How To Get The Right Criminal Lawyer For Your Case
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is something that nobody really expects to end up doing. By the time you realize you need one, you are already under immense pressure from being arrested. But, with so many lawyers available, choosing the right one for you can be a daunting task.
According to statistics, there are roughly 1.3 million attorneys in the world, 12,000 attorneys working in Houston, Texas alone. So, if you or someone you know has been arrested and probably looking for a Houston Criminal Lawyer, we are ready to help get you on the path to winning this fight for freedom. As the saying goes, “Don’t eat poison just because you are hungry.” We wouldn’t want your desperate need for proper legal help to lead you to the wrong attorney for your case. The following tips can give you a head start.
TIP #1: Do not be a slave to online reviews.
While a good reputation is definitely important in this industry, online attorney review sources may not always hold all of the answers. Yes, the lawyers do have to prove themselves to be legitimate, but the scores are not always exactly trustworthy. Often times, the ratings are skewed by marketing tactics, paid endorsements, and other questionable practices. Secondly, people are more likely to go out of their way to leave reviews on anything, whether it be a service or a product, if they are upset. With all of that being said, online reviews might be bent one way or the other. So be sure to look for genuine and trustworthy review sites,
TIP #2: First place is not always a winner.
In most cases, the first few Google results are simply the companies that paid more to get there. Of course, that is, generally speaking and not always true. The competition for law firms is very high, and lucrative businesses are able to pay a pretty penny to get ranked higher. This may be toward their SEO team, marketing agencies, or Google Ad rep. While being on top does say something about the prestige and image of a firm, it does not speak for their real results. The information on their site should be looked at closer than their search engine ranking.
TIP #3: Top-dollar does not equal top-quality.
It is an unfortunate truth that defendants are somewhat at the mercy of their criminal defense attorneys. Lawyers have the luxury of being able to charge what they see fit for a client, and the amount can change. It is worth noting that criminal cases are complex matters, and each one is unique. The amount of time and effort required in order to resolve your situation is not going to be the same as the client before you. Sadly, it is not uncommon for a lawyer to mentally figure out a ballpark maximum that a client can (or is willing) to pay, and demand that amount as their fee. The problem with being overcharged is that clients do not have any solid way of really knowing if it is happening. To combat this, ask around or do more research on the attorney’s background. Be knowledgeable enough on the fees work, and compare them according to their capabilities as well. Research is the key here.
TIP #4: Public defenders deserve more credit than they get.
Public defenders tend to have a bad rap for not giving enough effort or care. In reality, any good lawyer wants to prove themselves correct just as much as you do. Public defenders are also usually very well-versed because they handle so many various cases. If you cannot afford to pay an attorney privately, by no means is your case a lost cause. If you have been assigned to work with a public defender, do a bit of research on them. You may be surprised to find that their reputation for excellence is just as respectable as any other.
TIP #5: Don’t be afraid to ask around.
Chances are, somebody you know has either needed a lawyer or knows one personally. Even if they are not in the same area of law, attorneys tend to run in packs. For example, if your friend’s uncle is a personal injury lawyer, it is probable that he or she has rubbed elbows with a few criminal attorneys and can give you a recommendation.
Apart from research results and word-of-mouth suggestions, there are a few factors to consider when deciding on the right defense attorney for you. Some questions to ask might include:
- How long have you been practicing criminal law?
- What is your educational background?
- Have you successfully handled any major newsworthy cases?
- How many clients have you represented?
Nobody wants to waste time or money, and getting these answers can make the difference in knowing if an attorney’s body of work is “valid” or “pallid”. Most importantly, you want to be represented by someone who shows both passion and knowledge in your best interest.