Hiring a defense lawyer is not something to rush. If you are facing criminal charges, you’re going to want to make sure you choose an experienced lawyer with a record of successfully defending similar cases. Finding the right defense team can have a significant impact on your future. Here are a few tips for making sure you do your research and get the defense team that will have your best interests in mind.
Find a Law firm with experience and read reviews/testimonials from former clients.
Experience is important. Make sure the firm has a solid background defending similar cases. Read through as many reviews and testimonials as possible. The former client experience will help you get a firsthand account of how someone else’s case was handled and whether they were happy or not. Even if a firm shows positive results, that does not always mean that the client experience is the best. You want to make sure you have a lawyer that you are comfortable with and confident in. If reviews are not readily available on the firm’s website or via yelp, ask for any testimonials they may be able to share.
Check your lawyer’s ratings on a site like avvo.com or martindaleorhubbell.com.
These are two recognized and reliable rating systems for lawyers and firms. Avvo uses a mathematical model that considers the information in the lawyer’s profile, including the number of years they have been practicing criminal defense, disciplinary history, and professional achievements and recognition. Rankings are on a 1-10 basis, with ten being outstanding. Martindale Hubbard gives either an “AV”, “AB” or “Rated” rating system. AV is the highest a law firm can achieve and they do this through excellence in defense of their clients for a period over 10 years and receiving positive reviews from other lawyers, judges, and previous clients.
Be wary of your first impression upon initial consultation.
Before you decide to retain a law firm, understand whether you are going to be represented by a single lawyer or a team. This will help make the lines of communication clear in the future. Criminal defense matters can get complicated, so depending on the severity of the case, it may be a better idea to obtain a team of skilled attorneys like what you get at Saller Law that would be able to delegate matters accordingly. If you’re working with a single attorney, they won’t be able to devote as many man-hours to your case.
Set up an initial consultation where you meet the lawyer or team. Pay attention to how your first call went. Determine whether it was easy to make contact and if you were unable to immediately speak with someone, consider how long it took to receive a callback. All of these things are indicative of how your future communication will be. You don’t want to have to chase after your lawyer or team for responses and updates.
Compare prices and get it in writing.
Working your way through criminal legal matters can become a lengthy and drawn-out process. Understand the rates of all your top contending lawyers or firms. If the fees seem unbelievably low, check out the reviews to ensure customers have been having positive experiences. Some firms are not very clear on how fees work and you might end up spending more than originally agreed upon. Get all quotes in writing. The retainer agreement should be clear and explain all terms.
Finding the right defense team is not necessarily an easy process, especially if you do your homework. Don’t panic and rush the process. Make sure all possible lawyers understand your case and are qualified and experienced enough to take it on. If you require criminal defense services, please feel free to contact us today.