Choosing a defence lawyer can be pretty daunting for a defendant who is facing criminal charges with incarceration as a potential outcome. Defendants have the option to defend themselves, hire a defence lawyer or elect to use the court-appointed lawyer. Self-representation is not recommended for criminal cases because of the seriousness of the charges faced. Private defence lawyers usually serve the best interests of their client because of the previous experience in similar cases.
How to choose a defence lawyer for a criminal case
Most practicing defence lawyers have held a position as a public defender in the criminal court system before turning to private practice. Some of these lawyers work for a large law firm while others choose to work alone. However, the problem for most defendants is the cost of hiring a defence lawyer particularly the more experienced ones.
Those who can afford a private legal counsel has to face other challenges in finding the right one who can work for the best possible outcome. Cost can become an issue but there are other important factors that must be taken into account. It is important to choose a defence lawyer has worked on a similar criminal case to what you are facing that has resulted into the best possible outcome. There are lawyers who put high value on communication and will always listen to suggestions and concerns.
Every defence lawyer has a certain strategy in defending a criminal case. Can he dedicate his time and that of his staff to resolve your case? If he cannot work exclusively for your best interests, what factors can influence his ability to work? It is very likely that well-experienced and popular defence lawyers have lots of clients that need their attention. Will they have enough time for your case? The legal servicesyou can expect including the costs of legal representation must be carefully noted in the lawyer-client agreement.
The cost of hiring a defence lawyer depends on several factors: the nature of the charges you are facing, the location of the case and the lawyer’s level of experience. Most lawyers will charge more for felonies than misdemeanours. Felonies carry greater penalties and demands more preparation from a lawyer. Felonies also require more court appearances.
However, do not make the mistake of choosing a less experienced lawyer with extremely low hourly rates. An experienced defence lawyer may require a higher hourly rate but he can resolve the criminal case more quickly and satisfactorily. A case becomes costly when it is complicated because the lawyer has to invest more time to prepare a good defence. Paying by the hour will benefit a defendant if the case is resolved quickly.
If you are charged of a crime, you will probably opt for a criminal defence lawyer who is confident in building a solid case. However, do not confuse confidence with a promise that he can win the case. The fact remains that many things can happen and a specific outcome cannot be guaranteed. Take time to choose a defence lawyer so as not to jeopardize the case.