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What to Look for In a Criminal Defense Attorney

Liberty Legal, LC April 28, 2019

Nobody wants to hire a criminal defense attorney, but if you need one, you want the best. Here are some tips for hiring the right defense attorney for you.

Tip 1: Look for Experience with Your Type of Case.

There are many types of criminal defense cases and some attorneys have more experience and success in some types of cases than others. Don't be shy about asking specifically about the type of defense you need. Ask if he or she has had a similar case recently and to describe how it went.

Tip 2: Check Reviews and Ask for Recommendations.

These days most attorneys have online reviews on Google, Thumbtack, or Avvo among other places. These can be an excellent starting point for finding a lawyer that others had a good experience with, but don't be put off by a handful of less glowing reviews. Sometimes people aren't happy with the outcome of their case and need a place to vent.

Tip 3: Take Advantage of Free Consultations.

Many lawyers in Virginia offer free consultations. This is a great opportunity for you to decide if the chemistry is right. You may also learn about the different approaches that different law firms may take toward your case. Free consultations are an important chance to gather the information you need to make an informed decision.

Tip 4: Trust Your Gut.

If you are considering hiring a lawyer that doesn't seem to "get you," and your gut instinct is to move along, trust that instinct. Your criminal defense lawyer is your partner in obtaining the best possible outcome in your case. Both parties need to have a relationship based on trust and respect.

Tip 5: Ask About Payment and Contract Terms.

Any agreement about representation by a lawyer should be in writing and signed by both parties. Usually called a "Retainer Agreement" this document details what you can expect, and what your lawyer is expecting from you. Read it carefully and make sure you understand what you are signing. If you aren't sure, ask for a detailed explanation.

Tip 6: Be Honest and Open with Your Attorney for The Best Results.

Criminal accusations are naturally something that can sometimes be hard to open up about to anyone. When you speak to a lawyer, the conversation is protected by the attorney-client privilege. That means that the lawyer cannot repeat what you say to anyone. It's absolutely critical that your attorney knows everything about your case in order to give you the best advice.

Before you hire a criminal lawyer, please consider these tips. If you would like a free consultation from Liberty Legal, LC, please contact us.