Tips To Consider When Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing criminal proceedings, it is important to consider the option of hiring an experienced criminal lawyer. This will help minimize the damage as well as the ultimate impact the arrest could generate on your life. Therefore, the choice of a criminal defense lawyer is very important because this would translate to walking away free instead of being imprisoned. The following are some of the tips to consider when choosing a criminal lawyer, including:

· Shop around

You do not have to hire the services of the first lawyer you come across. Finding the right lawyer takes time. Typically, when you are buying an important product or service you do not choose the first product/service you find. If it is a car, you will most likely seek to take it for a test drive. During the first free consultation, inform the lawyer that you are in the formative stage of finding the right lawyer. If you are meeting with a potential candidate, he/she will understand. However, if sense the lawyer’s attitude change this is a sign that he/she is insecure and is probably not the best lawyer for you.

· Reputation

It is important to find a lawyer with a good reputation. A flashy ad should not in any way fool you. It is important to do your homework. In fact, many of the leading criminal defense attorneys do not advertise in the Yellow Pages. Many of the good lawyers get businesses through referrals, word of mouth, publicity and repeat offenders. By reading through the client reviews, you will have a good idea about the lawyer’s ability.

· Personality

When choosing a criminal lawyer it is important to find one who is honest and aggressive. You want proper representation that will fight to the end to protect your human rights. Therefore, during the initial meeting consider how he argues his/her case and how much he/she believes in a win.

· Legal fees

It is important to know the nature of the fees chargeable. Many criminal lawyers offer the option of flat rates for their legal services or an hourly fee. The right lawyer should be in a position to explain these options in great detail. This will help you make an informed decision. Therefore, you will not have to choose an option that is most beneficial to the law firm.

· Public defender

Sometimes, a public defender may turn out to be the best defense attorney. This is particularly the case if you cannot afford to hire the services of a criminal defense attorney. The court may consider appointing one for you. Some of the public defenders possess many years of experience and therefore they can do a better job than many new lawyers in private practice. To make an informed decision, it is important to find out the reputation of the lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Find a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer – How to Make the Right Choice

When you are either investigated for a federal crime or charged with a federal crime, you need a lawyer that understands federal criminal law. Not all criminal lawyers are prepared to defend you in a federal criminal case. The United States Attorney only pursues the most serious crimes, such as drug crimes, sex crimes, interstate fraud, kidnapping murder, RICO, and gun crimes. In addition, the federal sentencing guidelines are much harsher than most state sentencing guidelines. There is no parole in the federal system. Although there is time off for good behavior, it is not substantial and you can expect to serve virtually your entire sentence. This is why it is critical that you hire a federal criminal defense lawyer who knows the federal criminal system.

When you hire a qualified federal criminal defense lawyer, there are several things that he should do immediately. First, he should determine the progress of the case. If you are under investigation and have not been charged yet, then it is still possible to avoid a criminal charge. If you have been charged, your lawyer should be prepared to start the case immediately and begin discovery.

The second, and probably the most important step, for a qualified lawyer is to determine the possible sentence. This is more than just looking at the statute. A qualified lawyer will also look at your criminal history and determine whether there are any mitigating factors that could shorten a possible sentence or any aggravating factors that could increase your sentence. This is absolutely critical, because it is the cornerstone of an effective federal criminal defense. In order to create an effective case strategy, your lawyer must be able to predict where you will fall in the federal sentencing guidelines. This is because the US Attorney’s Office has a very high win rate at trial. Your lawyer should base the case strategies against the risks you face in the case. If you lawyer understands the federal sentencing guidelines, then he can tell you the pros and cons of various strategies measured against the risks in the case.

Third, do not pick a lawyer that is afraid to go to trial, but you also don’t want a lawyer who claims to always go to trial. A lawyer who is afraid to go to trial will not be able to stand up for your and protect your rights, which is exactly what you want a lawyer from a lawyer in a federal criminal case.  A lawyer who says he always goes to trial is putting you at risk, particularly if you are looking at a high end sentence under the federal guidelines.  The bottom line is that you want a lawyer who can either get you a dramatic sentence reduction or who can fight for you in front of the judge and jury. If a lawyer cannot do both things for you, then that lawyer is putting you at risk of doing much more time in federal prison that you have to do.

