Top Questions to ask a Criminal Defense Attorney Durning Your Free Consultation
If you have been charged with a crime, a DUI, or any offense for which you are seeking representation, you likely have many questions you want to ask. You will want to make sure you ask the right questions to find the right defense attorney. Don’t worry about the charges you are facing, the attorney will likely inquire about the facts of your case. Instead, focus on the qualifications of the criminal defense attorney you are meeting with.
What is your experience in criminal law?
Experience in criminal law is a must. The laws, defenses, and court procedure can be difficult to understand and master. Finding an attorney who practices only criminal law is a significant benefit. A lawyer who has a general practice may be able to help, but chances are they don’t have the experience needed to obtain the best results. Find out what areas of law the potential lawyer practices. A good criminal defense attorney likely only practices criminal law.
Do you have experience with cases like mine?
Every criminal case is different and needs to approached based on the facts of case. However, having experience in similar types of cases is very beneficial. Find an attorney who has handled your type of case before. Having an understanding of the law and potential defenses is a must. Similarly, an attorney who is experienced in the county or jurisdiction your case is in can be invaluable. Knowing the parties involved and the court procedures can make your case less stressful and more likely to succeed.
How and when will we communicate?
Communication in any sort of case is important. Knowing the status of your case and what to expect will help ease the stress associated with a criminal charge. Ask the attorney how and when you should expect to be updated. Find out if you will be provided copies of the police reports and court filings.
What is expected of me during my criminal case?
Knowing the expectations of you as the defendant can be important. An experienced criminal defense attorney will tell you what to do, and more importantly, what not to do. For instance, as a defendant in a criminal case, you should not speak with law enforcement, never. You should also refrain from speaking with any potential victims or witness in the case. That is the job of your attorney. In addition, there may be case specific things that will help your case. Ask your attorney if there is anything you should do, or not do to help with your case.
What are the potential outcomes of my case?
Certainly you will be worried about the outcome of your criminal case. Knowing the maximum penalties and minimum penalties, if applicable, is something you need to know. An experienced defense attorney should have a fair idea after your initial meeting what you may be facing. Ask your attorney what they think is the likely outcome of your case, but understand that outcomes will vary depending on the facts of your case and that no attorney can guarantee any sort of outcome.
How much will this cost me?
The cost of a criminal defense will vary on the charges you are facing. Many criminal defense lawyers charge a flat fee, and others an hourly rate. The retainer for a criminal defense attorney can and will vary greatly. Knowing what additional cost may be associated with your case is good to know. It can be difficult to decide who to hire based on the fee they charge. All because one attorney is charging significantly more does not mean you are getting better representation. A lower rate also does not mean your defense will be hindered. Either way, it is very beneficial to know what cost and fees you should expect in your case.
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