You probably know how hard it is to find the right criminal defense attorney Tad Nelson, but nothing is as nail-biting as working with a lawyer you have no confidence in. To help you get around that basic stage of your case, here are important questions you should ask the attorney you plan to hire.
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1. Will you handle my case personally?
Large firms will introduce you to several attorneys, interns and paralegals to work on your case, which may muddle up your little understanding of the court process. When a law firm assigns too many individuals to handle your case, there could be things one professional forgets to tell another, which exponentially widens the margin of error and lowers your chances of victory. Ensure the lawyer you build a close relationship with is the one who will be representing you in court.
2. How many court appearances have you made before?
Many criminal defense lawyers have minimal court experience and mainly use plea bargains to settle cases. If your case is complicated and doesn’t bear obvious facts, you should check your lawyer’s history and their court experience for good measure.
3. Have you handled this type of case before?
Always remember that not every criminal lawyer can handle some types of criminal cases. Some specialize in drug-related crimes while others deal solely with violent crimes. Ensure your criminal defense attorney has in their repertoire the skill to handle the task you are entrusting them with.
4. How long have you been dealing with criminal defense cases?
Albeit there is nothing wrong with hiring a fresh criminal law graduate, going for a tested-and-tried option is understandably more advantageous. Experience is priceless, and working with someone who knows the court procedures, prosecutors, and can figure out the kind of questions to expect is an added advantage you cannot overlook.
5. How much do you charge for your services?
There are several types of fee arrangements you can agree to. Criminal injury attorneys are not able to serve you on a contingency basis, but you still have several favorable payment methods to choose from. Some lawyers may charge a flat fee while others require a retainer up front. It is essential that you understand the fee arrangement before hiring a lawyer to avoid being sweet-talked into incomprehensible costly deals.
6. What are my obligations?
You probably have a rough idea what an attorney is supposed to do for you, but do you know your role as the defendant? Well, it all depends on the attorney’s preferred modus operandi, the circumstances surrounding your cases and your criminal history.
You may be required to provide certain documents which the attorney will use to build your case. Sometimes you may be compelled to disclose things you are not comfortable about such as outstanding warrants and past criminal convictions. All these will be needed when building your case.
Asking several lawyers these questions before hiring any of them will help you to get a reliable criminal attorney.