Fourth and finally, pick a lawyer that you can work with for several months or years. Federal criminal cases can last a very long time. If you pick a lawyer that you do not trust or who you cannot work with, it could hurt your case. If you decide to change lawyers, you will most likely have to get the court’s permission. When the court gives you permission, your new lawyer has to get up to speed on your case quickly and be ready to respond to the prosecution almost immediately. Make sure you make a good choice the first time you hire a lawyer, and then stick with that lawyer. The other part of this is that you do not want to shop for a lawyer based on price. You should be cautious about a lawyer who offers a cut rate, because that lawyer may never intend to go to trial or may not be qualified enough to command the usual rate for federal criminal defense lawyers. Your future is riding on your lawyer, now is not the time to skimp.

Right now, you need to do whatever it takes to get the best possible  federal criminal defense lawyer. It is stressful when you are under a federal investigation or have been charged with a federal crime, but a qualified federal criminal defense lawyer can help. Your lawyer can take some of that stress off of you, he can tell you what your options are, he can explain the risks, and he can fight for you every step of the way.

3 Benefits of Enlisting the Aid of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Facing legal criminal proceedings is most often than not a traumatizing, and naturally, overwhelming process, regardless of whether you are guilty or not. Apart from the complex and mystifying procedures that entail such legal processes, many a suspect find themselves at a loss of what to do when it comes to defending themselves.

Criminal cases are normally divided into two categories, which are misdemeanors and felonies. With the latter making for cases that carry serious repercussions like assault or even homicide. In both scenarios enlisting the aid of an experienced and skillful criminal defense lawyer, can make a huge difference on how your case is handled and its eventual outcome.

Although all countries permit defendants to represent themselves in court proceedings, should they wish to do so, most individuals find that procuring the aid of these professionals can be the right decision to make. Invariably, there are diverse advantages that come with making such a decision, and some of the 3 conspicuous ones include:

Comprehensive and effective handling of your criminal case

Criminal law happens to be intricate and bureaucracy-filled. This is further complicated by the fact that each country has its own distinct definitions and punitive measures to virtually the same criminal offenses. Not forgetting the accepted criminal justice process that is in use.

All adroit defense attorneys are naturally conversant with the workings of the criminal law mechanisms in their jurisdiction, and can effectively represent your case to the given court of law assigned to you. This is something you would be very hard put to accomplish despite whatever knowledge you might possess of criminal law.

It is thus, extremely vital to enlist such help, and in most cases should you not be in a position to hire one, the court usually assigns one to represent you for free. This falls under pro bono law, and such lawyers are known as public defenders.

Efficient pre-trial representation

Enlisting the help of a defense attorney during the pre-trial process of your case can be the most astute decision you could ever make. This is usually the period when the police and prosecution carry out investigations to comprehensively determine your guilt. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will take his/her time to coach you on how to conduct yourself when grilled by them, which enables you to avoid seriously implicating yourself.

On the other hand, such a professional can open proceedings to make the court of law nullify your case on the strength of inconclusive evidence or in some cases, unscrupulous conduct of the prosecution team.

Additionally, should you be guilty as charged, a good criminal attorney can initiate an appropriate plea bargain with the prosecution. This can significantly land you a lenient sentence other than the usual you might stand to receive for the crime you committed.

Effective trial and post trial representation

This is often the most significant service any experienced defense attorney can offer to his/her client. He/she will use their time and various resources to carry out a comprehensive research into the particulars of your specific case. Which naturally culminates in their formulating an effective defense strategy that is fully entailed on the strength and weaknesses of your circumstances. During such a process he/she will keep you updated on the practicability of the course of action they will take in your defense.

An excellent criminal lawyer will also appropriately advise you on the viability of making a guilt plea, should the prosecution offer you one. Ultimately should the court find that you have a case to answer, and are indeed guilty as charged, the attorney can, if you wish to do so, initiate and implement an appeal against such a verdict.

Final word
Taking in consideration the magnitude of these 3 invaluable services, anybody facing criminal charges stands to receive, it is quite clear the importance of enlisting a criminal defense lawyer in such proceedings. This will at one go not only ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves, but also ascertain that it is conducted according to the recognized principles set down by the court of law. Though most individuals might not believe it, the likelihood facing legal criminal proceedings might not be as remote as they think, and it helps to be well prepared.