One of the hardest challenges we possibly have to deal with in any criminal case is selecting a criminal defense attorney. For starters, many people often underestimate the gravity of their cases and would only give some thought to choosing a criminal defense attorney only when it is clear the ruling may be against their favor.
However, experts advise that regardless of how trivial your case may appear to be, choosing a criminal defense attorney is always a wise decision so in this article, we shall discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing such an attorney.
Are They Specialized in Civil or Criminal Cases?
It is important to begin by understanding the nature of charges preferred against you as defense attorneys are often specialized in that regard. Your case could either be a civil or a criminal one. A civil case refers to one brought against you by an individual or a company while a criminal case refers to one that is brought against you by a local, state or a federal government.
Understanding the expertise of a defense attorney with regards to either of these two cases will already give you a head start when approaching the case.
Are They Specialized in State or Federal Law?
Another major area of specialization is with regards to state or federal law and understudying the nature of your case with regards to either of these will help you select the best defense attorney for your case. As a general rule, state law refers to cases such as broken contracts, robberies, family feuds, traffic violations etc while federal law refers to cases such as constitutional violations for which your country is party, copyright infringement and intellectual property cases, patent cases etc.
Evidently federal cases require a more experienced attorney as they are considered more serious and in the event of a conviction, could have you spending many years behind bars.
Are They Specialized In Your Specific Case?
As a general rule, you should always look for a criminal defense attorney who concentrates his practice in a given area of defense that you require. Naturally, you will find many criminal lawyers who handle routine criminal defense cases but a specialized defense attorney is always a cut above the rest.
Do you need defense in a rape case? Is it a violence or burglary case? Are you a protagonist in a family feud or are you the main suspect in a homicide? These and many more are the kinds of questions you will need to settle with before selecting a lawyer specialized in the specific area.
What Is Your Financial Position?
Litigations are capital-intensive and as such, you need to be adequately prepared in terms of finances. In case you cannot afford the often high fees charged by defense attorneys, you may be entitled to a public defender. This is a defense attorney specialized in helping people with meager resources.
However, you need to be aware that as they also have limited time and resources to allocate to your case, they may not always be the best. This means that at all cost, you should try to consolidate some resources and ensure you hire a professional defense attorney if you are serious about increasing your chances of having the ruling made in your favor.