When looking for an experienced and reliable criminal defense attorney, time and confidence is of the essence. Your lawyer will investigate every aspect of your charge and put together a solid defense to ensure the best result possible for your case. If a defense attorney doesn’t handle your case in a timely or accurate manner, you could be the one that suffers the consequences. In order to find the best criminal defense attorney, follow these tips to guide your search and interactions.
Make Sure They Handle Your Case
Not all lawyers have the same experience. Make sure your attorney specializes in the right type of criminal law or at least lists it as one of their practice areas, so they can provide you with the best legal defense. Determine if your attorney has prior experience handling similar cases. Your attorney should have a history of dealing with similar criminal defense cases for other clients who have been accused of a similar crime or offense.
An attorney that is unfamiliar with a particular type of criminal law and defense may not be able to provide a thorough legal service as an attorney that specializes in that branch of law and knows exactly how to deal with your specific needs and situation.
Find Someone Responsive
Your attorney should be responsive to your initial inquiry and subsequent needs. When it comes to criminal law, time is of the essence. If you find an attorney that is responsive to calls and emails, then they are likely to be equally fast and helpful in answering your questions and helping you sort through legal issues.
In a criminal defense situation, many find themselves unused to hiring an attorney and may call to inquire about services without much prior research. Although you or a loved one may be looking for help, time is often of the essence. Putting a defense together and ensuring you have an attorney to represent you can make a huge difference in the way your case is handled.
Your attorney should be able to set up an initial meeting to discuss the best way to handle your case, including how to manage documents, court hearings, and setting up arrangements for you. Additionally, they should be proactive about court dates, meetings, and inform you of any updates or changes to your case.
Ensure They Know The Area
Have been practicing in the area and state for a while and are familiar with local courts, other attorneys, and prosecution and judges you may interact with. Your lawyer should be familiar with state laws and local regulations to prepare your case.
Criminal law and the defense your attorney will need to prepare for legal matters in Virginia will differ greatly from cases in Maryland or in Washington, D.C. If you have been charged with a crime in Virginia, choose an attorney with over experience serving clients in Virginia area–and who has defended other clients in the same jurisdiction.
Check Their Background
In a courtroom setting or a meeting, your attorney will have to provide appropriate responses and use their legal knowledge to back up your defense. Ensure that your attorney has the knowledge and experience to properly defend you, including how to act in court to promote your best interests.
Do a quick search on any attorney you are thinking of hiring to represent you. From client reviews to prove that they have passed the state bar exam, an online check can provide you with information to determine which attorney will best suit your needs. Additionally, you can find records of any disciplinary actions or unsavory behaviors.
Online websites such as Lawyers.com, Avvo.com, Google, Yelp, and Facebook all provide reviews to help you sort through lawyers and find the right one for you. Candid feedback from others’ experience with local attorneys can help guide your decision and interactions with the attorneys you look up. In addition to social media and reviews, industry websites for your business may have a listing or suggestion of local lawyers that could point you in the right direction.
Generally, you can’t go wrong with an attorney that has years of experience handling similar cases in the area and retains many happy clients with glowing reviews.
Get To Know Them
You certainly don’t have to be best pals with your attorney, but you should get a feel for their confidence in the courtroom, general demeanor, and listen to how they talk about your case. They should be confident in their abilities but understand that no attorney can promise you an outcome. You and your potential attorney should see eye-to-eye on how to handle your defense and you should feel comfortable divulging all details necessary to help build your case.
Ensure your attorney has a team to help them prepare your defense. Should they get sick, or require extra help, having an experienced team of paralegals and other legal aid will ensure your case is ready when you go to court. You will feel more secure knowing that your attorney has the backup to handle your case, no matter the circumstances that may arise.
Your attorney should be able to guide and inform you about your best options and work hard to figure out what actions are in your best interest. This includes going to trial when it is in your best interest to do so or encouraging you to accept a plea deal or some other arrangement if they think it will yield better results for you than going to trial with your case.
Consider Costs And Fees
A great attorney doesn’t work for free, or even cheap in most cases. However, legal fees shouldn’t be so steep that you can’t reasonably justify hiring an attorney to represent you. A good defense attorney does not want their fee structure to be confusing. In fact, many attorneys offer payment plans and other options to pay for their services.
A good attorney will have an open discussion or clear paperwork and information detailing how they will bill you for their services and what rates you can expect for the total cost of your defense. They may have a flat rate, the bill for hourly service, or have some combination of the two fee structures. Whatever their fee or billing structure may be, there should be no question about how much their services will cost, or when or how you will be expected to pay.
About Ives Law
Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Sterling, Virginia. The Law Office of Scott S. Ives offers a free consultation for those accused of or charged with, a crime. With an experienced Virginia criminal lawyer working to win your case, you stand an excellent chance of avoiding conviction or receiving a lenient sentence. Let us represent you, no case is too large or small.
As a Sterling, Virginia lawyer with over 30 years of experience, The Law Office of Scott S. Ives serves clients in the northern Virginia area. If you’re looking for an attorney in Sterling, VA, we provide expert legal service and advice. Contact our Northern Virginia law office now to have an experienced legal firm represent you.
The expert criminal defense attorney in Sterling, Virginia, The Law Office of Scott S. Ives has experience providing the highest quality legal defense to ensure the best outcome for your case. Don’t let a mistake ruin your life, retain an expert criminal defense attorney to fight for you. We offer free consultations—contact us to learn more about what we can do to protect you and your record.