If you find yourself in a situation in which the legal services of a criminal lawyer are required, you have already taken the right step to find the legal assistance of an attorney. It is a great idea to consult with an attorney as most consultations are free. In the consultation, the attorney can not only give you an idea of the strategy for addressing your case, they can explain the legal system and procedures so that you know what to expect. As well, an experienced attorney can explain what consequences you are facing, what options you have, what realistic outcomes can be expected, and what benefit an attorney can provide for you.
Many times people get free ‘legal’ advice from persons in community (e.g. neighbors, family members, friends, etc.) on how to “take care of” a legal problem by themselves without legal representation. While that is always an option it is not a wise option. Many experienced attorneys are aware of not only of the law and the legal system, but actually know the prosecutors and judges and can accurately predict results. As well, there are many complications in the legal system that acting without an attorney can result in permanent harm to your case and your criminal record that may not be fixable at a later time.
Compile a Short List
It is important to take your time in finding the right attorney for you. There are many ways you can develop a short list of lawyers in your area. You can ask for referrals from friends and family members. You could check the phone book or look online. You could also check with your state’s Bar Association or other professional attorney organization. You should have at least a handful of names on your list.
You may also want to meet the attorneys. Meeting the attorneys can insure that there is a rapport of trust between yourself and the attorney. In these highly stressful situations it is extremely important that will be able to trust the advice of the attorney at key stages of your case.
Review Your Options
Begin narrowing your choices through the process of elimination. Visit the lawyers’ websites to find out more about them. Eliminate any lawyers from your list who do not handle criminal cases. Then, consider whether the remaining lawyers have experience handling your particular type of criminal case. For example, if you’ve been charged with drunk driving, you need the services of a DUI lawyer. Bear in mind that even if a criminal offense isn’t specifically listed on a lawyer’s website, this does not necessarily mean that he or she doesn’t have experience in this opdrunkenness – and it would be difficult to list all of the cases a typical lawyer has worked on.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a couple of names, you can schedule an initial consultation with each lawyer. Many lawyers offer free consultations. These are brief appointments that allow you to become familiar with the lawyer and his or her level of experience. They also allow the lawyer to become familiar with your case. When you go to the initial consultation, bring along any paperwork related to your case and a list of questions you have for the lawyer. During the consultation, you may wish to ask the lawyer about his or her relevant experience and fee structure. Many defendants prefer to select lawyers who offer flat fee pricing.
Guides through the Legal System
While attorneys seem like expensive magicians that will make everything disappear, they in fact are more like experienced guides that walk you through the legal system to get you the most advantageous outcome given your particular circumstances. Thus, just as it is very important when searching for a guide that you look for the most knowledgeable and most experienced, so too is the search for an attorney—to find the most knowledgeable and most experienced.
You may be tempted to hire the first attorney you find. However, doing so may be a costly error. It’s well worth your time to investigate several lawyers in Denver to find one that is right for you. The criminal lawyer you select should answer all of your questions, thoroughly prepare you for your upcoming court appearances, and ensure that you are fully advised of your legal rights and options.