Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can be critical if you are facing charges in Glendale. Arizona is one of the strictest states in terms of criminal prosecution. Choose the right lawyer to improve your odds of a successful defense. Schedule meetings with a few top options in your city and ask key questions. Take five main steps to make sure you select the right criminal lawyer for your particular case, goals and needs.
You should not go far in your search for the right Glendale criminal defense lawyer. Choosing an out-of-state or even out-of-town defense attorney can mean challenges down the road. A nonlocal attorney may not have a full understanding of the criminal laws in your county. State and municipal laws differ depending on where you live. Hire a defense lawyer who works – and ideally lives – in the county where you are facing criminal charges. This is the best way to ensure your lawyer understands the intricate and nuanced details of the criminal charges against you.
Check for Experience
Double-check that the attorney has represented clients with charges similar to yours. You should not be your lawyer’s first burglary defense case, for example, if you are facing burglary charges in Glendale. You need a lawyer with real on-the-job experience defending clients with charges that are the same or similar to yours. This is the only way you can know your lawyer understands the laws, rules and procedures associated with your type of case. You can check a law firm’s practice area page for an idea of the types of cases the lawyer accepts. Then, ask the lawyer directly whether yours is a type of case he or she has experience handling.
Confirm Positive Case Outcomes
Confirm that the defense lawyer has won positive results on past cases. You do not want to hire a green attorney who does not yet have any wins under his or her belt. While no defense attorney can win every case or guarantee success, you want an experienced and qualified professional who has fought on behalf of his or her clients and won positive outcomes in the past.
Ask to see a track record of the lawyer’s past clients and case results. Check for law firm reviews and testimonials as well. This can give you an idea of the lawyer’s amount of success within your practice area. Selecting a lawyer with a history of wins can strengthen your defense. The judge on your case will see your lawyer’s record and know the law firm has a reputation of taking cases to trial and winning.
Ask About Attorney’s Fees
Next, ask about the attorney’s legal fees. Ask about fees early on to avoid any unwelcome surprises later. Your defense attorney should be honest, straightforward and upfront about how much he or she charges for defense services. Each defense lawyer charges differently. Some use flat fees while others use hourly rates. You may or may not need to pay a retainer upfront before the lawyer will begin working on your case. During your free consultation, ask each attorney about his or her fees, as well as a possible payment arrangement. Know what price you are agreeing to before hiring the defense lawyer.
Find a Lawyer You Trust
Most importantly, find a criminal defense lawyer you trust. You should have the utmost confidence in your lawyer’s abilities, skills and intentions. Your attorney should serve your best interests and only your best interests. Get a feel for whether you and the lawyer are a good fit by asking any questions you have about your case or the legal process during a free consultation. You should feel a connection with your attorney that gives you peace of mind for the court process ahead. Your criminal lawyer should act as your greatest ally and confidant during this difficult time.