5 Questions to Ask Your Criminal Lawyer
Almost everyone needs the help of a criminal lawyer at some time or another. Whether for themselves, family, or friends, when the time comes its important to have the right man for the job. Below are five questions to ask your criminal lawyer to make sure he is the right attorney for you.
1. How Successful have you been handling cases like mine before?
Ever potential client should consider whether or not their Criminal Attorney has handled similar cases before. If the criminal attorney has never handled a DUI before, for example, he may not be aware of the important deadlines, relevant law, and important facts to consider when preparing your defense. Alternatively, an Attorney with substantial experience handling your type of case may be more appropriate to handle your pending matter.
2. What is this going to cost me?
You need to know the bottom cost in any big purchase. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is no different. You should want to know if hiring a lawyer is going to cost you 2K or 10K. Also, are you going to be able to afford your lawyer? If you are unable to pay your lawyer, he may withdraw from your case, and you will have to restart from ground zero. Nobody wants to do that when their life is on the line.
3. What are your credentials.
Most lawyers learn how to talk a big game. But do they have the training and experience to back it up? If you are in the market for a trial criminal attorney, you will likely want to know that your criminal lawyer has tried many cases before, went to a well known trial school, etc. Past performance is an indicator of future performance. Knowing your lawyers credentials will help you make an informed decision.
4. What are the maximum penalties I can get?
Different charges carry different penalties. For example, most people are surprised to find out that a DUI can get them a year in jail. Likewise, a third degree felony can get you 5 years in prison. Ask your Attorney what the possible consequences are so that you will be prepared to make an informed decision as to how to proceed with your case.
5. How many trials have you run?
You may not want your case to ever see the courtroom. You may rather want to work out the best disposition possible. However, you still want to have a trial lawyer preparing your case and negotiating on your behalf. That is because a State Attorney is more likely to workout a beneficial disposition with a trial lawyer whom he thinks might take the case to trial. If the State Attorney knows the criminal lawyer will not take it to trial, the criminal lawyer has no negotiating leverage on the State.