Ask These 4 Questions Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
Picture: Glenn Carstens-Peters
If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, charged with a serious crime like a DWI/DUI, drug possession, theft, or assault, you’re likely getting ready to hire a criminal defense attorney. After all, the legal world can be daunting, and most lawyers recommend never speaking to the police without an attorney present.
However, not every lawyer you encounter will be the right fit for your needs, and some are better suited to represent you for specific charges than others. Consider asking your preferred attorney some of the following questions before relying on them in court.
Have You Worked On Cases Like Mine?Before choosing the best criminal defense attorney to handle your case, ask them if they have worked on similar cases to yours. While criminal lawyers are generally experts in most criminal proceedings, you may gain peace of mind knowing they’ve been through the process with those who have faced the same charges as you. When lawyers have experience to draw upon, they might also be better positioned to access expert witnesses and predict the most likely outcome based on your charges.
What Is Your Success Rate?When you’re guilty of a crime such as a DUI, it never hurts to ask your chosen lawyer about their success rate in reducing charges or having them dropped altogether. Many of the best criminal defense attorneys use various defense methods to help their clients, such as successfully proving a field sobriety test is inaccurate or finding no evidence of you driving a vehicle or being in control of it. The higher their success rate in court, the more confidence you might have in their abilities.
How Long Will My Case Take?After being charged with a crime, there’s the potential for you to serve jail time, and it’s only natural to be nervous. Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney how long your case will take. While they won’t be able to give you an exact timeline of how your case will play out, they can use their years of experience to provide an approximate time frame based on the strategies they’ll use and how the court system works.
How Much Will Your Services Cost?Lawyers work hard to secure the best outcome for their clients, sometimes involving countless hours and reliance on expert witnesses. Knowing that your lawyer will be putting a considerable amount of effort into your case, you’re within your rights to ask how much their services will cost. Every lawyer and law firm is different, and fees can also vary depending on the charges you’re facing. For a misdemeanor, you might expect to pay an average of $2,500 to $8,000.
Being charged with a crime and potentially facing jail time can be daunting, especially if you’ve never been on the wrong side of the law before. However, if you were to hire a criminal defense attorney and ask them these questions above, you might be as prepared as you can be for what comes next.
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