Hiring a Criminal Attorney
Imagine that somehow, somewhere, you racked up a criminal charge (or two). Depending on the severity of your infraction(s), you might even have to appear in court.
If this sounds like you, then you should look into hiring a criminal attorney to represent you.
A criminal attorney is a legal representative that handles criminal cases, with the intent to overturn any charges against his or her client.
The benefit of hiring a criminal attorney (as opposed to going with one who is appointed) is you have the option to pick and choose someone with specific expertise to represent you during the proceedings.
You also have access to various legal resources, connections and procedures through a criminal attorney that would be otherwise unavailable.
And with the stakes as high as they are when facing criminal charges, you'll need every advantage you can legally acquire.
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Finding a Criminal Attorney
Upon making the decision to find a criminal attorney for an impending court case, you need to get to work looking for one! There certainly isn't any shortage of potential lawyers for hire. In fact, the sheer number of candidates can be overwhelming. Some shady ones may even go so far as to guarantee they can win your case. No matter what you hear, nobody determines the outcome of a case but the judge and jury.
With that being said, going with a competent, reliable criminal attorney is your best bet. There are several different ways to search for attorneys. Perhaps the most accessible is using the Internet. Some websites to consider are lawyers.com and attorneylocate.com. You could also run a search for "criminal attorney" and the state you live in for more results.
Another search method is to check your local phone directories like the Yellow Pages for local attorneys. It's always best to seek out lawyers in the same jurisdicition as where you acquired your charges in. Another excellent way to find worthwhile attorneys is to ask people you know who have hired some in the past. Even, if you know a lawyer but he or she doesn't handle criminal cases, you can still ask them for a recommendation.
A general rule of thumb whenever hiring a paid professional is to build up a list of options to choose from. In the case of a criminal attorney, you should generate at least 4 names to narrow down from.
Oh, and before contancting any lawyers, make sure the attorney handles criminal cases! You'd be surprised how often people overlook this step, but it is vital if you want to save time and be fruitful in your search!
Choosing a Criminal Attorney
Having built up a list of potential criminal attorneys to choose from, it's time to narrow down your selection to just one. To do so, you need to setup meetings with each candidate and conduct your own personal interview with them. This usually requires nothing more than a phone call to their respective office or law firm.
One desirable characteristic to look for in a criminal attorney is expertise with the criminal charges you are up against. You wouldn't want to hire a lawyer that is skilled in DUI's when facing an assault charge, for instance.
You will also need to know how each criminal attorney plans on representing you in court. What is their overall strategy? How will they challenge any evidence brought up against you? Can they handle negotiations well? Are they more aggressive in their approach? These are some common questions you should consider during the screening process.
Perhaps the single most important factor in selecting a criminal attorney is whether or not you feel comfortable with the person you are hiring. Good criminal attorneys will all give you similar reasons to select them from over the competition.
The bottom line is you want someone you can trust. You wouldn't leave your child with a baby sitter that rubs you the wrong way. Likewise, you should never fly off the turnbuckle of justice without an attorney that you feel good about representing you. If you cannot decide using any other means, go with your gut.
Be forewarned that there isn't a criminal attorney on this planet, (or any other for that matter), that can assure you victory. The justice system just doesn't work that way. A criminal attorney's "record" will never be as precise as say, a baseball player's batting average. If your lawyer can net you a straight acquittal, then you are a very, very fortunate person.
In most cases, the best criminal attorneys will raise enough doubt in the courtroom to have the criminal charges brought up against you shaved down to a minimum. A somewhat hefty fine is infinitely better than having to servie jail time.
Keep your expectations realistic, and there's no doubt that you will find the right criminal attorney for your case.
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