It is bad enough being charged with a criminal offence, but having a terrible lawyer can make the situation even worse. The best way to avoid that fate would be to choose wisely when you seeking legal services. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind along the way.
DO hire someone that you don’t have difficulty keeping in touch with. Of course, you cannot expect to reach your lawyer every time you attempt contact, but it should not be impossible to communicate. Before you hire someone, make sure that you try calling them at different times and days to see how hard it is to get them on the phone. If you have extreme difficulty, you should cross them off your list of possibilities.
DON’T hire anyone who promises you a victory. The reality is that there is no lawyer out there that can guarantee a positive outcome, even if the evidence seems to be pointing in your favor. A great defence lawyer will let you know that they will try their best to prevail, but they would never make any promises. Stay far away from anyone who tells you otherwise.
DO seek out a lawyer that only handles criminal defence. You do not want to find someone who has only handled a couple of cases of this specialty. This means that you will be at the mercy of someone who is not really aware of what they are doing. Ideally, your lawyer should have been working in this arena for 10-15 years before you hired them. You can read more about the process of searching for criminal defence specialists on this page.
You should also be careful of people who used to work for the prosecution. There are some lawyers who were once on the opposite side of the fence and have decided to make a career change. They may be competent, but this is not a chance you should be willing to take. You do not want to place all of your cards in the hands of someone who may still have friends in the prosecutor’s office.
Hiring a criminal defence lawyer should not be the hardest thing to do, but sometimes it feels like it. If you are looking for someone who will do all they can to assist with your legal woes, make sure that you consider all of the advice that was offered to you here.