Questions to ask a criminal defense attorney
When facing criminal charges, it is crucial that you choose a legal representative that is best for your case.
It is a good idea to shop around and interview a few firms you select your attorney. But how do you know which attorney is right for your case? You will want to ask questions on the following:
- Background and experience
- Your case
- Legal fees
Background and experience
It is critical when hiring an attorney to be sure they have experience handling cases similar to yours. Ask the attorney to give a background on how long they’ve been practicing law, their relationship with the prosecutor’s office, if they will appear in court on your behalf, and if they take cases to trial or work out plea agreements.
Assessing your case
Prepare for your consultation by bringing several items including:
- any and all documents you received from the court displaying charges and next appearance dates;
- bail papers;
- police search documents;
- a copy of any police reports, if possible.
It may also be helpful to provide a list of witnesses, victims, and other defendants. This way the attorney can determine they have never represented any of the other parties involved.
Ask an attorney to explain, in detail, how they would handle your case. Ask questions on the facts of the charges, potential consequences, and the best strategy for the process.
It is important to ask questions about legal fees with all attorneys you meet with. Finding an attorney that is experienced, may not always be cost friendly, which is why it’s important to ask about experience handling similar cases to yours. Sometimes, an experienced lawyer may not be as cost effective, but better for your case overall.