotiate a plea agreement.
Ask Case-Specific Questions
A lawyer’s understanding of your case and their ability to explain it will help you know what to anticipate. Ask the attorney about what to expect and how you can best prepare for criminal litigation.
They should be able to explain your legal options and whether it is best to plead guilty, negotiate a plea deal, or go to trial.
Ask about any foreseeable problems in the case and how to minimize them. Be sure to ask what evidence weighs in your favor and how to use it to your advantage. You will be better prepared psychologically if you ask the attorney what to expect at the various stages of the case.
Ask About Legal Fees and Expenses
Major criminal cases are intricate and require multiple proceedings and, therefore, take longer than other types of cases. Make sure you understand the legal fees.
Ask the attorney to clearly lay out any additional expenses such as expert witness fees, travel expenses, an investigator’s cost, paperwork expenses, and the court fees if you are found guilty. With all the information in front of you, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
Evaluate How Well You and Your Lawyer Will Work Together
You should work with an attorney you are comfortable talking to. Ask about their relationship with clients, accessibility, and how fast they can respond to your questions. You also need to know if they are bringing anyone else on board such as a legal assistant and if you can meet them.
While asking the right questions will help you hire a lawyer you are confident about, it is important to note that you cannot take the answers as a guarantee. The intention should be to get a general idea of the lawyer’s set of skills, level of experience, and their suitability in handling your case.
Contact The Lowry Law Firm for an initial consultation, great advice, and competent representation if you are in Jefferson County and the surrounding areas.