What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer If You're Accused of a Crime

If you or a loved one have been accused of committing a crime, then you need a lawyer in your corner who specializes in criminal law and who can explain all of your rights and legal options. Because each lawyers possesses a different skillset and level of experience, finding the right attorney to handle your case can be the difference when it comes to proving you are innocent and defending your reputation. Having a good attorney who can provide you with reliable counsel and advocate for rights will ensure you are confident and prepared for your day in court. Below, we explain five things to look for if you need a criminal defense lawyer.

#1: Is the Attorney Responsive?

Time is of the essence when you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, which means the consequences of lost or wasted time can threaten your chances at securing a favorable verdict. That is why you need to find a full-service criminal defense law firm with a team of seasoned lawyers who are ready to get to work on your case right away.

When you contact a prospective criminal lawyer, pay attention to how long it takes for them to respond. If they don’t respond within a day, move on and keep searching for a law firm that can quickly arrange a meeting with their legal team to strategize for your case. Law firms that are quick to answer to your initial phone call or email are more likely to be just as responsive when it comes to defending you and keeping you updated on the details of your case.

#2: How Long Has the Attorney Been Practicing Criminal Law?

While the attorney you select doesn’t necessarily need to practice criminal law exclusively, they should at least possess substantial experience in this practice area. If you are searching around the attorney’s website and don’t see any pages for criminal law, then it’s likely that they won’t be able to meet your particular legal needs.

It is important to remember that the practice of law is just that — practice. In order to qualify as a reputable and reliable criminal defense lawyer, the attorney needs be regularly involved in cases that fall under criminal law, stays up to date on the nuances of this area of law, and is familiar with the best possible defenses for a wide range of criminal charges.

#3: Does the Attorney Have a Good Reputation in Local Courts?

In addition to their experience in criminal law, you should find out if the lawyer you might hire to defend your rights has practiced in any of the local courts. While this is often overlooked by those facing criminal charges, having a lawyer with strong local connections and relationships with judges and courts can go a long way when it’s time to present your case and fight the criminal charge against you.

Every court is different and handles cases their own way, and each judge also has their own set of unique tendencies that can heavily impact the outcome of your case. If your attorney knows the ins and outs of the court and judge you’re up against, then the information can be used to tailor the legal strategy for your case.

#4: Does the Attorney Have Reputable Reviews?

Although you can learn about an attorney you are interested in hiring by searching around online, it’s important to remember that not every source you come across is reputable. You should start by checking the State Bar of California to see if the lawyer has any formal discipline or other marks on their record.

It’s important to note that it is difficult for attorneys to remove bad reviews from websites like Google+ and Facebook. Check these websites to see what previous clients have said about the firm’s responsiveness, prices, ability to communicate complicated legal terms, and professionalism. Reading through a good portion of the reviews can give you a general idea of what to expect if you were to end up hiring the firm.

#5: Have You Asked for Referrals?

While most people now go right to Google after they have been charged for a crime, one of the easiest and best ways to find a suitable attorney is to just ask your friends and family if they know any good lawyers. Talking to people with first-hand knowledge of how an attorney operates can give you practical insight into how they will handle your case and whether they are worth your time and money. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get an honest opinion, this is particularly true if you get the referral from someone who wants what’s best for you.

Consult with Our Dedicated Team of Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

No matter how big or small your case may be, Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is equipped with the cutting edge resources and award-wining lawyers that you want on your side if you are facing criminal charges. We know that criminal accusations also come with severe consequences. That is why it is in your best interest to hire top-tier legal representation to guide you through each phase of the legal system.

Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP possesses more than 35 years of experience handling criminal cases on behalf of clients across California. We know exactly what it takes to fight back effectively against prosecutors, so let us get to work building your case and protecting your future.

If you are ready to set up a free case review, please call us today at (800) 462-7160 or fill out our online form to get started.