Hiring a criminal lawyer


title:Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

author:Criminal-Lawyer-Central. com

source_url:http://www. essayabc. com/articles/legal/article_457.shtml

date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:13

category:legal

article:

There are a number of situations in life when you have to

decide whether to hire a lawyer. For instance, if you're

purchasing a house or having trouble paying your bills,

hiring a lawyer may not be a necessity, but it's a good

idea nonetheless. However, if you've been charged with

driving under the influence, assault, or some other crime,

hiring a criminal lawyer is mandatory. You'll want to make

sure that your legal rights are protected throughout the

entire judicial process.

But where do you begin, when you're hoping to hire a

qualified criminal lawyer? One of the best ways to find an

effective attorney is to consult with your family and

friends. There is nothing better than a personal

recommendation, especially one that comes from someone who

is close to you. However, there are times when it might be

difficult to obtain a personal referral. In those

situations, you might consider consulting the local bar

association or an Internet site such as lawyers. com. The

Internet, in fact, can provide a wealth of information

about individual lawyers. For instance, you can find out

about a lawyer's level of expertise in criminal law,

biographical information, whether the lawyer is in good

standing with the bar, and other pertinent facts. In

addition, online archives of your local newspaper might

include articles about cases that a particular lawyer has

tried. You'll want to hire a lawyer with plenty of

experience in the area of criminal law involved in your

case, whether it be traffic offenses, drug crimes, or white

collar crimes.

The next step is contacting the lawyer's office. If an

attorney cannot meet with you on short notice, don't count

the lawyer out. Effective lawyers are quite busy, so, if a

lawyer is short on time, that may actually be a positive

sign. Pay close attention to how your call is handled by

the lawyer's staff. The staff should be courteous and be

willing to answer all of your questions.

You should be aware of the fact that criminal defense

lawyers tend to charge by the hour. As an alternative,

they may charge a flat fee up front. Generally speaking,

rules of professional conduct bar a lawyer from charging a

contingency fee for a criminal case. Since legal fees can

vary, you might want to engage in some comparison shopping.

However, be advised that the better lawyers tend to charge

more for their services. Since your freedom and reputation

are at stake, you should invest in the best lawyer you can

afford.

Given the fact that criminal cases are often settled

through plea agreements with a district attorney's office,

it can be important for a criminal lawyer to be on good

terms with the D. A. Certainly, good relations between the

two can only enhance your case. Therefore, you'll want a

lawyer who has fairly regular contact with the prosecuting

attorney in the county in which your case resides. Also,

it's a good idea if you hire a lawyer who is affiliated

with a group such as the National Association of Criminal

Defense Lawyers. Such an association shows that your

lawyer wants to keep abreast of new developments in the

area of criminal law.

Prior to hiring a criminal lawyer, be sure to ask for

references. You'll want to know how clients view the

attorney's expertise. You should also obtain a copy of the

law firm's brochure, so you have a clear understanding of

the outfit you're dealing with. It is also vitally

important that you obtain a copy of the lawyer's retainer

agreement so that you're aware of any up-front costs

involved in obtaining legal representation.

In the end, you'll want to select a lawyer that you're

comfortable with, one that truly understands your case and

can work well on your behalf. You'll find that an

effective criminal attorney is well worth his or her fee.