If you’re in legal trouble, you need to hire a lawyer right away. But even though you don’t have much time, you still need to be sure that the lawyer you’re working with will be able to represent you and your interests well in court. Choosing the right lawyer is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. So it’s vital that you make an informed choice.
Some lawyers (like us) offer free consultations to get a feel for the situation. This is so a lawyer can determine if they’re able to fully and effectively represent you. Certain lawyers (like us) may be available for jail consultations. When you’re meeting with your lawyer for the first time, you need to bring a few things with you, if you have them. Make a checklist:
·Paperwork related to police searches
·Bail or bond paperwork
Your lawyer will need to be made aware of any other defendants in the case, as well as any potential witnesses or victims to the alleged crime. If any of those individuals have worked with the law firm before, the lawyer may not be able to represent you. Bring with you something to write with and something to write on, so that you can take notes during your consultation.
DO be alarmed if your meeting isn’t with the lawyer whose face you saw on the advertisement. When you hire us, you talk the skilled and experienced attorney, Doug Taylor, personally. You consult with him personally during the initial consultation. You deal with him personally throughout your case. And, he is the one that is right there alongside you in court aggressively protecting and fighting for you.
Everyone has to start somewhere. But if you’re in serious trouble, you don’t want to be your lawyer’s first case of a similar nature. You’re best off finding a lawyer who has experience in your specific situation. For example, you wouldn’t go to a bankruptcy lawyer to help you with a divorce case, would you?
You do want to know how long your lawyer has been practicing law, and how many cases similar to yours they’ve successfully handled. You’ll also want to know how often that lawyer goes to trial, and whether or not they have experience with plea agreements. You might need to enter into a plea agreement, and it’s unwise to work with a lawyer who doesn’t have a wealth of experience with them.
Different lawyers may have a different opinion of what the best strategy will be, and it’s possible for lawyers with conflicting opinions to be right. It all depends on the way the strategy is executed. You’ll want to ask your lawyer what the best possible arrangement is – whether that’s pleading guilty, pleading not guilty, or accepting lesser charges. And that will vary from case to case.
You’ll also want to ask about things you should be hopeful for. What aspects of your case are working to help you, rather than hinder you? What possible faults can be found in the police investigation? Things like improperly calibrated breath testing equipment for a DUI or security footage that doesn’t definitively prove you were at the scene of, say, a theft can make your case much easier to defend.
Some lawyers will personally take on your case. Other lawyers may have another member of their team represent you in court. You’ll want to know who is working on your behalf, and meeting that individual will likely increase your level of comfort with the situation.
It helps to ask about how you’ll keep in contact, and who will be contacting you. You need regular updates about what’s transpiring with your case, and you have to know how you’re getting them. Who can you call when you have questions or new information that you’d like to pass along to your lawyer? Communication is crucial to establishing a strong defense.
You’re going to need to pay your lawyer somehow. Some lawyers work for a flat rate, and others charge an hourly fee. In the criminal system, lawyers almost always charge a flat-fee. In most cases, highly-qualified lawyers are a little more expensive to work with than inexperienced lawyers. It’s always worth spending more for better representation when your future is literally at stake.
Ask about what your total expenses will be, including any other fees or charges that might come along with the legal services you’ll be receiving. Most lawyers require a retainer fee up front. Knowing ahead of time can help you budget your legal strategy.
If you like what you’ve heard, and most importantly, if you feel comfortable that your lawyer has a thorough understanding of what’s necessary to defend you, hire that lawyer. If you still want to do more research, spend some time browsing the lawyer’s website and reading about them online.
If you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Tucson, we’d be happy to set up a free initial consultation with you at the office. All you need to do is call us or use our contact form to request a meeting. We’re experienced in defending people against a wide variety of changes, and we’ll certainly be able to help and fight for you against the government in your criminal case.