How did you choose your favorite mechanic? Or your doctor? Do you have a favorite Bar-B-Q spot? You do if you’ve eaten at more than one!
When it comes to critical decisions in life you have to shop around. You have to have a plan. Choosing a criminal defense lawyer that suits your needs is no different.
When Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you feel a crime has been committed against you, call the police. If you want to file a lawsuit against the person who committed the crime, that will happen in a Civil Court and you should look for a lawyer who is comfortable practicing Civil Law.
You only hire a criminal attorney when you need someone to defend you when our government charges you with a crime.
I’ve Chosen a Criminal Defense Lawyer. How do I Start that Relationship on the Right Foot?
There are some basic tenants when choosing a lawyer that everyone needs to follow:
1. When Speaking with an Attorney, Remember that Everything You Say is Confidential, Even Before You Choose to Hire Them.
It’s vital to the client’s satisfaction that the client be as forthcoming as possible from the very first meeting. DO not feel like you need to hold anything back from your criminal defense lawyer.
Once you start speaking with an attorney with the expectation that you may hire her, everything you say after that is confidential. By being upfront with the attorney, she can better estimate the total cost and potential range of results after she starts working on your behalf.
2. Tell the Truth, ALL the Truth and Nothing BUT the Truth.
Too often a client will try and hide a criminal record. Or maybe the client doesn’t disclose his own bad actions in the dispute with the employer. This has some natural, unavoidable consequences.
Through the discovery process your attorney will discover that you have lied to him! That will make discussions in the future more difficult. And guarantees you will have at least one “dressing down” from your attorney.
Failing to disclose ALL relevant information will weaken your attorney’s ability to negotiate by undercutting his reliability in the eyes of the opposition. And if you’re paying by the hour, there is a strong possibility the attorney will need to amend certain documents with the court…which will cost you more money.
3. Have a Clear Idea of What You Want to Achieve
Be sure to go into the meeting knowing what you want. Be absolutely certain you understand the range of possible results of putting this attorney to work on your behalf. In civil litigation, if you pay an attorney to file suit on your behalf and lose you may end up paying your attorney, court costs, and the other party’s attorney!
This is another good reason to always disclose ALL relevant facts to your attorney, whether they help or hurt your case.
So How do I Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer for Me?
There are three important things to look at when searching for a criminal defense lawyer: reputation, word of mouth, and online. Also look at published articles, years of experience in a specific field and trial experience.
Who to Call if You Don’t Know Who to Call
If you don’t know where to begin or need help choosing a criminal defense lawyer there are services available to you. The lawyer referral service or LRS in central may be able to help you. It is a nonprofit service offered to the public and was created by the Austin Bar Association.
Each year it refers out over 10,000 cases to qualified attorneys in specific areas of law including family, criminal, estate & wills, consumer, bankruptcy, employment, personal injury and business law.
The program was created to enable people who can afford an attorney but who do know how to locate an attorney, or don’t; know what type of attorney they may need.
In today’s fast paced modern world the internet has various ways to also vet an attorney you may hire. Multiple websites exist for the sole purpose or reviewing or ranking attorneys in a specific area.
Before you choose a criminal defense lawyer you should do your research on them online. Specific information regarding their level of experience, whether or not they are board certified, their trial experience, if they have ever had a grievance filed against them, and much more is available from these sites.
How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost?
Many people complain about how expensive lawyers are. The truth of the matter is dependent on a particular attorney’s experience the cost of hiring their services can vary greatly.
For example you may be able to hire a family law attorney for anywhere from $65-1000/hr. Depending on how complicated your needs are the price to hire an attorney can be vastly different.
How Much are Criminal Defense Fees?
If you can’t afford the lawyer, don’t hire. Payment plans aren’t for everyone. Clear payment terms are important to maintain a good relationship. Imagine if your boss didn’t pay you, you weren’t sure if he’d ever pay you…but you had to follow through on the job anyway.
This is a relationship that will affect your freedom and your bank account.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Pricing Can Be Broken Down in the Following Ways:
- Flat rate pricing
- Hourly rate pricing
- Blended pricing
Final Thoughts on How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer for You
In closing, explore your options unless you trust the referral you have been given. Don’t forget the methods and services for how to choose a criminal defense lawyer.
If you need a criminal defense lawyer, you need someone with experience.
Austin, Texas criminal defense lawyer James Gill stands up for his clients and fights for the best possible outcome. With hundreds of cases successfully negotiated to dismissal and dozens of not guilty verdicts, you can ensure you’re choosing an experienced criminal defense attorney who is serious about getting you the best results.
Call (512) 829-0552 today, or contact us using our online form to book a consultation regarding your case.