Choosing Wisely: 6 Questions to Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney

Making a wise choice regarding who to hire as your legal representative in court could have significant consequences on the course of your life. After all, your freedom and financial wellbeing are both at stake here. Doing your due diligence and carefully examining the criminal defense attorney’s website is a good start, but unfortunately, it’s not enough if you truly want to hire the best one to represent you in court. You should strive to meet up in person as soon as possible and have the following questions prepared:

  1. Is the initial consultation free of charge?

A brief phone conversation is simply insufficient if you want to determine whether you’d like to be working with a given attorney or not. Meeting them in person will give you a much more accurate idea. And if the attorney you’ve laid your eyes on isn’t willing to provide a free initial consultation, simply keep drilling down the list and locate someone that does.

  1. How many trials have you handled successfully?

Just like any other professionals, criminal attorneys get better with age and experience. You need someone who is adept at gathering witnesses, delivers effective opening and closing speeches, investigates thoroughly, etc. Going with someone who’s going to be learning on the job is a risky route to take.

  1. What payment plans do you offer?

The financial aspect of your cooperation should be transparent, so steer clear of lawyers who try to weasel themselves out of having to answer the question or keep the financial matters shrouded in mystery. Ideally, you should try to agree on a fixed fee, since hourly arrangements can quickly get out of hand, as there is no way of knowing in advance how long the lawsuit is going to take.

  1. How quickly do you respond to queries?

Availability and responsiveness is something that not too many clients even think about; nevertheless, it’s an essential part of the equation. You see, facing criminal charges means tons of stress, so you need someone who’s going to be there for you and answer any questions you may have in a timely manner.

  1. Will you be handling my case personally?

Certain big law firms will assign someone else to your case without letting you know about it, so it’s always best to stay on clear terms and ask about it. Leaving the premises with the much-needed reassurance is about a million times better than potentially leaving your fate in the hands of a greenhorn.

  1. Are you specialized in criminal law?

While any lawyer with a license is technically allowed to represent you in court, working with a jack of all trades is just about the last thing you want. Instead, focus your search on picking someone who specializes in your type of cases.

Bonus question: how do we get paid?

Lawsuits can be tricky business.  As with anything there is some degree of risk involved.   One of the risks involved is whether you’ll get paid or when you’ll get paid.  This is a problem especially if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit.  You may have medical bills or other expenses that are piling up while you’re waiting for your lawsuit settlement to arrive.   One way around this is a car accident lawsuit loan.  Basically how this works is a lender has a look at your case, and based on its strength, you may or may not be able to qualify for a loan.  As with any financial product you’ll want to compare the interest rate to your other available options.

Conclusion

These questions are the cornerstones to making a decision you’re unlikely to regret. By asking them, you will be able to weed out the less qualified attorneys and choose among those who will be the most likely to help you turn the tide in your favor. Whenever in doubt, trusting your gut feeling is the way to go.

Posted in: Personal Finance

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