You need an attorney. The charges against you are scary, and you fear the worst. What are your options? Do you even know where to start? The great thing about living in this century is that a quick online search will drum up a long list of potential criminal defense attorneys with glowing reviews, but how do you know which one is right for you and your case? Also, can you afford to hire a law firm?
Public Defenders can be Great
If money is a significant concern, then you might be able to qualify for a public defender or a court-appointed attorney free of charge. Does that scare you? Do you assume that the free label means that these lawyers are somehow less qualified? They aren’t. Despite the negative stereotypes of public defenders as overworked, underpaid lawyers who don’t care, nothing could be further from the truth. These attorneys are incredibly dedicated, and most of them have more courtroom experience than the hirer paid attorneys at those fancy law firms. Also, since public defenders have so much courtroom experience, they likely have professional relationships with prosecutors, which can lead to better negotiation skills on your behalf.
Don’t Always Go with the Most Expensive Choice
If you do not qualify for a public defender, or aren’t comfortable with your assigned attorney, then ask around and do some online searching for criminal defense attorneys in your area, but don’t assume that a higher hourly rate equates to a better attorney. You will often find that attorneys who charge $150 per hour are just as capable as those charge $500 an hour. If you are going to spend an excessive amount on an hourly attorney, then make sure that you are getting access to tremendous resources and a team that will be dedicated to your case. Also ask about an attorney using a flat fee model instead of an hourly model. It will likely work out in your favor.
Interview Your Options
Once you have a list of potential lawyers and firms, interview each. Many firms, especially the more expensive ones, will allow for a sit-down consultation. Take advantage. However, do not go in unprepared. You will want to have a list of questions at the ready, and make sure you have your charging document for the attorney to review. When asking, take note of the patience of the lawyer, and their ability to explain and clarify things. You want to be comfortable with your attorney, especially for potentially long trials.
Hiring or finding a defense attorney does not have to be intimidating, and in some cases, might not even be necessary. If you are in the market for a criminal defense lawyer in Towson, MD, then call local law firms and schedule a consultation.
Thanks to Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into criminal law and choosing a defense attorney.