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Choosing your criminal defense lawyer is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. If you find yourself in a position where you’re being charged with a crime, then your choice of a lawyer may literally be the difference between imprisonment and freedom.
What should you look for in a Colorado criminal defense team? Here are some of the most important attributes you should look for to understand if the attorney you’re considering is the right one for you and your case. Plus, some insider info about how attorneys bill their clients, so you know what to be on the lookout for.
There are several qualities that are essential to any good criminal defense attorney. They are:
Criminal lawyers need to not only be experts in their fields but also need to show they have the skills and mental sharpness to deal with complicated criminal cases. After all, laws are constantly changing, so you should make sure you choose an attorney who stays up to date on the latest information and understands what types of defenses work best for the crimes you’ve been accused of.
A good criminal lawyer will understand how to effectively negotiate on your behalf. Often, prosecutors will try to settle cases rather than go to trial, and lawyers work with the judge in order to make agreements and get their approval. An effective defense attorney needs the skills to make a good deal on your behalf if that’s what you want.
Yes, communication skills are important in court, but they’re also important on a personal level between you and your attorney. You want a criminal defense lawyer who you feel is listening to you and any concerns you have. You also want someone who can clearly explain the law and its procedures to you in a way you understand.
For insight into how an attorney works with individual clients, check out any reviews and testimonials you can find.
A good defense attorney also needs to leave nothing unexplored in providing you with a robust defense. They need to persevere and pursue every opportunity they can on your behalf as they fight for your freedom.
Lawyers also need integrity. They should honestly update on your case and not gloss things over in order to placate you. They should also be sincere in explaining to you all the possible outcomes of your case and not hide critical information about your case from you.
Perhaps one of the most important things you can look for in a defense attorney is their experience. Have they handled cases like yours in the past? If so, what was the outcome in those cases? It doesn’t matter how big or small your case is, experience is critical to a good outcome for you.
Finding a good lawyer isn’t inexpensive, but another thing to look for in an attorney is reasonable fees. That makes it really important to know what a lawyer should be charging you for.
In general, you should keep these things in mind:
You will have a fee agreement with your lawyer based on a variety of factors, but no two lawyers charge the same. So, just because you find one lawyer charging more than the other doesn’t mean the higher fees are out of order — it may simply mean they have a better reputation or more experience.
The old adage really is true: you get what you pay for. The cheapest lawyer may not be the best. In the end, a newer, cheaper lawyer may end up costing you more because they’ll have to spend more time on your case. Or they may be less likely to get you the result you want.
All of those are things to consider when thinking about how expensive a lawyer is.
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 recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.