You wish the butterflies in your stomach would settle, but they seem to be getting worse as you scroll through name after hard-to-pronounce name of criminal defense attorneys in your area.
Ah, perfect! This guy seems like he knows what he’s doing! You’re about to pick up the phone when you notice he’s strictly a personal injury lawyer…
Looks like you need some help.
How to Choose the Best Criminal Defense Attorney
Don’t feel bad about your fumblings, choosing a criminal defense attorney can be a surprisingly difficult time—especially when you’re unfamiliar with the legal scene!
To help you on your quest for finding a criminal defense lawyer that’s suitable for you, Bryan Coulter has provided 6 tips on what to look for.
With over a decade of experience with criminal defense in Lafayette, Indiana, Bryan knows about aggressive, thorough representation—and whether or not you’re going to get it.
Let’s take a peek at what you should be looking for!
Does This Lawyer Specialize in Criminal Law?
Have you ever met a jack of all trades? Chances are he wasn’t a lawyer…
When scoping out criminal defense attorneys, it’s important to scour their website or give them a call to see what they specialize in. Attorneys will typically include their specialties on the homepage and provide further background information on their “About Page.” If you can’t find the about page, run!
A quick caveat to specialties: make sure this lawyer does not “specialize” in everything. If you find an attorney with experience with family law, business law, estate planning, and criminal defense, they most likely won’t provide the specialized attention you need!
This would be like going to your family doctor for a triple bypass…
Have You Read the Reviews?
If you need a good place to start, Google the name of their practice and read the Google reviews! You should be able to glean information about some of the benefits and downsides of both the lawyer and practice.
Other reliable sources to check for reviews include:
Look for reviews that state the attorney is honest, thorough, and attentive to your specific case. If the reviews state that the attorney was unprepared, lacked specialized knowledge or was not deeply involved in your case, you may want to consider other options.
Use the Free Consultation!
Never hesitate to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney if they provide the option.
You can essentially use the free consultation as a “free trial” to see if the lawyer would be a good fit for your case and personality.
During the consultation, make sure you thoroughly describe your case and see if the attorney:
- Listens attentively
- Knows the basics
- Suggests a course of action
- Explains both the challenges and positives within your case
- Clearly explains fees
Never feel pressured to hire a criminal defense attorney just because you had a free consultation with them—if they don’t feel like the right fit, move on.
Can You Meet the Team?
At a firm with one lawyer, you will most likely work hand-in-hand with that lawyer and they will be well versed on your specific case. However, in a larger firm, there can be multiple lawyers, paralegals, assistants and other individuals working on your case.
Request to meet everyone on the team. This way you can have a broader view of the expertise and demeanor of the whole firm and how they will handle your case, which should make the decision-making process easier.
Past Experience Is Essential
To learn more about a criminal defense attorney’s expertise, start off by asking them where they attended law school. This can give you a better idea on what type of education and experience they received. You can also inquire about professional organizations or bar associations that they belong to.
You should also look for past experience. Ask if they have trial experience in local courts or if they have skills with negotiating deals with the prosecutor’s office. A lawyer with lots of real-world experience will be more helpful when it comes to your case.
Does the Attorney Seem Confident and Ready to Win?
When you’re involved in a high-stress case in a heated courtroom, you need a criminal defense attorney who will be aggressive, confident, and have excellent communication skills.
A lawyer should be enthused to represent you and prepared to take on the court. If you feel after meeting the lawyer that they seem preoccupied or inattentive, you should keep searching—there are plenty of great lawyers out there!
Where Can You Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Lafayette, Indiana?
You know those butterflies we were talking about earlier? They finally seemed to relax as you picked up the phone and dialed Coulter Law Office.
Bryan Coulter knows the stresses that come with criminal cases, which is why he always takes the time to lay out the challenges and positive features for each individual case. For help with your criminal defense case in Lafayette, Indiana, contact Coulter Law Office for specialized care.