How To Decide Which Criminal Defense Attorney to Hire

You or someone you care about has been accused of a crime. Whether it's a DUI, possession of a joint or something more serious, having a criminal case can be stressful. You need an attorney that's right for you.

Everyone uses different criteria to decide which criminal defense attorney to hire. Some are looking for a convenient office or a lawyer with a certain personality. Others make their decision based only on the retainer fee. Here is advice about finding the best, and the best fit for you.

  1. You Must Be Able to Trust Your Attorney Enough to Tell Them Anything. Communication is key. You must feel comfortable speaking with your lawyer about what you are accused of, what really happened, and other sensitive information in your life. Lawyers also have to speak with witnesses, sometimes even the complainant ("victim"). Lawyers may need to explore very personal information in order to give you the best defense with the most options for success. And you want someone who will talk you through the process, and explain things in a way that you can understand.
  2. The Attorney Should Have Criminal Defense Experience. Don't settle for the friend of a friend who does real estate law. Your time, reputation, and freedom are at stake. Hire an attorney who has criminal defense experience. An experienced attorney will have an idea of how your case will be prosecuted, what the District Attorneys are looking for, and what the standard plea offers are. Basically, they can give you a more accurate assessment of what might happen and realistic options to beat the case.
    Even Better: Experience in the specific courthouse where your case is. 
    Best of All: Experience in front of the Judge or Judges who are presiding over your case.
  3. Your Attorney Should Have A Range of Skills. What do you want? You probably want this case to go away by getting dismissed or winning at trial. If the case doesn't look good for you, you may be looking for an amazing plea that will have very little impact on your life. Here's the thing: what you want can come from many different directions. Phone calls with the DA might result in lower charges. Research might find that the police shouldn't have charged you. Writing to the Judge might get them to agree that the police did not get the evidence in the right way. The point is that you want a lawyer who has as many tools as possible.
  4. What Should Be In Your Attorney's Toolbox? Each of these tools can be used to get results in a different way.
    1. Courtroom skills. Someone comfortable in a courtroom, who can think on their feet.
    2. Out of court advocacy. Someone who is good at negotiation with the District Attorney or programs. 
    3. Someone who can write. An attorney who is good at research and writing can submit an argument (a motion) to the Judge.  Motions can challenge evidence, how the client was treated, and even the charges themselves. 
    4. Attention to detail. You need an attorney who is willing to sit down and look at every piece of evidence to make sure it holds up. 

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, use these tips to find the right attorney. 

Fisher Law Practice provides criminal defense for New Yorkers. We work hard to fight your case and protect your future. For a free consultation, call 917-819-5656