• Hiring a Criminal Defence Attorney: Everything You Need to Know

  • Hiring a Criminal Defence Attorney: Everything You Need to Know

    You have been charged with a crime? If so, your mind will be racing with questions about what to do next. Who should you call? What will happen if you don’t hire an attorney? How much will it cost you? Do I even need an attorney? If you are in this position and feeling overwhelmed, then you need to read this article! We’ll cover everything you need to know about hiring a criminal defense attorney!

    What is a criminal defense attorney?

    A criminal defense attorney is someone who has studied the law and specializes in representing people accused of committing a criminal offense. They can help you navigate through your legal troubles while minimizing damage to your personal life, career, relationships with family and friends, finances, or reputation. Having an experienced professional by your side during this difficult time will not only assist you with your court case but also determine the impact that it will have on your future.

    Benefits of a criminal defense attorney

    • Defense attorneys have experience with a wide variety of criminal cases. They can assist you with any criminal accusation, from drug possession to murder. 

    • They have a lot of experience negotiating with the prosecutor and dealing with judges, so they know how to get you the best possible outcome.

    • They know what you are going through. A criminal defense attorney has seen hundreds of clients go through the same thing, so they can empathize with your situation and make sure that it is resolved in an efficient manner.

    • They probably speak the same language as your judge and prosecutor, so they can help you communicate with them more effectively.

    • They are up to date on the latest case law, so they can use the most recent and relevant information to defend you.

    What does a criminal defense attorney do? How are they helpful?

    Lady Justice hold the scales of justiceThe main role of a criminal defense attorney is to protect your rights and make sure you are treated fairly by the justice system. They will examine every detail of the case against you, investigate what occurred, research existing laws that may apply to your situation, interview witnesses & experts on your behalf, advise you about possible plea bargains or taking cases to trial, and guide you through the entire legal process. Having a criminal defense attorney on your side is an investment in getting justice served! Your attorney will work tirelessly to make sure you receive the best possible outcome.

    A criminal lawyer’s job doesn’t end after your case is over and they’ve helped get you the best possible result; if needed, an experienced professional can help expunge or seal any blemishes on your record, so you’ll never have to worry about them again. If your case was dismissed or if you were found not guilty, having legal representation on your side will ensure that the record of this incident is destroyed as expediently as possible – which means it won’t be available for future employers who look into your background or anyone else who might need to know about your criminal history.

    If you are facing a misdemeanor, felony, or DWI offense and need legal representation as soon as possible – make sure to contact an attorney today!

    What do I need to consider when hiring a criminal defense attorney?

    There are a lot of factors to consider when determining whether it’s worth hiring a lawyer or not.

    The main factors to consider include:

    1. The severity of the crime
      The severity of the crime is one of the most important factors. This includes whether or not there were any aggravating circumstances; how complicated your case is; possible penalties if convicted; and your likelihood of winning in court without an attorney vs with one.
    2. Finances
      Your financial situation is also important. You need to weigh up the cost of an attorney against your chances of winning your case without one. How likely it is that you will be able to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has experience working on cases similar to yours and knows how best to handle them in court.
    3. Time commitment
      Your case will take up a great deal of your good criminal defense lawyer’s time which will be costly to you. 

    The benefit of having a criminal defense attorney represent you is that they can help minimize the damage to your life and maximize the chances of winning in court. However, it may not be worth hiring one if there’s a small chance that you could win on your own. 

    Just because you are facing prison time doesn’t mean that you should hire the first lawyer in town – make sure to do your research and find someone who gets great reviews from previous clients!

    What are your options when hiring an attorney?

    Typically there are three different ways to hire a criminal defense attorney – court-appointed private contract representation, or directly through the attorney themselves.

    1. Court-appointed: If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you. These attorneys are government workers who receive no financial compensation for their services except whatever small hourly fee they get paid by the state. Unfortunately, this means that many of them lack the motivation or desire to aggressively fight on your behalf because their paychecks don’t depend upon it.
    2. Private Contract Representation: If you have money to spend, this is the ideal way to go! You can hire a private contract attorney who will represent you for a flat fee that has been agreed upon by both of you and your family members or friends. This method makes it much easier for everyone involved because there are no time limits or restrictions on how much work your attorney can do in building your defense. You also know exactly what you’re getting into and won’t be shocked by the costs at the end of it all when you receive an astronomical bill.
    3. Directly Through Your Attorney: This method may seem ideal for many, but in reality, there are some pretty big drawbacks to this option that you have to consider before you hire an attorney. Firstly, it is the most expensive choice by far which means that you will be paying a lot more money for your representation than if you had gone with one of the other two options. Secondly, since these lawyers are representing multiple people at once (yourself and potentially lots of other clients), there simply won’t be as much time spent dedicated to your case as if you had hired a private contract attorney. However, this method does have its benefits. Since your attorney is experienced in many different cases, they are able to get great results for their clients because of the depth and breadth of knowledge that they possess. They also know how to handle each case in the best way possible and can strategize with you before going to court.

