A recent study found that over 1 million lawyers practice in the United States. A lawyer is needed in most legal disputes, especially in a criminal case. To find the right attorney for you, ask for a consultation.
In a consultation, you can describe your situation and ask them questions to see if they are right for the job. However, what questions help show their knowledge and give you insight into a lawyer’s practice?
Don’t worry! We investigated the best questions to ask a criminal defense attorney. That way, you can decide whether a lawyer is right for you.
Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at five questions to ask a criminal defense lawyer:
1. How Much Do You Charge?
First and foremost, you need to know the cost of your defense. There will be attorney fees, possibly witness costs, investigation costs, and other miscellaneous fees.
When talking to an attorney, ask about the potential costs and what they may be. Also, inquire about how their legal costs are structured.
Attorneys usually have an hourly fee, but sometimes they require a flat fee for their services. If the lawyer has a flat flee, ask what that fee includes and doesn’t include and if it needs to be paid upfront or in an installment plan.
Don’t be afraid to ask for an estimate of both their fees and additional expenses. Just remember it is an estimate; the real number could increase or decrease.
Nonetheless, it will give you insight into how much your case will cost with that particular attorney. Always compare estimates; different lawyers have different fees, which might be more affordable for you. Get at least two to three estimates before hiring a lawyer.
2. Do You Mainly Practice Criminal Law?
Once they have a license, lawyers are legally allowed to represent any client, even if they have little experience. That’s why you’ll see lawyers describe themselves as being general practice lawyers. Think of it as being a jack of all trades; they know a small amount about each type of law.
However, criminal defense cases are complex. To understand how to represent one, a lawyer must have lots of first-hand experience and knowledge in criminal law. Always ask a lawyer what they primarily practice.
This will give you insight into what they are strongest and best at. If the answer is anything other than criminal law, switch lawyers. After all, don’t you want a lawyer with in-depth experience in criminal law to try your case?
We at Barone Defense Firm focus exclusively on criminal law. If you need a criminal defense lawyer, contact us today or visit our website at baronedefensefirm.com to learn more about our services.
3. What Is Your Success Rate?
Of course, you want an experienced lawyer, but more importantly, you want a successful lawyer. Always ask a lawyer about their success rate to gauge whether the attorney can get you the outcome you want.
Ideally, you’d want a lawyer with an 80% success rate or higher. Talk to them about their success history; if they are vague or dodge the question entirely, that’s a red flag. You want a lawyer that’s honest about their history, whether it’s good or bad.
It not only displays they aren’t hiding anything, but they want to earn your trust. If you need more information, ask them why they believe they lost a certain case. This follow-up question lets you see if he or she has learned from their mistakes.
Once the attorney gives his or her answer, ask them how they would avoid making those mistakes again. This question should evoke a thoughtful and long response.
If they give a snarky or generic response, don’t hire them. Everyone makes mistakes; however, it’s how a person learns from them and changes their actions that matters.
4. What Strategy Would You Propose For My Case?
You can ask this question to test a lawyer’s knowledge of criminal law. A good lawyer can outline several strategies, explaining why they chose them and their possible pros and cons.
Now, these strategies may or may not be used to represent your case. Instead, the question aims to showcase the lawyer’s knowledge and ability to frame a narrative to fit your case.
If a lawyer gives a general or vague response, they are not the lawyer for you. Your lawyer must be able to think on his or her feet and represent you with a knowledgeable stance.
5. How and How Often Will You Communicate With Me About My Case?
You’ll likely have questions or concerns about your case. It’s crucial that you are able to contact your attorney and speak with them about your questions and concerns.
Remember, communication looks different for every lawyer. Some may like calling vs. emailing or facetime over a short text. Talk with your attorney to understand their preferred method of communication, so you know the best way to reach them.
If you have to wait more than 72 hours to get an answer to your question, it’s time for a new lawyer. A lawyer should focus on client communication; that way, you feel comfortable and are in the know about your defense.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
No two lawyers are the same. You would do yourself a great disservice if you didn’t ask a lawyer questions about their history and knowledge as a criminal defense attorney.
So to start off, ask a lawyer what they charge and possible additional expenses. Ask about their experience with cases like yours and their success rate. These questions will help you get comfortable with one another and allow you to decide if a lawyer is right for you.
For more information about law affairs, visit our website today.