Who you choose as a criminal defense attorney could make a large difference in the outcome of your case. Not every attorney is the same. Different attorneys have varying styles, and some make work better for your situation. Between price, level of service, and legal strategy, you are putting quite a bit in your lawyer’s hands. Oftentimes, you do not have a long period of time to decide on a lawyer. Here are some things to look for when you are choosing a criminal defense attorney.
An Attorney with Trial Experience
It is true that many criminal cases end in a plea bargain. However, that should not be the default strategy for your attorney. While you may sometimes find it in your best interests to plead guilty, it should only happen after you and your lawyer consider every single possible legal defense to the charges. Unfortunately, some attorneys look to settle every case that they can without considering their client’s own unique facts and situation. Ask the attorney how many jury trials they have had and how often they go to trial. Although jury trials are the exception rather than the rule, you should at least have an attorney who is not afraid to take on the prosecutor if they cannot prove your case or if they violated your legal rights.
Find an Attorney Who Tells It as It Is
Criminal cases may involve some tough decisions on your part. You need to know exactly where you stand in your case to understand the right course of action. You do not benefit at all when you have a lawyer who looks at everything through rose-colored glasses or tries to sugarcoat things. You need the plain and unvarnished truth from some who can speak to you directly. The last thing that you want is to be surprised when your expectations do not happen. Honesty is the best policy for any attorney. They may try to create unrealistic expectations just to get you to hire them. Sometimes, attorneys who tell you that there are weak parts of your case, or that they need to look into something further, are the best ones to hire.
Pay Attention to the Level of Service
Your attorney needs to be available to you at all hours. You do not get to control the timing of when things happen in your criminal case. Law enforcement could try to question you or execute a search after hours. Without your lawyer around, you may make a major mistake that could sink your legal defense. Do not hire a lawyer who does not give you a way to reach them directly after hours (and we are talking about the lawyer and not a paralegal). Ask about this when you first speak to the attorney. In addition, pay attention to the lawyer’s level of service when you are trying to hire them. Do they call you back when they say they will? Do they do what they say? If they are not paying enough attention when they are trying to get your business, they will be no better when you are working with them.
Find Someone with the Experience You Need
An experienced attorney may not do you much good if they do not have the background in your specific type of case. If you have been charged with sexual assault or armed robbery, you do not want someone who specializes in DUI cases. Criminal cases have varying degrees of complexity. Attorneys who can go beyond easy and quick cases are far different from ones who take large volumes of quick cases and deal with them quickly. You may have a less complicated case and do not need an attorney who primarily handles complex criminal defense matters.
Some Rates Are Too Good to Be True
We understand that you are looking to save money on your legal defense. However, one of two things could happen with a lawyer who quotes you a cut-rate price on your legal defense. The first is that the maxim of “you get what you pay for” comes back to haunt you. There may be a reason why the lawyer’s rates are so low; namely, that they are not in demand at all. Second, the lawyer could come back with all sorts of extras that run up your bill, and the cheap rate actually balloons into a very large bill. Find out exactly what the price quote covers and what may end up costing you extra. Some lawyers quote you very low rates because they do not plan on devoting any time to your case, which is the last thing that you want or need.
Reputation Is Almost Anything
In the legal field, perception is often the same thing as reality. A lawyer gets a good reputation because they earned it. Prosecutors often deal with lawyers based on their reputation. They may be much more cautious if they know that you have an aggressive lawyer who will hold them accountable for any mistakes. In addition, attorneys who regularly practice in your area have a better chance of being known by prosecutors. However, you should not put too much stock when an attorney brags about their relationships with prosecutors and judges.
In addition, reputation could also be demonstrated by client reviews. These reflect the actual experiences that people have had working with these lawyers. While there may be some facts that you do not know when a client writes a review, a pattern of bad reviews shows that maybe you should look elsewhere for a different lawyer.
Call an Appleton Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a crime or are being investigated, you should not be without a lawyer. At Hogan Eickhoff, we embody all the qualities that we described above. We are available, knowledgeable, aggressive, and accessible. Call us today at (920) 450-9800 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation and begin the process of defending yourself.