6 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Criminal Defense Attorney
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
Category: Criminal Defense
It’s stressful enough to be charged with a crime. The last thing you may want to do is shop around for a criminal defense attorney and talk legal fees. Choosing the right attorney, however, may mean the difference between years in jail and dropped charges.
Keep the following questions in mind while searching for and consulting with different criminal defense attorneys about your situation.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Law?
An attorney’s years of experience and the number of cases that they have handled will tell you a lot more about his or her ability to win a case than their degree or alma mater. When your future is on the line, you want someone who has been there and done this before. And while you’re questioning them about their practice history, ask about their success rate as well.
How Familiar Are You With ____ Law?
You need to work with someone who has knowledge and experience with the specific charge or area of the law that currently concerns you. Additionally, you want someone who can prove to you that they stay up to date. Laws are always changing, and if attorneys have followed along, they could be missing out on vital information that will get your charges dropped quickly. Ask potential attorneys about recent law changes at the state and federal level, and how they could potentially affect your case.
How Many Clients Are You Working With?
It may initially seem like a good sign that a criminal defense attorney is overseeing a lot of different cases. That means that he or she is in high demand and trusted by many, right? However, if a lawyer is taking on more than they can handle, it will hurt you the most. Think about how much time you expect an attorney to spend on your case. If a lawyer cannot meet those standards, you may want to consider finding someone else to take your case.
Testimonials and reviews are the best way to figure out if a certain criminal defense attorney is a good fit. If an attorney doesn’t have testimonials on his or her website, you can check sites like Yelp or Google+ to see what clients have to say. You can also ask attorneys for references or testimonials during your initial consultation.
How Do You Charge?
For many individuals who are facing criminal charges, money is tight. Attorneys are a worthy investment compared to often-overworked public defenders, but they are an investment nonetheless. Before you hire an attorney, understand how they charge and at what rate. That way, you will be able to best find a lawyer who fits within your budget, and you will not be surprised with a bill that is higher than you expected.
When you decide to hire a Denver criminal defense attorney, you want to know straight up what they are expecting from your case. A lawyer who is hesitant to tell you his or her opinion may end up disappointing you when you reach the courtroom.
Depending on your experience with the law, you may also want to prioritize finding a lawyer whose vision is more aligned with yours. For example, if you want to fight to have your charges dropped, you might want to choose the lawyer who wants to fight for you, rather than one who is suggesting that you consider a plea bargain or merely focusing on getting a shorter sentence.
It is important, however, to be realistic when asking attorneys for their honest opinion. You do not want to hire someone who is just telling you what you want to hear about your case. A good attorney will be able to explain to you what he or she believes your options are, why they think that way, and should be able to point to similar cases they took on recently that will back up their opinion.
Why You Should Consider Jacob E. Martinez
Before starting my own firm, I worked for six years with a respected Denver criminal defense law firm. Throughout my years of practice, I’ve helped countless clients get their cases dismissed, and others see mitigated outcomes for a wide range of criminal charges, including DUI, assault, and drug crimes. But the bottom line is that I always have my clients’ best interests in mind.
Want to learn more? Contact me today for a free case evaluation. Right away, you’ll see why so many clients in Denver have trusted me to protect their rights and future.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.