If you are being accused of committing a criminal offense, you should not panic. These things tend to happen in our day to day lives and it is important to keep your cool.
Even those who cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer, they are not limited to seeking legal advice from a defense attorney.
If you are in the Houston area, choose the best Houston Criminal defense attorney to represent you in your case.
Finding the right criminal defense lawyer can be overwhelming if you have no idea about what to look for in an attorney.
Here are the 7 steps on Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney
1. Draft a list of Criminal Lawyers
The first step is to draft a list of criminal defense attorneys in your locality. You can make this process simple by going through online attorney listings, checking lawyer referral services, inquiring from friends who hired a defense attorney before.
Once you have a long list of lawyers, you can reduce to a small number like ten. If you are unable to find attorneys in your hometown, you can opt to search in other areas that are not far away from you.
2. Shortlist a Few Criminal Defense Attorneys
Once the shortlisting of few candidates is done, you can look at other factors such as experience, area of specialization, reputation, the number of cases the attorney has won in the past.
Good defense attorneys always post this information on their website. It is always good to gather some information about a particular attorney or firm prior to approaching them.
Doing this will help you to hire an attorney who has specialized in handling criminal matters and not any other lawyer.
3. Use of search engine
You can use the search engine to browse the legal information and court records relating to a particular lawyer or firm you are planning to hire.
Once you are through with this deep research you will be in a position to shortlist the top three lawyers you feel they are trustworthy, have an appealing track record, and are highly experienced in the field of criminal law.
4. Consult the state bar association
You can visit the state bar association website to find out the lawyers who have good court track records in your native town.
5. Establish Good Communication with your Attorney
Once you have reached a conclusion on the specific criminal defense attorney you are going to hire, it is very important to establish good communication with him or her.
That’s why you should ensure the attorney you settle on is not new to the language you are comfortable in.
6. Be aware of fees
Attorneys charges fees for the services they offer and these prices are influenced by a number of factors.
Experienced lawyers tend to charge an additional fee when compared to attorneys who have just graduated from law school. The manner in which they charge fees tends to differ from one attorney to the other.
For instance, there are those who charge hourly fees and others a flat fee that remains the fixed irrespective of the number of hours your case will take to be concluded.
7. Find out who’s working for you
This is usually the case with firms that have numerous staff. There is a likelihood that the attorney you meet first will not be the one representing you in court.
It’s important to be well-informed about the attorney who will be handling your case and how to reach out to him. It’s important to keep in touch with your case and learn of every progress made.