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What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

There is nothing more frightening and that can cause long term damage to you, your family and your future than to be arrested and charged with a crime. Whether you are guilty or innocent of the crime you have been charged with, it’s important that you understand your rights. A criminal offense on your record can have an extremely negative effect on your life and future. Most jobs, landlords, and money lending institutions require a background check or a disclosure of convictions. Even a criminal charge that is later dismissed can be found online and cause you future headaches and problems.

A good criminal defense attorney is your advocate and is focused on achieving the best possible outcome for you in court. If you have been charged with a crime or if you know that there is a warrant out for your arrest, it is smart to hire a criminal defense attorney right away, before you unintentionally say or do something that will harm your case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer who has worked with the local police and court system can negotiate on your behalf and navigate the complicated criminal court system.

Many people who are arrested but insist they are innocent of the charges don’t understand the legal process and their rights. They hurt their own case by refusing to understand the seriousness of a criminal charge. If you need to hire a criminal defense attorney, it is important that you hire the right attorney to represent you and protect your rights.

7 Questions To Ask Before You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

1. Do have have a free consultation? 
Does the criminal defense attorney charge for an initial meeting to discuss your case and advise a strategy?

2. Have you handled a case like mine before? 
Many people get attorney references from family and friends. Not all lawyers have the same training and experience. If you are charged with a crime, it’s important that your hire an attorney with criminal defense experience – not a real estate attorney.

3. Have you had cases involving this police department or this court? 
It’s important that your criminal defense lawyer knows the local court system where you are charge.

4. How long have you practiced criminal law?
Does the attorney have years of experience in other types of law, and only recently begun to handle criminal cases?

5. Who else will be working on my case?
Who will actually handle your case? Does the attorney have a professional legal team who will assist on your case? Some attorneys work alone, and others have paralegals and other attorneys who may work with them.

6. How often will you communicate with me?
What is the procedure if you have questions? How frequently will the criminal defense attorney meet with you? Is the attorney available for questions nights and weekends?

7. How much will my case cost?
Is your criminal case flat-fee, and what is that fee? What are your options for payment? If there is an hourly rate, how much is the retainer? What could happen that the lawyer’s fee will increase? What other costs will you be required to cover?

Hiring a lawyer is an important decision that will impact your future. If you are being accused of a crime, it is exceedingly important that you seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney that you can trust. It is important that you ask the right questions to find the criminal defense attorney who can help find you get the best possible outcome for your situation.

Let us help you defend yourself from the damaging effects of a conviction: you can trust Brown & Dutton Law Firm. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call (770) 422-4241 or email