Anyone can find a criminal lawyer. But how do you find one that you can trust?
You may be about to literally entrust this professional with your life, your freedom and your future. You need to make sure they’re worthy of your trust.
But how do you know who to trust when everyone is making the same type of promises?
This is a big decision. So here are some of the big questions to ask (both them and yourself) when trying to find a criminal lawyer.
What’s Your First Impression?
Many of these attorneys will offer a free consultation over the phone or in person.
Don’t be afraid to trust your gut on this first meeting. A trustworthy lawyer should be able to make you feel comfortable. More importantly, they should make you feel like they can, and they will, fight for you.
Or did they make you feel like they were just rushing through so they could get at your money?
You’re allowed to be as picky as you like when trying to find a criminal lawyer. Again, it’s your future at stake here.
How are They Going to Help You?
Ask them what their plan is. During this first meeting, are they more focused on numbers or tactics?
They should be able to tell you exactly how they would go about fighting your case and winning.
Sure, you may think they won’t share too many details of their plan, because they don’t want you to go off and give it to another lawyer, or even try it yourself.
However, your future is far more important than their secret plan. They should get as specific as possible. Because it’s hearing the specific and finer details that will help put your mind at ease and feel like you’re in capable hands.
Who All/Else is Going to Work on My Case?
This is a big one.
Will they personally be working on your case, or will they be handing you off to one of their colleagues? You have the right to know this in advance, so there are no surprises.
This is also a chance for them to build confidence in you by telling you about the various specialists they have access to, who they can bring in to help your case.
Have You Won Cases Like This Before? How?
You shouldn’t settle for anything less than a proven, repeat, proven history of winning cases like yours. It’s hard for them to be an expert in sexual offenses if they’ve never actually defended someone and won.
And again, ask them to be specific. How did they win that case? Will that strategy work for you? If not why wouldn’t it?
You want concrete proof, not empty promises.
That means they shouldn’t hesitate to tell you all about their previous wins and be able to go into as much detail as you need to hear.
Do You Have Any References I Can Contact?
The most important step in trying to find a criminal lawyer may be to contact the people who have hired them before.
They should be able to give you a list of actual clients they have represented in the past. This way, you don’t need to take anything on faith. You can hear exactly how they do business, right from their client’s mouths.
If this firm really helped someone, that someone should be more than happy to sing the firm’s praises and tell you why you should work with them.
Also, check each firm for endorsement or testimonials on their website. This should also be full of people who can tell you why you should trust this lawyer/ firm.
How are Their Online Reviews?
You would probably look at the online reviews before trying a new restaurant downtown, so why wouldn’t you do the same amount of research when making a decision this big?
So take a look at all the reviews you can find on:
Is it a bad sign if you find a bad review? Of course not. Nobody is perfect. But if you’re seeing a recurring pattern of the same complaint across the board( like bad service or communication), this could point to a major problem.
How Do Your Fees Work?
This is certainly somewhere you need full transparency. Nobody wants any surprise fees when they buy a cell phone or flight ticket, so they definitely don’t want any from their would-be lawyer.
You should be able to have a frank and upfront conversation with them about how much they charge, and how they typically like to handle billing.
Also, if you’re worried about money, they should be able to tell you if/ how flexible their payment plans are.
What Areas Do You Specialize in?
Is there one area where they bring a lot of expertise or experience? If so, what is it? Why?
Maybe they are specialists in:
Be worried if they don’t have a true specialty. Why would you hire them if they’re not experts in anything.
At the same time, be wary of anyone who claims they specialize in everything. Claiming you’re good at everything often means you’re not really exceptional in one area.
And again, they should be able to prove it, so you know they’re not just telling you what you want to hear.
Are You Trying to Find a Criminal Lawyer?
Fanney Law Office, PLLC provides legal services for clients in Raleigh, North Carolina, and surrounding areas. These services cover a wide range of criminal charges, from DWI to domestic violence.
How can we help you? To find out, click here to contact us anytime.