Does Their Experience Match Your Needs?
When being charged with a crime it is important to make sure you hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience with the crimes you have been charged with. There are many ways to filter lawyers by their advertising, but not every one of these lawyers may have experience handling the criminal charges you are facing. Today’s law procedures are so complex that there is a growing number of lawyers who specialize in one area, such as DWI or white-collar crimes. Make sure you have a criminal defense attorney who has experience working on cases that are either the same as yours or very, very similar.
Do They Have a History of Success?
In addition to making sure you have a defense lawyer who is familiar with your charges, you also need to make sure your potential lawyer has a history of successfully fighting charges that are similar to yours.
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential criminal defense attorneys, you will want to phone them and schedule an initial interview. During your consultation with your potential lawyer, ask about their background and experience. Ask how familiar they are with the specific charges you are facing. You can then ask some questions about your particular case and how your potential lawyer might defend against the charges you face.
The whole point of hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is to try to reach the best outcome possible. If you’ve been charged with a felony DWI and the lawyer you’re interviewing has no experience beating DWI cases or having them dismissed/reduced, you need to consider looking elsewhere. When interviewing your lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask them about their history of handling charges like yours.
Jeff Hammerschmidt is a Fresno County criminal defense lawyer with over 1,000 successful defenses in California. As an experienced attorney, Jeff works tirelessly on behalf of his clients to build the strongest defense possible. He brings the same work ethic to the courthouse, where he has built a reputation for passionately defending his clients. HLC has worked with hundreds of attorneys over the years in all fields of speciality. If you, a friend or family member is in need of any type of attorney, reach out to us and we will point you in the right direction. For more information on how Hammerschmidt Law Corporation can help you through your criminal case, do not hesitate to call us today at 559-233-5333.
Look Locally First
When looking for criminal defense lawyers, it is generally best to search for an experienced attorney in the area. Choosing a local lawyer makes day-to-day communication much easier than it is if your attorney lives in a different city or state, but this isn’t the only reason why you should look locally first.
Local lawyers typically know the nuances of the courthouses in the county they are in, which means they’ll be able to give you quality information in regards to any potential plea deals or any other information that is relevant to your criminal case. Defendants need to be aware of the fact that California law may be the same throughout the state, but not every courthouse handles procedures in the same way. For example, the district attorney of one county may have a no-plea-bargaining policy for your alleged crime, but the county in a neighboring city may not have such a thing.
By choosing a lawyer in your local area, you will also be giving yourself an opportunity to potentially gain more insight into what to expect when you go to court. Many experienced attorneys are already familiar with the prosecutors and police officers who may be trying to put you behind bars because they have already encountered them during previous cases. And while no lawyer can guarantee the outcome of a case, this does mean that if you choose a lawyer who is in your area, you will receive more accurate information on the most likely outcome of your trial.
You will also want to ask the attorney about their legal fees and billing practices. While it may be tempting to go with the lawyer who charges the least, doing so could end up costing you more in the long run if that lawyer does not offer the experience you need. Remember, you get what you pay for. Paying for an attorney that has experience is ideal. This selection process is not apples to apples. Attorneys may have specializations or years of working in the court system, while others may have less time practicing law, little litigation experience and are not familiar with judges or prosecutors. It comes down to the reputation of the attorney. Ask around.
Look For the Right Personality
Any lawyer you hire to defend your rights needs to be unafraid to go toe-to-toe with the prosecution. A good criminal defense lawyer understands how unrelenting prosecutors and law enforcement can be.
While confidence is key, you need to be wary of overconfident lawyers who promise too much without making things happen. A quality lawyer will be able to explain to you the steps they are taking to build a strong defense, and they may even give you insight into some of the most likely rulings for your case. However, they will never guarantee an outcome. Make sure you steer clear of any lawyers who make a name off their guarantees instead of their actual results.
Use these questions as a guide to determine if the lawyer you’re interviewing is right for you.
- Am I comfortable talking openly to them?
- Does my lawyer explain things in a way that I can understand?
- Does my lawyer seem genuinely concerned about me and the outcome of my case?
- Does my lawyer seem trustworthy?
- Does my lawyer appear confident?