Choosing the Best Criminal Defense Law Firm
Criminal charges are serious, and you need legal representation that is proven to get results. Choosing the right criminal defense firm to handle your case is critical, but how do you know if a firm is able to tackle your case? Here are some tips to help you identify the right firm for your criminal defense needs.
Criminal vs. Civil Law Firms
You may have experience with civil firms, but the law firm you’ll need for a criminal case will be different than the one who helped you settle your insurance claim after a car accident. Criminal lawyers tend to work on cases in a specific geographic location, and usually are used for non-recurring legal needs, such as defense. Often criminal attorneys will have several years of experience working for the government. They are likely to have served as a public defender, prosecutor, district attorney, or city attorney.
Civil attorneys, on the other hand, frequently work in large firms and perform recurring work, such as providing legal advice or providing representation as needed for companies and businesses. They may work nationally or even internationally representing their clients’ interests.
Look at the Team
Your lawyer is supported by a team of paralegals, administration, and other lawyers. Ask to meet other members of the firm and get a feel for the firm’s style, energy, and passion for their work. Your case will be handled by many people in the firm, and if you feel like they won’t handle your case to the best of their ability, look for representation elsewhere. The firm as a whole can give you feel for the way your case will be treated.
A criminal attorney at a local firm should have experience with the court where your case is pending will have the advantage over an out-of-town lawyer. Procedures can vary from courthouse to courthouse, but a local criminal defense firm can offer with a familiarity of your court can navigate the process more easily. They will know the preferences of the district attorneys and judges at a certain court, and can advise you better than someone without that knowledge. It is in your best interest to find an attorney who has experience with local procedure and personnel.
Experience with Your Charges
It is best to obtain the services of a law firm who has experience defending your specific charge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding their experience, such as how many cases like yours they have defended, how much of their practice is devoted to defending that particular charge, if the attorneys at the firm are specialists or Board Certified in your type of defense, and how familiar they are with the court your case will be handled by. Experience is important, but look for quality and results, not just quantity of cases.
Your attorney is your voice for your case, so it is important that you feel comfortable with your lawyer and their firm. If they are abrasive, you feel you can’t trust them, or you feel like you are treated as a transaction rather than a client, you will not be able to cultivate the necessary attorney-client relationship that will help your case. If you feel you aren’t a full partner in the decision-making process, your case will suffer. Find an attorney who makes you feel comfortable, respected, and understood.
You will want to make sure that your personalities are compatible as well. Fighting about your case won’t help make matters any better. Your top choice should be confident, but don’t mistake arrogance for confidence. Make sure that your attorney will take the time to explain everything to you fully and help you make decisions, not one that will rush your through your choices.
Compare the Firm to Others.
Request references and check online reviews of your chosen law firm. Look for satisfied clients or if there is a large number of clients who were unhappy with the firm’s services. If your attorney has more than a few dissatisfied clients, you may want to ask why.
Compare their rates to other lawyers with similar experience. If they are much higher or lower than their competitors, you should definitely ask them about it. Trust your gut on matters and ask for more information if you are unsure.
Choosing a criminal attorney who fits your needs is important for the success of your case. There are a number of factors to consider, but each can help you narrow your search and identify the attorney that can give you the best support and representation for your case.
Criminal charges can have lasting consequences on your life. Finding the law firm with the necessary experience, drive, and proven success can be overwhelming. Our team of Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys offer aggressive, personalized client service, and we are determined to find your best defense. Contact Scaringi Law today to schedule a case evaluation with a member of our team.