If you have been accused of committing a crime, it is in your best interest to find a criminal defence lawyer. If you have no legal training and have not yet been advised by a legal professional, the chances of you achieving a favourable outcome by representing yourself are slim. The following steps will help you to find a lawyer who can represent your interests and achieve a favourable result:
Step 1: Make a list
You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket when choosing a lawyer. You may not be able to afford your top choice, and another lawyer may not be available when you need. This is why it’s a good idea to have a few attorneys to choose from. Doing so will allow you to shop around for someone in your price range who you feel you can trust. When compiling a list, you may want to talk to family and friends in addition to doing your own research. If someone you know and trust can recommend a lawyer to you, you will have peace of mind that you are making the right decision. There are several resources you can use in order to begin your list.
Step 2: Choose an expert
Lawyers specialize in certain areas of the law. After all, the law is too vast a subject for one person to know anything. Make sure you choose a lawyer who has relevant experience to your case. Find someone who has a successful track record, and who is known and respected in your local community.
Step 3: Set up a meeting
You want to meet the person who will be defending you in person. Hiring a lawyer is a big decision, and you want to make sure that your representation is someone who you can trust and who you can get along with. Being accused of a crime is a stressful situation – if your prospective lawyer can put you at ease during such a challenging time it is a good sign you’ve chosen the right person for the job.
Step 4: Ask the right questions
Some common questions you should ask your lawyer include: How long have you practiced? How often do your cases go to trial? Which area of law is your specialty? How much will this cost? Don’t worry about being annoying or intrusive with your questions. A good lawyer will be patient and tell you what you need to know.
Step 5: Make a decision
After you have compiled a list, selected several options, and met with them in person, you are ready to make your decision. Feel good about the fact that you are making the best decision you can with the information you have.