If you have been accused of committing a crime you should speak to an attorney as soon as practically possible. You should not seek just any attorney, but you should look for a competent lawyer who specializes is criminal law.
You need to put things in perspective very quickly if you are charged with the commission of a criminal act. You are about to go through an experience that could possibly change your life forever. The quality of legal advice that you receive is going to be a deciding factor in determining how the next few months or years are going to develop for you.
Begin by browsing the internet in your geographical area and look for Criminal Defense Attorney in the search engine space. You do not want the law firm that has a listing of every facet of law that there is on their website because you are looking for a specialist in the area of criminal law. That is all that they do and that is their focus. You also want an attorney or law firm that has some years of success under their belt, as experience is very important in this area of the law.
It is very likely that an experienced criminal defense attorney will know most of the people at the courthouse, including the prosecutors, the judges, the clerks, and everybody else in-between. This is called working knowledge and it is important to understand how the overall system works and the people who are in charge.
Your particular legal situation may seem unique to you, but to an attorney who has years of experience, he or she may have defended your type of case hundreds of times. This vividly shows the advantage that an experience criminal defense lawyer has over a younger, less experienced attorney.
While you are looking at various websites of attorneys and law firms, find out what organizations they belong to. Being a member of the local, state and national Bar Associations would be something that you could expect, but there are some surprises in that area. Another important organization to look for is the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, or the state organization as well.
The section of the Bar that stresses criminal defense in their criminal Justice Section is important as well. Has the lawyer ever held any offices in any organizations? Has he or she taught or written any articles or books in this area? These are all qualifications that could further enhance your chances of success with your case.
Once you have whittled down your choices, and you feel you have found the best candidate, you must put together some information for the attorney. He or she will want to know with what you are being charged, when is your court date, what is the location of the court, the amount of your bail, if that applies, and the name of your bondsman.
Try to put down in writing as much as you can in regard to your version of the story of how you came to be charged with a crime, the people involved, giving as much detail as possible.
All of this information will be necessary for your attorney to come up with a realistic strategy so he can be candid with you as to the possible outcomes and his fees. From this point on it is very important that you follow the directions of your attorney to a tee, in regard to the legal aspects of your case.
The reason that this is important is that the lawyer knows the fine details of the law, and you don’t. What might seem reasonable to you may be a total fiasco from a legal standpoint. So you really need to pay attention.
If your attorney doesn’t make any sense to you, you have the right to an explanation of procedures, potential outcomes, and possible courses of action. You also have the right to know about any other parties within the law firm who will be working on your case. You should be told of their duties and what you will be charged for their services.
If you just keep in mind that if you retain an attorney that has been in the criminal law area for a number of years, he or she would not be sitting across the desk from you unless they were successful in doing just what they are doing for you. So relax, cooperate and know that you did the best job you could have done in researching the field of lawyers in your area with the proper experience needed to get the job done.