There’s nothing like the stress of facing a criminal charge. Seeking a criminal defense attorney is not an easy feat and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Who you choose to represent you can make all the difference with your case.
But, how do you choose an attorney? What qualities do they need? How do you know how to choose the best one? Knowing your rights and how the law works is very important. No matter who you are or what your story is, being informed and educated on state laws and regulations can help if we find ourselves in front of a judge.
Today, we’ll break down exactly what it is that you should look for in a criminal defense attorney so that you are prepared to face your charges with confidence.
#1. Experience and Knowledge
As a general rule, all lawyers know the law. They spent the time and money on education to qualify for the job, and not to mention they had to pass the bar exams. But, much like others in broad fields, lawyers have particular specializations that make them more knowledgeable about some areas of law than others.
Needless to say, your attorney should specialize in criminal law. The right attorney will know the details of your type of case, and therefore be strategic in planning the best defense possible.
Choose a lawyer with several years of experience with criminal cases. While no lawyer can guarantee an outcome, experienced lawyers present you with the best chance of a favorable outcome for your case.
#2. Great Client-Attorney Communication
Having a lawyer with experience and education is excellent, but it will not help your case if they can’t communicate. Therefore, make sure you hire an attorney with excellent communication skills.
You need to ensure you can clearly understand everything about your case every step of the way. To do this, you need your attorney to explain everything to you clearly. You should know your charges, plea options, possible sentencing, and be made aware of any complications that might occur during the case.
In addition to communicating well, a good lawyer also listens. You want them to respond to your questions and concerns and keep you in the know as much as possible.
Great attorneys keep all of the information related to a case private, and they take care to keep it that way.
Professionalism isn’t just for the courtroom. An attorney you choose should behave professionally from the minute they meet with you. This extends to being punctual, speaking to you in a respectful manner, and maintaining complete confidentiality throughout their interactions with you.
Professionalism is one of the most important traits that any attorney should demonstrate, so if the attorney you are considering doesn’t seem professional to you, it’s time to walk away.
#4. Great Negotiation Skills
There are hundreds of cases tried in courts every day, but most are settled outside of the courtroom if possible. So, it’s possible your lawyer will look to negotiate and settle your case outside of trial if possible. You need to select someone good at negotiating, a good speaker, and good at persuading the court.
In addition to being a negotiator, they should always be determined to obtain the greatest possible outcome for your case. If your lawyer seems too busy or distracted with other cases to prioritize your case, they’re not the right attorney for you.
#5. Thorough at Preparing Your Case
Dealing with a criminal charge is tough. It’s stressful and often frustrating. But hiring a good lawyer can make the experience a little easier, and good lawyers are thorough when preparing for a case.
You want an attorney who takes care to look at all the evidence, checks all the details and looks for ways to strengthen your case based on the prosecution’s strategy as well as your defense options. They should also be honest about all aspects and consider all of the approaches to your representation.
#6. Good Ratings and Reviews
Everyone is online these days, and attorneys are no different. A good online presence is a great outlet for finding information, and it’s even more helpful if you can check ratings and reviews. Even if they don’t have a website, third-party sites list businesses and have ratings and reviews. Ideally, however, your attorney should have a professional website that features their accolades and specialties (as well as their track record).
Don’t be afraid to take a thorough dive into what other people have to say. Often, reviews and word of mouth will highlight some things you didn’t think of beforehand. Even if some of the reviews are bad, it could prompt you to ask questions and learn more.
Many directories provide reviews, including search engines like Google. Google provides client reviews, ratings, and listings for attorneys in a given county. Utilize these options and do your homework before you hire an attorney for your case.
Hann Law Will Fight For Your Future
When you face criminal charges, it’s hard not to focus on what you have to lose. But you have control over your defense – and we’ll do everything in our power to protect your rights. Whether you face a DUI, assault charge, or something else entirely, we put our decades of combined courtroom experience to work for you. We have successfully defended many clients in San Jose and central California over the years. We can defend you, too.
At Hann Law Firm, we take a personal approach to everything we do. From our first consultation, we’ll listen to your needs and concerns. Listening to our clients is at the heart of our success in the courtroom. When you work with us, we’ll address your specific challenges, prepare diligently for the best possible outcome, and create a personalized approach to help achieve your goals. Contact us today for a free consultation and put us to work for you!