Essential Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Attorney

Essential Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Attorney

It’s always stressful and frightening to face criminal charges. Of course, your livelihood, reputation, and liberty are at stake.

Thus, you can’t underestimate the importance of hiring an experienced attorney to help you get through such a horrible period in your life. If you choose the wrong person for the job, you’ll be wasting money, time, and only make your situation more complicated. That said you have to consider your options carefully and choose the best criminal defense attorney to represent you.

However, finding the right criminal defense lawyer can become overwhelming with so many options out there. The best thing to do is to meet with your prospective lawyer and discuss your options before hiring one. You must also come up with questions that will help you gauge the suitability of the attorney to your situation.

This post has compiled four of the essential questions to ask a criminal defense attorney before getting their services. Check them out below.

Can You Tell Me About Your Background And Experience?

When hiring an attorney to represent you on the court, you have to make sure that they have the necessary experience to handle your case. Ask your prospect how long they’ve been on practice as a lawyer. Also, ask about their relationship with the office of the prosecutor.

Below are some other specific questions to ask:

  • When did you earn your law degree?
  • What kinds of criminal law cases have you handled in the past?
  • In which courts have you already appeared?

The answer to these questions should be enough to give you a glimpse of the background and experience of the lawyer you’re eyeing to hire. Don’t hesitate to look for another option if you’ll get an answer from the questions above that don’t meet your requirements.

Simply saying, the background and experience of the criminal defense attorney should match your case. If your charges are driving while intoxicated, a DWI lawyer is best to represent your side.

If you’re from Binghamton and are facing a DWI case, you can click here to get some much-needed help.

Do You Focus On Criminal Law Or Also Engages With Other Areas Of Practice?

A lawyer can represent any case throughout the state, and most legal professionals you’ll encounter do it, they are the general practitioners. They know a lot of things about the law, but only a little in each of them. The easiest way to tell if an attorney approaches the law like a jack of all trades is to visit their website and check if they’re promoting more than one area of practice like personal injury, criminal, and divorce.

Why is it essential to know if a lawyer is a generalist or not? Think about it, if you’ve been charged with a criminal case and your liberty is at stake, wouldn’t you want someone whose primary focus is criminal law to help you? A criminal defense attorney who spent a lot of years in the criminal courts, dealing with criminal cases daily, knows what arguments will judges look for and what strategies will work out to increase your chance of getting a successful result.

How Much Do You Charge For Legal Fee?

You’d want a lawyer to help you resolve your criminal case and not create a financial problem for you. Look for a criminal defense attorney who’s fee is not so high but still has the knowledge and experience to work on your case effectively. Keep in mind that lawyers calculate their fees in different ways. Some want to get paid on an hourly basis, while others prefer a fixed price.

These things should be clear to you from the onset of hiring a criminal defense attorney. If the lawyer can’t give you a straight answer to this question, it should make you think twice. Beware of lawyers who advise to let you know about the fee once your case progresses and they start learning more about it – that’s a red flag!

What Do You Think About My Case?

The initial consultation with your prospective criminal defense attorney is also a perfect time to ask about their preliminary evaluation of your situation. This is your chance to measure the knowledge of the lawyer and learn what defenses he can offer to you. You’d also want to ask the attorney if it’s best to work out plea agreements or take your case to a trial.

You need to gather as much information available so you’ll have an idea of how the lawyer will handle your case and what options you can expect. This way, you’ll know if the criminal defense attorney is an excellent fit for your needs or not.


You have to take criminal charges filed against you seriously, and get an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney to help you. By asking the question discussed above, you can prepare for the challenging journey ahead and feel much more confident knowing you’ve hired the best person to represent you.

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