Before you hire a criminal lawyer, there are several things that you need to bring up. Here are the important questions to ask.
Choosing the right attorney can be challenging, with more than 1.3 million lawyers in this country. Yet, you can hire just one when you need one, and you’ll want to hire the right one.
Criminal lawyers help people who need legal help when facing criminal charges. So, you’ll need to find the best criminal lawyer if you’re facing charges.
How do you find the right one?
One way is by interviewing some attorneys. You can ask questions when interviewing them and base your decision on their answers.
Keep reading to learn about the top five questions to ask a criminal lawyer before hiring them.
1. What Is Your Experience and Specialty?
Learning about a lawyer’s past is an excellent place to start when interviewing a criminal defense attorney. So, you can start with a few basic questions about their experience.
For example, you might ask about their education and years of practicing law. Of course, a brand-new lawyer won’t have the same experience as a seasoned lawyer.
Asking questions about their specialty is also a good question to discuss. Criminal law is a broad field. Some criminal lawyers handle all criminal charges, while others specialize in specific areas.
You might want to find an attorney with experience handling cases like yours. So, you’d want to find a criminal lawyer with experience handling drug charges if this is the charge you’re facing.
While asking these kinds of questions, you might also ask if they limit the locations they work. Some lawyers travel to several counties for cases, while others might only offer services for one or two specific counties.
2. Do You Work Individually or as a Team?
Breaking the law leads to criminal charges if the police catch you, leaving you needing a defense attorney. As you search for one, you might discover that the methods they use work differently with law firms.
Some criminal lawyers work individually. A lawyer that works individually handles every step of your case. You speak to the same lawyer each time you discuss your case.
Other law firms work as teams. When you hire a law firm that works as a team, you might work with multiple lawyers during your case instead of just one.
Both methods work well, but you might prefer one method over the other.
One benefit of working with the same lawyer is you might feel more comfortable speaking with the same person each time you need to talk about your case. Another benefit is that you might feel more confident, assuming the lawyer knows your case’s ins and outs.
A benefit of working with a lawyer team is the added experience and knowledge. In addition, working with a team offers more insight, ideas, and expertise, allowing more collaboration during your case.
You can ask a law firm about this before hiring a firm and choose the type you prefer.
3. What Communications Methods Do You Use?
You might feel nervous and anxious about your criminal charges, as most people do.
Therefore, you might want to handle the charges quickly and methodically. You might also want to ensure you can reach your lawyer when necessary.
You can learn about this by asking a law firm about their communication methods. For example, you might ask, “how do I reach you to discuss the case?”
Many lawyers are available by phone when clients need to talk about things. Other lawyers might prefer in-person visits to discuss case details.
You can also find lawyers who communicate via email or text. You might prefer these methods if you work a lot and can’t get to their office or take phone calls.
Another question to ask is how long it takes for an attorney to get back to you if you call, text, or email. Lawyers are upfront with these details when clients ask, so make sure you ask if you want to know this in advance.
4. What Outcomes Do You Expect?
One of the top things you might wonder is what to expect from the outcome of your case. Therefore, it might be helpful to ask a lawyer before hiring them.
Criminal cases are all unique, yet an experienced lawyer can generally offer insight into the potential outcomes. They do this by basing their opinions and thoughts on previous cases.
For example, are you facing a DUI charge? If so, you might wonder the following things:
- If you’ll lose your driver’s license
- How to get it back after a suspension
- The timeframe for the case
- Number of hearings you must attend
- Potential for a plea bargain
A lawyer with DUI experience can answer these questions. While they might not know your case’s exact outcome, they’ll have an idea about what you should expect.
You might also want to discuss the criminal law process to learn more about it before hiring an attorney.
5. How Much Will It Cost?
It’s also wise to ask about the attorney fees. For example, you can ask, “how much will this cost?”
Lawyers might give you a flat fee rate for the services or a price range. An example of this is a lawyer saying, “anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500.”
Lawyers give price ranges to give clients an idea about the costs. However, they won’t know the exact costs until they begin working on the cases.
Legal fees can be costly, but they’re also worthwhile. Additionally, many law firms offer payment plans and options for people who can’t afford to pay the full amounts upfront.
Interview a Criminal Lawyer Today
Facing criminal charges can be an intimidating experience, so you shouldn’t handle it alone. Instead, you can hire a criminal lawyer for help. However, choosing the right one is vital if you want the best outcome.
At Johnson/Turner Legal, we offer criminal law services. Feel free to contact us at 651-661-2626 or fill out this form to learn more about our practice and services.