How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Attorney

There's never a good time to think about a criminal defense attorney. If this is on your radar, it means that something bad has happened or something bad is about to happen. When you're arrested, or when you're being questioned by police, it's time to think about the person who's going to defend you. Not all criminal defense lawyers are created equally. You should be very careful in who you choose. After all, it's your liberty that's on the line when you're staring down these charges. Here are some tips to remember when you have to make this difficult and important choice.


Comfort level is key


One of the fundamental elements of a good defense is good communication. Your attorney is going to need to know exactly what happened. There may be some uncomfortable details that you have to reveal about yourself during the course of the process. This is naturally, of course, but it does not make the ordeal any easier. With that in mind, you should focus on choosing an attorney that you're completely comfortable with. Ask yourself whether you'd be comfortable telling this person something about yourself that no one else knows. If the answer is no, then you might want to shop for an attorney you can trust.


Experience specific to your accused crime


While defending a person accused of DUI is somewhat similar to defending a person accused of murder, there are some fundamental differences that will be very important as you go through the process. You should be looking for a lawyer who has experience defending people who have been accused of your crime. Not only will that person have a more intimate knowledge of the case law surrounding your situation, but he'll also have relationships with the judges who preside over cases like yours.


Has your attorney ever been a prosecutor?


This question might seem insignificant. You'll find over time, however, that it's a critical element of defense lawyering. Lawyers who have been on both sides of the aisle have a good understanding of the process. This is not to say that a lawyer must have served as a prosecutor in order to do a good job. There are certainly lifetime defenders who can defend their clients well. It is just to say that people who've served as prosecutors will be better acquainted with the ins and outs of what the prosecution may want to do in your case.


A lawyer willing to be firm while keeping your wishes in mind


Being a criminal defense lawyer can be difficult in some cases. That's because these lawyers have to keep your wishes in mind while also giving you the truth about your case. When you meet with an attorney the first time, see whether he is willing to listen to what you have to say. Some lawyers want to railroad their clients into taking bad plea deals because this is easier than going to trial. You'll want a lawyer who will respect what you want to do. At the same time, you should also look for an attorney who will give it to you straight. Good lawyers can clearly communicate to clients when going to trial is a losing proposition. Find this balance in order to have the best possible experience.

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