Facing criminal charges is an emotionally overwhelming experience, especially if it is your first time getting arrested. Fortunately, you do not have to face those charges alone.
A criminal defense attorney can help you obtain the most favorable result in court and protect your rights and freedom throughout the legal process. However, the challenge is picking the right attorney for your case.
Before you meet with potential lawyers, collect all documents related to your case to help him/her better understand your situation. Furthermore, you must prepare to ask the attorney several questions about his/her legal services.
The following are five questions to ask a criminal defense lawyer during a consultation:
- How long have you been practicing criminal law? Find out how many years of experience the lawyer has been in practice and how many clients with similar charges he/she has defended in the past. If you are facing drunk driving charges, for example, you want to hire an attorney who specializes in DWI charges.
- What are my legal options? The attorney will go through your documents, examine the facts and circumstances related to your case, and listen to your story. From all this information, he/she can determine whether you could get your entire case dismissed, a not-guilty verdict is possible, or your charges/penalties can be reduced.
- Do you take many cases to trial? Many criminal defense attorneys resolve their cases through plea negotiations, rather than going to trial. In fact, some lawyers don’t have that much trial experience. You need to find a lawyer who is willing to take your case to trial in order to get the best possible outcome.
- Who will be handling my case? You need to know if the lawyer will be handling your case personally and within what capacity. When it comes to larger firms, your case could be handled by a junior attorney who doesn’t have that much experience or a case manager. In other firms, the lead attorney can delegate your case work to firm staff, which isn’t a bad thing if he/she is overseeing everything. Learn how much the attorney will be involved in your case.
- How much will your services cost? Although most lawyers charge a flat fee for their representation, some may charge an hourly rate. If the attorney charges a flat fee, find out what the payment is, what it does and doesn’t include, and is it all upfront. If he/she charges an hourly fee, what is the rate, and will you have to pay a retainer fee?
At Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC, our legal team has more than eight decades of combined legal experience and has successfully handled thousands of criminal cases in New York, from DWIs and drug crimes to more serious cases like sex crimes and violent felonies. We provide our clients with effective and personalized legal solutions specifically designed for each client’s unique circumstances.
Do not hesitate to contact us today at (516) 218-5131 and request a free consultation. Get experienced legal help immediately!