Sometimes, not everything in life is simply black or white. You may consider yourself to be an upstanding citizen, who always strives to stay on the right side of the law, but for one reason or another you find yourself in a difficult legal predicament. As this may be the first time that you have considered how to defend yourself, what should you bear in mind when picking somebody to represent you?
Addressing the Specialty
The first thing that you should look at is the nature of the crime, or the charge that has been brought against you. While there are generalists in the legal profession, there are also those who specialise in specific areas. Consider all of these specialties in relation to your problem and find an attorney with a good track record in this area. Every case is different and you will want to zero in as carefully as possible before making your selection.
Major or Minor?
You should also consider the seriousness of the situation. If you've been charged with a major crime, you certainly don't want to commission a lawyer who specialises in only minor infractions. The more serious the charge, the more robust and proactive you need your attorney to be.
First Impressions Count
Most lawyers will give you the opportunity to meet for an exploratory discussion before proceeding with the case. Often, this meeting is free and it will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the individual and their operation. Bring all the relevant information to this first encounter and discuss the fee structure while you are there.
Is Pro Bono Better?
You may be somewhat worried about the cost of representation and might be considering whether "pro bono" is a better approach. Certainly, these attorneys are competent, but do they have the resources that a commercially available lawyer might have? Remember, those who work on a pro bono basis typically have a smaller practice, with fewer years of experience.
Don't Rely on Google
We live in a world where everyone has access to case law and the experience of those who have been in their position before. This doesn't mean that you should rely on information that you find through a search engine to guide your decision-making. Remember, that a competent criminal lawyer will be able to unravel the complexity of your case and provide you with all possible alternatives. You may well be able to get a reduction in charges, or strike some kind of a plea bargain and you may not have been aware of these options through your own research.
Making the Right Decision
Get in touch with the best criminal lawyer that you can afford, to make sure that you get through this nightmare as carefully as possible.