There are so many choices out there when it comes to legal representation. You may do a Web search or you may be referred to a lawyer by a friend. Before you make a selection, you need to ask the right questions to determine if a lawyer will be a good match for your situation and criminal charge. Where do you begin?
Start with their area of focus. Ask them if they are restrict themselves to criminal law. Do they have experience with cases like yours? If you’re being charged with a sexual or domestic assault, for example, do they even cover those kinds of cases? And is that their predominant focus? Is the firm devoted to the criminal law field?
Additionally, be sure to ask if the firm has former criminal prosecutors on their team. It’s advantageous for a criminal defence lawyer to have worked for the Crown Attorney as a criminal or drug Prosecutor or both. That means they know the system and can strategize your case accordingly.
Then, ask them about experience. How many cases did they take to trial in the last year? How many did they win? How many jury trials have they done in the past year, or past five years? And again, how many did they win? Keep in mind many criminal lawyers will tell you they are trial lawyers, when they don’t do trials at all. Trial lawyers call them ‘guilty plea lawyers’.
On that note as well, be sure to ask about their reputation. Is the lawyer or firm respected by Crown Attorneys, judges and the defence bar? Do they have a reputation for excellence in their practice, winning cases and negotiating the best plea deals?
Next, ask them about their team. Do they work in a team environment? Are they willing to bounce ideas off of one another? Will they have several lawyers reviewing your case, making sure every stone is uncovered? The fact is, many minds (and perspectives) are more helpful than one.
Finally, ask yourself a few questions. Are you comfortable with the lawyer you’re speaking with? Does he or she seem engaged with you and your case? Consider the answers they give your questions. You’ll have enough information to make an informed decision to hire a lawyer who will get you results.