However, this only applies if you have the money to afford one; otherwise you have to settle with whoever the court appoints to represent you. If you do have the resources to hire a lawyer, here are some tips and guidelines to help you pick the right one.
Hire a criminal defense lawyer who specializes and focuses his law practice in the area of defence that you need. It would be best on your part to find one who concentrates in a particular area of defense. There are criminal defense lawyers who specialize in one type of criminal charge such as drug matters, rape, murder, assault, robbery, fraud, felony, among others. Ask for references from family, friends and colleagues. They may know or have experience with a criminal defence lawyer. If you are facing criminal charges that can have you staying behind bars, then you absolutely need a lawyer who knows precisely what he or she is doing. Make sure that your lawyer is duly certified and belongs to prominent and reputable legal organizations.
A seasoned lawyer can determine where the prosecution’s evidence is weak, where the police investigation may be lacking and whether the law has been appropriately applied to your case. It is also important to hire a lawyer whom you are comfortable with and who is willing to spend enough time studying your case and your defence. Your lawyer must be able to provide you with updates such as the date of the trial, what specific strategy you will use during the trial and other crucial matters that can make the verdict go in your favour.
When you finally meet your criminal defence lawyer for consultation and interview, don’t hesitate to ask pertinent questions such as how long has he or she been practicing criminal law and how many cases they won. Ask who will handle your case and make sure that the lawyer you are talking to will be the one who will actually be representing and defending you and not someone else in the firm. Inquire about the fee arrangements and the availability of the lawyer. Although the cost may not matter to you considering the gravity of the situation, it does however enter the picture. You do not want to be facing another offense simply because you were not able to pay your lawyer’s fees! The lawyer must, as much as possible, be always available when you need him/her. Facing a criminal charge is stressful enough so you can find consolation knowing that your criminal defence lawyer is available to answer your questions and address whatever concerns you may have.
In the end, if you chose the right lawyer and you get a not guilty verdict, everything would be worth it and you can leave all your legal issues behind and move on with your life.