Deciding Whether to Get a High-Profile Criminal Defense Lawyer

Someday, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Presumably, this is a tough time for you. The charges you face could derail your life if the jury convicts you.

You’re going to need to get yourself a criminal defense lawyer, but how will you find one? You can look based on how much they cost, their prior experience, or several other factors. However, maybe you want to retain a lawyer who’s famous for representing individuals in high-profile criminal cases.

The real question is whether it’s worth it to retain a lawyer based on this criterion. Let’s talk more about that right now.

Do You Want a Lawyer Who Has Represented Famous People Before?

You might notice that celebrities, when they get in trouble, often hire criminal lawyers who represented other celebrities in the past. If a lawyer handled high-profile criminal cases before, it makes sense that they can deal with the media circus that often accompanies them.

Such a lawyer would know how to deflect any questions that they shouldn’t answer. They know how to be tactful. If you hire them, they’ll likely know how to represent your best interest if yours is a sensationalistic case that’s getting a lot of local or national press coverage.

Often, though, if you’re thinking about getting a lawyer who has handled high-profile criminal cases in the past, it’s not so much about their experience but the resulting outcomes. If you hire a high-profile criminal lawyer who has defended celebrity clients, but every one of those clients lost their cases, that’s what’s going to matter more than whether you have heard of this lawyer or not.

Look at Their History

It’s great if you’ve heard of an attorney before, and you know they’ve handled high-intensity cases, but before you hire them, you should look at their history to see often they win versus how often they lose. Presumably, they have a long history at which you can look, and all of that is public record.

You need a lawyer who’s not just familiar with the limelight but one who has won cases that sound similar to yours. Whether you're a celebrity or not, if you get a criminal lawyer who knows how to act in the public eye but who still loses all of their cases, that’s not going to be all that helpful for you.

What Else Do You Want to See?

As far as other things you’ll want to see from your criminal lawyer or their firm, you might choose the one that has more board-certified criminal law specialists than anyone else. These individuals often come in handy if you’re trying to get off or get a reduced sentence.

You also might want a lawyer or firm that has glowing reviews from various legal organizations and publications. You might want one that the American Trial Lawyers Association recommends. You may select one that the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers mentions in its Criminal Law section.

What You Want from the Defense Team

You might also decide on counsel based on what the lawyer’s defense team can offer. Maybe they have forensic science experts on staff that know about infra-red mass spectrometry and gas chromatography. They may know about bodily fluid testing methods and serology.

They may be ballistics or DNA technology experts. The more complicated your case is, and the more physical evidence you plan to introduce to exonerate you, the more likely that you’ll want a team that can help you convince the jurors that you’re innocent.

You will also probably want a defense team with a law library that includes state police, FBI, local police, and department of public safety manuals. They can use these to deconstruct and refute any charges the prosecution brings against you.

Above all, you want a lawyer or firm that seems passionate about defending you, not just to pad their reputation, but because they care about getting justice. It’s great if they represented sports stars in the past, or movie stars, or other high-profile individuals. That is probably not going to be the deciding factor as you narrow down your criminal defense lawyer shortlist.

Apart from all that, you’ll also need to look at how much this lawyer or firm will cost. You might want the best defense, but if you can’t afford a high-end lawyer, you may have little choice but to settle for a lesser-known one.

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Posted - 02/26/2021