Most of my client's come to me by referral. It may be another attorney referring a client, a former client or a friend or family member making the referral. Many of these referred client's tell me that they didn't know how to find a criminal defense attorney, and didn't know how to compare the attorney's they did find. In response to these types of questions I typically explain that someone charged with a crime should consider the following when hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney.
1. Experience: How many years has the attorney practiced law? How many cases have they handled? How many trials have they had? Do they regularly handle the type of case you are charged with (example: Drunk Driving (DUI/OWI), Theft Sex Crimes ?
2. How much of the lawyers practice is dedicated to criminal defense? Don't hire an attorney who "dabbles" in criminal defense work. Criminal defense law is ever evolving and an attorney who does not keep up with the changes in law, is not the attorney to handle your case. Trial skills must be honed and maintained by regularly appearing in front of criminal courts for trials and hearings.
3. Is the lawyer you hired going to represent you, or will an associate attorney be handling the case?
4. Be VERY wary of attorney's who "guarantee" a specific outcome. No attorney should ever guarantee an outcome to a client. Remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it is.
5. Don't hire an attorney just because he or she has the lowest (or highest) fee. Typically, you will get what you pay for. Your freedom and liberty (not to mention your drivers license (if charged with Driving While Suspended, DUI/OWI or Habitual Traffic Violator are at stake.
If you have questions regarding criminal charges, please contact Gregory A. Miller, a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer, at (260) 833-7249.