3 Things to Look for in a Good Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’re charged with a criminal offense, the first order of business is to hire a lawyer.

There were 7.36 million arrests for all offenses across the country in 2022. That’s down from 1990s levels when the annual figures were north of 14.1 million. But the decrease won’t mean much if you’re pulled over, arrested, handcuffed, and taken to a police station. 

Whether innocent or guilty, you’ll need a lawyer if you’re charged with a crime. But you can’t just hire any lawyer. You need a reputable criminal defense attorney with experience helping clients in your shoes. For instance, research burglary defense attorneys if you’re accused of burglary.

Here are three things to seek in a criminal defense lawyer worth hiring for your criminal case.

  1. Experience

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of finding a criminal defense attorney with experience — in the courtroom and at the bargaining table. You want a legal professional who has helped clients in your shoes. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about a lawyer’s track record of success. The answer to that question can help you make an informed decision.

In addition to asking questions, you can do some research. Reputable law firms have websites you can go to for information on the experience of their criminal defense attorneys. In fact, many law firms invest in redesigning their websites with SEO in mind. SEO, or search engine optimization, is how companies attract more eyeballs to their sites. Simply building a professional website is no longer enough. Companies have to attract customers. 

Why is SEO important? When consumers search for service providers online, they’re more likely to choose businesses whose URLs are high up on search engine results pages. You’re unlikely to look beyond a few search engine results pages, which is why companies use SEO. They realize their URL needs to be among the first people see when searching online.

  1. Communication

Good communication skills are also paramount. When talking to a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That means you need straight talk devoid of sugarcoating. During the initial consultation, you’ll want to know the following:

  • What you’re up against
  • What the consequences could be if you’re found guilty by a judge or jury
  • How likely you are to be found guilty or acquitted
  • How the legal professional can help you

If a lawyer can’t break things down in a way you can understand, that’s a red flag. It’s even worse if you get more confused the more the lawyer attempts to explain something. A lot is at stake if you’re charged with a criminal offense. You don’t want anything to be lost in translation between you and your lawyer. So, find a legal professional who communicates effectively.

  1. Payment Structure

One of the worst things you can do is focus strictly on cost. While you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to find a good criminal defense attorney, hiring one based solely on the lowest price could lead to buyer’s remorse later on. Remember that much is at stake. You could face imprisonment, fines, and negative consequences stemming from criminal charges. That could include the loss of a job, discord in the family, and more. You get what you pay for, so don’t make cost the deciding factor. 

That said, the expense is one factor to consider. If you speak to a criminal defense lawyer and they offer a complicated payment structure, that’s a huge red flag. A reputable lawyer will explain the payment structure so there are no surprises when you get your bill. 

Remember these three points if you ever need a criminal defense attorney. Finding the right service provider will make a big difference and better help you navigate the process.

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