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7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Criminal Law Attorney

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

Hiring a criminal law attorney can be a daunting process. Your mind might be racing. You might be asking yourself questions like, “what if I hire an incompetent attorney?”

Maybe you’re worried about hiring an attorney that’s unfamiliar with the type of case you need help with. Instead of letting your mind race with all this anxiety, follow the guide in the blog post below.

This post contains a list of seven questions to ask before hiring a criminal law attorney. These questions can help you figure out if you’re comfortable with an attorney representing you in court.

You can use these questions to filter out attorneys that give unsatisfactory answers or find attorneys that provide smart answers that make you feel like you’ll win your case.

Be sure to ask your attorney questions about your specific case. Some attorneys are well-versed in one type of case but may lack experience in other types of cases. Continue reading to learn more about the questions you should ask before you hire an attorney.

1. What Is Your Experience in Handling Cases Like This?

No matter what type of charge you’re trying to fight, it’s important that you find an attorney that’s familiar with cases like yours. For example, anyone dealing with a DWI charge should try to find the best attorney in the area for DWI cases.

Many attorneys will claim that they can fight any case, but it’s important to find out more about their experience when you’re seeking legal help.

2. What Is Your Approach to Handling Cases?

Attorneys will have a wide variety of answers to this question. Some might say that they immediately try to consult with the prosecutor to find a settlement agreement.

Other attorneys may say they are fighting tooth and nail to get the prosecutors to drop all charges. Figure out what type of approach you’re comfortable with, and then hire a lawyer that wants to take that approach.

3. Who Will Be Working On My Case?

When you’re talking to an attorney, make sure you’re talking to the person who will be working on your case. Some attorney offices will blow you away with one attorney, then assign another attorney to your case.

Of course, many law offices will have multiple people working on your case at the same time. Try to make sure the people working on your care have experience and know what they’re doing.

4. What Is Your Fee Structure?

Most attorneys will charge you based on the number of hours they spend working on your case. Some law offices will charge an upfront fee o top of their hourly fee structure.

You may be able to work something out with the attorney’s office so that you don’t have to pay the entire fee right away. Be sure to ask your attorney if they have any options for payment plans.

5. What Is Your Availability?

Before hiring an attorney, make sure they have the bandwidth to work on your case. The last thing you want is to hire an attorney that barely makes time for your case.

That said, you don’t want to hire an attorney that has a lot of free time. An attorney with a lot of free time is likely struggling to find clients. Interview different attorneys and find one that says they will have plenty of time to work on your case.

You should also find out how often they would like to meet with you to review the case and provide you with updates.

6. What Is Your Relationship with the Prosecutor’s Office?

A good attorney will have a strong relationship with the prosecutor’s office. Criminal defense attorneys have to work alongside prosecutors when they take on a case.

Each side has to collect and share evidence and may have to work together to figure out plea bargains. When you’re talking to attorneys, try to figure out if they have a working relationship with the local prosecutors.

If the attorney has a good working relationship with the prosecutors, that relationship could help you out during your trial.

7. What Is Your Track Record in Trials?

Everybody wants to hire an attorney who wins more than they lose. Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney about their track record in trials, as it could be the difference between you escaping charges or paying hefty fines and possibly serving jail time.

Some attorneys may not have a strong record of getting their clients off the hook completely, but they are good at negotiating plea bargains. Plea bargains can sometimes include a clause that the charges are removed from your record.

You may also consider asking your attorney about the difference between non-disclosure and expungement of a record. If you do have a record, or you’re trying to get a mark off your record, you need to know if the attorney can get the mark removed (expunged) or simply enforce a non-disclosure, which means the court seals your record from public exposure.

Analyzing the Best Questions to Ask a Criminal Law Attorney

Now that you’re familiar with some of the most important questions to ask a criminal law attorney, you’re ready to start looking for an attorney that can help you with your case.

You may end up interviewing multiple attorneys and comparing their answers to find an attorney that you feel comfortable with. When you’re ready to get started, get in touch with Nonstop Justice.

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