Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are looking to hire a criminal defense attorney, you are going to want to search for the best-reviewed criminal defense lawyers in your area. After that, it’s important to set up consultation meetings so that you can get a good feel for how you and a given attorney work together.
So, if you are looking for a Criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia, here some important questions you should ask before marking your final decision.
How long have you practiced criminal law?
This should not be an overlooked question under any circumstances. The reason why is because it is simply a great way to gauge whether a lawyer has had significant experience as a criminal defense lawyer as opposed to simply handling a couple of cases in their career.
How often do your cases go to trial?
Many criminal lawyers tend to settle a large portion of their cases via plea bargains instead of actually going to trial. If that is the case with a lawyer that you are considering, then you need to know that they actually don’t have tons of experience in trial. Your case might be too complex or too high stakes for them to handle in court. If a trial is imminent, be sure that you are targeting lawyers who is both skilled and comfortable with working in actual trials.
How much is this going to cost me?
In criminal law, attorneys quote flat fees for their service. Sometimes, there is a range that they can charge within that fee, but most of the times those fees are locked into a figure. So, this question is important to help you get an idea for not only the hourly rates, but also the total cost you can expect to see by the end of your trial.
Do not hire a criminal defense lawyer that you cannot afford. The only thing worse that facing jail time in a criminal trial, is facing jail time and serious financial issues because you hired an expensive lawyer that you should not have afforded.
How would you handle my case?
After asking a number of general questions, it is wise to move into the specific details of your case. Chances are good they have already taken a look over your case and any charges you might be facing. Asking this question allows you to see how a potential lawyer will approach your legal matter. You can also see what they think about taking your case to trial or settling without a trial.
How often will we communicate?
This is a great question to ask to gauge how seriously your lawyer will treat your case. You need to find an attorney who will be available for you when questions arise. If you’re wondering if a plea deal is possible, you should be able to get ahold of your lawyer. When you are worried about the possibility of losing your job or ending up with a charge that will impact your ability to find work in the future, you’ll want to know that you can contact your lawyer. Overall, think about how often you’d like to hear from your lawyers, then use that as a tool to gauge whether your needs from your lawyer are matched with what an attorney is able to offer you.