Top Five Things to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When charged with a criminal offense there is a prolonged period of stress as in the eyes of the law you might be guilty. But what if you aren’t? Or what if the charges are blown out of proportion? The severity of the charges can range from traffic offenses including DUI (Driving under the influence), speeding, driving with a suspended or no license, or other serious traffic offenses to a misdemeanor or felony including drug crimes, assault and battery crimes, theft crimes, sex crimes, or probation violations. You deserve a fair trial, don’t you? Hiring the services of a good criminal defense lawyer can bring the verdict in your favor.
A criminal defense lawyer is a knowledgeable resource in the complex field of criminal law. He/she is well qualified to provide professional advice, dispute resolution, represent you in court, conduct settlement negotiations, and protect your interests. However, with so many lawyers in business today, how do you make the right choice?
Here is a list of the top five things to look for when hiring a criminal defense lawyer.
Experience in the legal area of your case: When hiring an attorney, consider not only the number of years in practice but the type of cases similar to yours and the results of those cases. Determine who will be working on your case and what work they will do. Most attorneys have a support staff that will assist in case preparation.
References and reviews: References and reviews give you an idea about a lawyer’s efficiency. A referral from a friend who had a favorable opinion can be helpful. However, attorneys may not be able to give out the names of clients because of the ethical rule of client confidentiality.
Legal community involvement and participation: Do your research about your attorney’s involvement and participation in the legal community. Consider reviewing any written materials and seminars that the attorney has been involved with for Bar Associations or community groups. It will give you a broader perspective of how your lawyer can be an asset to your case.
Honest and open communication: Don't be afraid to ask questions concerning how the attorney will best represent you or your family. Describe the issues in your case and compare it with similar cases. Discuss what the expected outcome may be. It is often difficult to determine a particular outcome because all facts may not be known and there may be other factors that can impact the outcome, but different possibilities, in general, should be discussed.
Comfort level: See how comfortable you are with your attorney. Are you able to communicate freely about the issues related to your case? Will your attorney return calls promptly when you need solutions to your queries? Failure to respond to calls and e-mails is one of the biggest complaints in the legal business. Work with an attorney that keeps you at ease.
If you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer in McHenry County and Chicago, Illinois, or surrounding areas, contact The Law Offices of Robert H. Hanaford
Robert H. Hanaford has represented numerous clients with a broad range of offenses and has over three decades of experience as a criminal defense lawyer. He has the skills to guide defendants and seek justice. He is also a former elected official in his neighborhood. For a free consultation with him visit www.hanafordlaw.com/pages/free-consultation