If you need a criminal defense attorney, the person you hire could play a pivotal role in whether you go to jail, pay significant fines, or face other legal penalties.
What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney
As you consider different attorneys to represent you in your criminal case, it is important to think about:
- Whether the lawyer has experience in the local court system
- Whether the lawyer will explain all of your options to you, so you can make informed decisions
- Whether the lawyer has trial experience and can/will participate in plea bargaining
- Whether the lawyer will be available and willing to answer questions as your case progresses
- Whether the lawyer will represent you if you need to appeal
When you’re making a decision about legal representation, it is often a mistake to hire a lawyer who does not specialize in criminal law. You may have a used a great attorney for a real estate closing or to draft your will, but if you have been charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney, it’s important to schedule an initial meeting before you hire anyone. At that meeting, you can get to know the lawyer and how he can help you. You may consider asking questions, including:
- How long have you been practicing criminal defense law?
- How often do you appear in the court where my case will be heard?
- How frequently do you go to trial? How many of your cases end in plea bargains?
- Have you ever handled a case similar to mine before?
- What are my legal options?
- Do you see any potential problems with my defense?
- Who else at the firm will be working on my case?
- Can I call you if I have any questions about my case?
- How are you paid?
If you would like to schedule your first appointment with the experienced Northern Virginia criminal defense lawyers at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC, please call us, or fill out our online contact form today.