    You may not be able to afford a criminal defense attorney, but it is important that you do everything within your power to get one if at all possible because they increase your chances of winning dramatically.

    The time commitment required by your case will determine whether or not hiring a criminal defense lawyer is worth it. If you have a relatively easy case with few charges against you or if the court proceedings are expected to be quick, then there may not be many benefits in hiring an attorney since their time commitment will likely outweigh what they can actually do for your case.

    Do I need to hire a criminal defense attorney or can I represent myself?

    If you are facing misdemeanor charges, you may be able to successfully defend yourself without having an experienced professional by your side. However, if you’ve been accused of committing a felony crime or DWI offense – it’s important that you contact legal representation as soon as possible. If you are facing drug charges, contact a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected at all times – even if this means taking your case to trial.

    It’s important that you know the type of penalties that could await you before making the decision as to whether or not to hire an attorney. Many people assume they’ll be found innocent if they go to court alone – which is not always the case! Hiring a criminal defense lawyer early on in your legal process will ensure that you have someone by your side who can help protect your rights and minimize any damage done.

    How much does a criminal defense attorney cost?

    Hands grasping jail barsThere’s no easy answer to this question. It depends on the type of crime you’ve committed, where you are located (big cities like New York or Los Angeles will cost more), whether your case is a misdemeanor or felony level, and other factors. Having said that – it can be expensive! An average criminal lawyer costs around $200 per hour and can have a minimum billing requirement of $500. If your case is difficult or you’re facing serious charges, it’s not unusual to pay a retainer fee between $5000-$15000 just so the lawyer knows all the details before they start working on your case.

    If money is an issue – don’t let that discourage you from hiring a criminal defense attorney. If your case is very serious or complicated, it’s always better to hire an experienced lawyer who can help minimize the damage and maximize your chances of winning in court – even if this does come with a large price tag attached.

    If you cannot afford a criminal defense attorney at all right now, don’t worry. Many Public Defenders have a minimum income requirement, so be sure you can meet it before applying for their help. You might also want to consider contacting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) or your State Bar Association for additional suggestions on how to find free legal services in your area. Moreover,  there are other options available to you – including looking for pro bono (free) services in your area and legal aid societies that provide free consultation sessions or low-cost representation. If these alternatives do not work out, you can always represent yourself in court – this may not be the most advisable choice, but it’s an option if necessary.

    If you feel like there’s no point hiring a criminal defense lawyer because they’re just going to tell you that you should plead guilty – don’t give up! It doesn’t hurt to talk with one and get their input on what the best strategy is for your case, especially if it means potentially getting a reduced sentence or less serious charges. However, it is important to remember that they are not there to tell you what you should do – their job is simply to provide advice and guidance on the legal aspects of your case so that you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed.

    Where can you find criminal defense attorneys?

    The best way to find a criminal defense attorney is by asking for recommendations from people you trust. If someone close to you has been arrested or charged with any kind of crime before, ask them who they used and why – did their lawyer help them get the charges reduced? Were they found not guilty in court? Did this person’s case go to trial or did they plead guilty? You can also try looking on the American Bar Association (ABA) website for a list of professionals in your area. If you cannot find any attorneys that way, – there are other options available such as getting recommendations, checking out attorney review websites, and doing a Google search.

    What are the steps to take after hiring a criminal defense attorney?

    Law books on book shelfThe first thing you should do once your lawyer is assigned to your case is to discuss all the details. You don’t have to go into too much detail, but it’s important that they know exactly what happened so that they can start formulating their plans for how best to defend you in court. This is a good time to ask your attorney about their background, any previous cases they’ve been involved with that are similar to yours, and how many years of experience they have been working as criminal defense lawyers. You should also get an idea of whether or not they’re willing to go to trial if necessary – this will let you know if you’re allowed to choose this option when your case goes before a judge. Once you’ve gone over all of the details, it’s time for them to start working on your case! Your lawyer will likely send several official requests (such as subpoenaing evidence or witness testimony) and request meetings with you in order to discuss any information they found out.

    It is important to note that your lawyer should not give you legal advice outside of their office – this includes on social media, over the phone, or after hours when they are off work. You can also reach them through an assistant if necessary (but it’s best to avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary). If there comes a time when you need to get in touch with them outside of their office hours – such as an emergency situation where your bail is about to be revoked and you need immediate legal representation,  you should call the bar association’s hotline number for criminal defense lawyers.

    If your attorney is not available for days at a time, and you can’t afford them anymore, or you just don’t want to work with them any longer – it’s important that you let your lawyer know as soon as possible so they can find another criminal defense attorney who will take over for them! This way they still have the opportunity to find a replacement and you won’t run into any issues with your case.

    If you find that your new criminal defense attorney is not helping you in any way, or isn’t doing their job properly – this could be considered legal malpractice and it’s illegal! You should speak with them about what they’re failing to do so they have the opportunity to improve before moving on to another lawyer.

    Conclusion:

    Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is well worth it! You will have someone with expert knowledge on your side who can truly help in getting you through this tough situation and minimizing the damage done to you – both financially and personally.