By: John R.T. Oliver
Nobody wants to be in a position where you would need to get a criminal lawyer to defend you or a loved one in court, but what do you do in case it happens? Do you just go for the first lawyer that you come across? That is not likely to be a wise move on your part.
Lawyers are just like doctors. They also have their own fields of specialization. That’s the part of law that they have focused and spent much of their time on.
What you need to find are lawyers who have focused on criminal law more than anything else. So how do you go about finding the right one? Here are some ideas:
1. Specialization is the name of the game. It means that for criminal lawyers, there are also some specializations within them that lawyers can delve into. What you need therefore is to find someone who has considerable experience and knowledge in the particular field of criminal law that you are concerned.
2. You should think twice before settling for a public defender, because on the average they have more cases than what is recommended by law experts as advisable to be handled. If you have the money to spend you should try to get your own lawyer. It could be your freedom that would be at stake.
3. Decide on the kind of qualities that you would like to find in your lawyer. Do you want someone with an extensive experience, but is quite too busy to become too involved in your case? Would you rather prefer someone who is less experienced, but is very hardworking?
4. Go for personal referrals from people that you know. They might know of a good criminal lawyer who can help you out. Personal referrals are still the best way to go in finding some service that you need.
5. Find out if they belong to any group of criminal lawyers. Affiliation to regional and national groups of criminal lawyers is a good indication that someone is really into criminal law.
6. If you want to determine how a lawyer stands in the estimation of his colleagues, then you should try to find out if they have ever held any office in any of the lawyer groups to which they belong. Holding an office is a good indication that they are competent in their field.
7. Don’t fall for ads and the claims that they have there. They would put anything there to get you in. The best thing is for you to meet or talk with a lawyer personally so you can decide if he really has what it takes.
8. Find out if the lawyer has taught at a reputable law school. Teaching law is one of the marks that a lawyer is really something.
9. Find out about their rates. A lawyer might be good and all, but you might not be able to afford them.
These are just some of the more important things that you need to look for in a criminal lawyer.