A good defense lawyer can make a significant difference in your case, but choosing the wrong one can be costly. Knowing where to start can be difficult, with so many lawyers to pick from. This blog will discuss the top 5 mistakes to avoid when hiring a criminal defense lawyer. By being aware of these, you can make an informed decision and choose a lawyer to fit your legal needs. Whether you're facing a misdemeanor or a serious felony charge, this guide will help you find and hire a criminal defense attorney.
Not Researching the Lawyer’s Experience
It is crucial to thoroughly research a lawyer's background before hiring them to represent you in court. A lawyer's experience could impact their ability to handle your case effectively.
Things to look for include years of experience, jury trials handled, and knowledge of criminal law.
When researching a lawyer's credentials, consider the following:
- Checking online reviews
- Seeking referrals from friends and family
- Consulting with the state bar association
These resources can help you gain insight into a lawyer's reputation and experience.
Choosing a Lawyer Based on Price Alone
Although it is essential to consider cost when hiring a lawyer, choosing an attorney based solely on their price can be a costly mistake in the long run. Cheaper lawyers might lack experience or not give your case the attention it deserves, which could make navigating the justice process more difficult.
Strike a balance between price and quality when choosing a lawyer. Consider looking for lawyers who offer payment plans or are willing to discuss their fees upfront. This can help you find an affordable, experienced, and committed lawyer to provide quality representation for your case.
Not Meeting with the Lawyer in Person
Establishing a rapport with your lawyer ensures that you can communicate effectively and work together to pursue your legal goals. Meeting with a lawyer in person allows you to get a sense of their communication style, build trust, and discuss the details of your case. Meeting with a lawyer in person can also help you evaluate their knowledge and experience, allowing you to decide who you choose to represent you more confidently.
To prepare for a meeting with a potential lawyer, consider bringing relevant documents related to your case and preparing a list of questions to ask. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you get all the information you need to evaluate your option for legal counsel.
Not Asking the Right Questions
It's essential to ask the right questions when choosing a lawyer to ensure that they have the necessary experience and skills to handle your case effectively.
Examples of questions to ask include the following:
- "Have you handled cases like mine before?”
- "What results have you achieved?"
- "What is your communication style?"
When preparing questions, consider your specific legal needs and the factors important to you.
Tips for preparing questions and listening to responses include:
- Research the lawyer's background and experience before the meeting.
- Bring a list of prepared questions.
- Listen for clear and concise answers to your questions.
- Look for a lawyer willing to explain legal concepts understandably.
- Pay attention to the lawyer's communication style and their willingness to work with you.
Basing Your Choice Solely on Marketing Strategies
While flashy marketing may grab your attention, it doesn't always equate to quality representation. Choosing an attorney based on their marketing can be a mistake because it may not reflect their experience or ability to handle your case effectively. A lawyer may have a flashy website or advertising campaign but lack the necessary skills or attention to detail to achieve a favorable outcome.
Look beyond marketing and focus on the lawyer's experience and credentials. Consider researching their background and experience, reading online reviews, and requesting referrals from trusted sources. This will help you to get a better sense of the attorney’s reputation and track record.
Contact Our Firm Today
If charged with a crime, finding the right attorney is crucial. It's important to research, meet with potential lawyers in person, ask the right questions, and focus on experience and credentials rather than price or marketing. Remember to bring relevant documents and prepare a list of questions when meeting with potential lawyers. And don't hesitate to seek referrals from trusted sources or online reviews to help you make an informed decision.
To schedule an appointment with one of our Los Angeles lawyers, please contact Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP at (800) 462-7160.