Criminal cases involve very high stakes. After all, the outcome of a case determines whether someone serves jail time (or has other penalties inflicted on them). Being accused of a crime can be intimidating and making the wrong choice can lead to dire consequences.
If you’ve been accused of a crime, you’ll probably have a long list of questions to ask your attorney. But how do you know if they’re the best person to help you in the first place? Our experts at Hogan Eickhoff have came up with a helpful guide.
A Guide on How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When choosing a lawyer, identify what field of law your attorney specializes in. A lawyer who specializes in civil lawsuits will not be able to help you as much as a criminal defense lawyer can. Even though they’re both lawyers, civil and criminal law are very different both in writing and in practice.
Make sure to narrow down what field your lawyer has the most experience in as much as you can. Even criminal defense lawyers tend to have certain charges which they have more experience in than others. Some lawyers drift towards cases involving driving while under the influence, while other lawyers are more familiar with drug possession cases. Try to find someone who is very familiar in representing your specific situation.
Unfortunately, in some cases, access to legal help is limited, like having a case which is being dealt with in a very small town. In such circumstances, defendants may have to take advantage of whatever is available.
There is a geographical component to choosing the right lawyer. A lawyer who’s familiar with presenting cases in the courtroom where your trial is going to be held, for example, is a great asset. Not only will they have a better grasp of the procedures specific to that courtroom but having a lawyer who’s familiar with people handling your case has its own advantages. Knowing the temperament, habits and history of a prosecutor or D.A. office will help to create an effective plan for your case.
Above all else, know that your lawyer is the best (and only) person you should talk with and ask questions to regarding your case. Don’t be afraid to fire off a list of questions when you’re with them during a consult.
A Quickfire List of Questions to Help You Choose a Lawyer
- How long have you been practicing criminal law?
- Do you have any experience that can help my case specifically?
- Is there an advantage your representation can offer that other lawyers can’t?
- Is there anything I can do right now to help my case?
- Are you familiar with the courtroom I might be sent to trial in?
- Are you familiar with the people handling my case?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, experienced legal professionals at Hogan Eickhoff are ready to help you protect your rights. Call (920) 450-9800 for a free consultation to discuss your options and get help defending your case.