How To Find The Best Criminal Defense Attorney
There is never a better time to hire a criminal defense attorney than when you (or a loved one) face a criminal charge. A reasonable defense attorney will not only defend you in court but also understand the intricacies of criminal law and how best to represent you. They can make the difference between you serving a jail term for a minor offence (or something you didn’t do) and getting a fair trial or even walking free.
Although most people would go for the cheapest attorney they can find, hiring someone who is great at their job would be advisable. Afterall, your freedom depends on it. Finding someone you can trust with your freedom can be somewhat daunting for many. The process is, however, straightforward if certain considerations are made. Below are a few tips and ideas for finding the best criminal defense attorney in Maryland with Frizwood Criminal Defense.
1. Look For A Responsive Attorney
The prosecutor will be looking to have you put behind bars within the first swing. With that in mind, you need to find a defense attorney ready to take and work on your case right away. They should be able to avail themselves and arrange a meeting within 24 hours after contacting them. Their legal team should be responsive to your emails and phone calls. The last thing you want is to have a lawyer held up by another case or a non-responsive one during your hour of need.
2. Their Specialty Should Be Criminal Law
There is a fine line between a general lawyer and those who practice criminal law. Lawyers specialising in criminal law are better placed to represent and defend you in a court of law. Frizwoods is a Maryland criminal defense lawyer who specialises in criminal law. They suggest that by specialising in criminal law, these lawyers understand their way around the court all too well and know exactly what to say, do, or ask to prove your innocence or have the case dropped. Look for an attorney with at least three years of active experience as a criminal defense attorney.
3. They Should Have Experience In Local Courts
You don’t just need an attorney specialising in criminal defense, but one with a good understanding and experience in the local courts. As long as your lawyer knows the local courts well, then chances are they know the presiding judge or jury, which can be advantageous at some point. These lawyers build not only a reputation but also relationships and connections, making it easier to handle such cases. An experienced lawyer knows how the local courts operate and what strategy to use to win the case on the jury or judge.
4. Always Look For A Reputable Lawyer
You want someone reputable by your side, not anyone that the opposing counsel can manipulate. Check the lawyer’s reputation and what other people say about them before making contact or hiring them. Luckily you can get most of this information online with just a few clicks. The State Bar makes it possible for anyone to check a lawyer’s status to see if they have had any formal discipline record. This would be a great place to start.
You also should check with other legit online sources such as Facebook and Google+. These platforms allow clients to leave reviews on their experience with an attorney and also make it impossible for them to remove negative reviews. While it’s okay for an attorney to have a few bad reviews, too many of them should be a concern.
5. Ask For Referrals
Your friends and family can also help you find a good criminal defense attorney. If anyone within your circle has used one, they might willingly refer you to the attorney and even give you insights on what to expect. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to hire an attorney just because a friend referred you to them. If you cannot get referrals from your friends, your estate agents or business lawyers might help. Most real estate agencies will have a criminal defense attorney in their contact list or refer you to someone they know.
6. A Good Attorney Should Be Familiar With The Criminal Justice System
A good criminal defense attorney should know and understand the basics of ordinary crimes and outline the possible charges and penalties you might be facing from the top of their heads. In addition to this, they know precisely the right questions to ask when building the case and collecting evidence that can help your case. Proper understanding of the complex criminal justice system and related laws makes one better placed at defending you in court.
7. Clear Billing And Fee Structure
The best defense lawyers in the industry have a clear outline of their billing and fee structure. They will help you understand their fee structure and estimate how much you should expect to pay in legal fees. Lawyers with a clear and outlined billing structure are articulate and some of the best you can hire. They might not be the cheapest but must give their all in proving their client’s innocence in court.
The key to winning a criminal case is not only in collecting evidence and providing legal counsel but also in going over and beyond to make a case. A good attorney knows when they should allow the case to go to trial and when to accept or decline a plea offer. In other words, some defense attorneys work harder and are more enthusiastic than most. He/she will be able to anticipate what the prosecuting team might use or say and prepare you accordingly to ensure you don’t perjure yourself.
Although experience might come in handy in most instances, sincerity and motivation to prove their client’s innocence triumph above all. You might be surprised at what a young and ‘inexperienced’ lawyer might be able to achieve/prove when motivated.
9. Confidence In The Courtroom
Courtroom experience is one of the best weapons you can use to win a case. Defense attorneys don’t need the entire day to prove a point; they only need a few seconds to turn the case around. This however requires patience and precision to know what to ask a question, object, or make a point for it to have an impact. Most lawyers specialising in criminal cases and have had numerous court sessions know this all too well, using it as their secret weapon.
While looks can be deceiving in the real world, this certainly doesn’t apply to criminal defense attorneys. Judging by how an attorney moves and dresses around the court can tell you if they are on for the win or not. The best defense attorneys are articulate, know how to present themselves physically, and are direct.
10. Good Defense Attorney Will Consult With You Before Making A Decision/Move
A lawyer is only meant to help you get out of a sticky situation with minimal repercussions. Although they may be in charge of filing court motions and deciding which witnesses to call and when, you still have a say on most of these decisions. A good lawyer will seek your approval, follow your directions, or listen to your opinion before making any decisions. That said, you need to hire an attorney with your best interests at heart, not theirs.