Four Keys to Finding the Right Lawyer
Just as not every shoe fits every person the same way, so too not every type of lawyer fits every type of crime or need. In fact, some lawyers don’t deal with crime at all, but help negotiate business contracts, settle family disputes or write up wills. But if you are facing the possibility of a criminal charge, then you will need to find yourself a lawyer who not only knows the law but knows criminal law.
This is why your cousin Bernie that does family law can’t help you, nor can your company lawyer that helps you write up the company business contracts. When it comes to criminal charges a criminal defense lawyer is the only lawyer you need. But how to find the right one? Here are four key things to look for according to Nolo, a leading authority on legal rights on the web.
Civil and Criminal Attorneys
These two types of lawyers don’t just work in difference areas of law; they also tend to organize in very different ways. A criminal defense lawyer will tend to either work in a private practice or in a small regional group. In contrast to this, civil lawyers are usually in large corporate firms that have branch offices scattered across the country. The reason for this is that civil lawyers are usually retained by large companies who have ongoing needs for legal advice. But with criminal attorneys, the needs are by an individual and knowing and understanding the local legal geography can be an important part of any case.
Why It Pays to Be Local
When it comes to criminal cases, so much of how a case is looked at and decided is centered on the local area where the event has taken place. In addition, because the procedures can vary from one courthouse to another, even within the same state, having a local lawyer who is familiar with these can be a big advantage.
If they know how a District Attorney will react to a plea bargain set out, it helps to make the decision of whether to pursue that course. Some D.A.s won’t even consider one and knowing that can be a big factor in a case going forward. Your local attorney will generally be familiar with the local police force and know how individual officers will act in a court of law. All of this is to your advantage.
Specializing in Your Criminal Charges
It is important when interviewing possible attorneys to determine if they specialize in the particular crime you are being charged with at the time. If you have been charged with a DUI, you will want to be sure that your lawyer is very familiar with all the details of the law as it regards this charge.
Asking them what percentage of their case load deals with DUIs will tell you how familiar they are with the laws. Some states will even let lawyers specialize in specific areas of law such as this, so ask if they are considered a specialist in your type of charge first.
Knowing Your Court House
You will also want to ask any prospective lawyer, once you know which courthouse you will be in, how many of the cases they do are in this particular court. If they know the judge, even better. Because each judge and each court handles things in a different way, a lawyer that is familiar with the particular needs of that judge and court will be important for you.