Experienced Criminal Lawyers
If you are facing a criminal charge, even a seemingly minor misdemeanor offense, your entire life can be turned upside down. You are facing fines, probation, possible loss of driver’s license, and even jail time.
And any criminal conviction will result in a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life.
If you are like most people, you have never been called in front of a judge in a criminal courtroom to face charges. You don’t know what to expect, and how could you? You don’t know what might happen to you or what your options are to defend yourself.
And most of all, you don’t know where to look for help. Deciding who the best criminal defense attorney to help you is not an easy decision, but it is extremely important, at a time like this.
What Kind of Experience Should I look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
When speaking to attorneys about who might represent you, there are a few specific areas to focus on, and questions to ask.
Firstly, you should strongly consider someone who practices criminal defense law full time. An attorney who works on tax law one day, a real estate closing the next day, and then comes to criminal court to defend you against drug charges probably doesn’t have the experience you want.
Criminal law is complicated. But more than that, the rules and outcomes in criminal cases are specific. An attorney who doesn’t fight criminal cases every day might not know exactly what a fair offer is on a drug distribution in a school zone offense. And he or she might not be aware of alternatives to prosecution, local drug court procedures, and a host of other issues that can be critical for you to end up with the best possible outcome.
So ask. Ask any prospective attorney how many criminal cases they handle, and how often they have defended cases similar to yours.
The defense attorney who can quickly rattle off 4 successful drug cases he beat in the last six months probably knows what he’s talking about.
In general, the person with the most directly related experience to your case is the way to go. For some types of criminal charges like drunk driving/DUI, the best attorneys defend those charges exclusively. And there are some attorneys who focus on drug charges or high-end financial fraud cases.
There are not many attorneys who exclusively fight shoplifting or assault cases, but a lawyer who is in criminal court every day on these cases will absolutely know exactly what to expect. He or she can give you the most accurate and honest assessment of your chances to beat the charges in court, and what you could be facing for penalties if you are convicted or work out a deal.
The bottom line is that direct experience with a criminal charge just like yours can be extremely important and helpful to you. And this type of expertise may not cost you much more than a general legal practitioner would.
It is often worth speaking to several attorneys to find out who is the best match for your needs.
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