Those who are arrested urgently want to get a criminal defense attorney. For some, it may be their first arrest and they don’t have or know an attorney but know that they don’t want a public defender. So their first action is to hit the internet and telephone book to find a defense attorney only to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of them. All promise to defend your rights. Whom to do choose? Here are some considerations to make.
The normal process is to set up an initial consultation with the criminal defense attorney. During this initial consultation, it is very important to keep asking yourself if you can work with this attorney. While competency and experience are both important facets to a good attorney, the ability to work with him is priority.
The ability to work with the criminal defense attorney that you choose is fostered by trust. The simple fact is that you have been accused of a crime and need a trusted advocate to defend you. Any feelings of mistrust on your part should prompt you to look for another attorney. This is because if you cannot trust your attorney then you cannot be honest with him. Honesty is important because you must tell him everything you know about the crime you are being charged with.
A criminal defense attorney must also be one who will meet with you in person. This usually happens at the initial consultation. It is here where you study the communication skill and body language of the attorney. The attorney should get right to the point, answer your questions clearly, and look you in the eye when speaking. Also, you should feel generally comfortable with the attorney whom you are interviewing.
Of course the experience of an attorney is crucial as well. You don’t want to hire a family practice lawyer to represent your criminal case. Plus, if you are charged with a serious felony, you don’t want to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in only lesser offenses.
Another important facet to study about the criminal defense attorney whom you are interviewing is if he utilizes time wisely. For example, does the attorney tell you more about his personal life instead of answering your questions? Is he a comedian (another avoidance tactic)? A personable or humorous attorney may help you relax but it doesn’t get your questions answered and it wastes time. A little humor is okay because it could put a jury at ease but it shouldn’t be used at the expense of time.