If you are charged with a crime, one of the biggest decisions that you will make is related to the attorney you hire. So many cases are not won or lost in court – they are won and lost based on who is representing you. Why? Because some lawyers are simply better than others. They have better relationships with the other side and they have the experience and skill set to get their clients a good deal, or off completely. If you are concerned about getting convicted or doing jail time, ensure you are hiring the right attorney. Here are three of the biggest pitfalls to avoid.
- Hiring a Friend or Family Member
It is understandable that you would go with a friend or family member as they know you and they will charge you less money. But it is not always the best idea. If your acquaintance is an expert in that type of criminal defense law and they have been practicing for many years, you will be okay. But if you are hiring someone inexperienced simply because you know them, your case may not go so well. Remember that civil and criminal cases are not the same, and having a civil lawyer represent you in a criminal case is a recipe for disaster.
- Hiring Someone Excessively Aggressive
You will want an aggressive criminal defense lawyer because they will do everything to ensure that you are getting a favorable outcome. But you also do not want someone who is putting aggression before reason. Far too many attorneys have a point to prove, and often take unnecessary risks. It may pay off sometimes but it can also land you in trouble if your lawyer is not careful.
Whether dealing with the case itself or a sentencing hearing, you are going to want a lawyer, like the attorneys at Lawson Legal, who is putting your interests first. Be careful about those attorneys that will push you towards going for a criminal trial simply to make more money from your case. If your lawyer is constantly pushing the idea of a trial, even though a pre-trial settlement would be in your best interests, you may want to find new representation.
- Not Asking About Billing Policies
Every attorney and law firm has their own policies when it comes to payments. Some will need payment up front while others take the full fee when the trial is over. Others will be willing to set up some type of payment plan. Make sure you know the payment policy of your attorney. The worst mistake you can make is getting into a situation where you are in the middle of your trial, but you did not realize that your attorney’s entire fee is due in a few days. It would put you in a terrible spot, especially if your attorney were to quit your case halfway through.
We can understand the urge to hire someone quickly. But you must remain patient while trying to hire an attorney. Do not go for the first person you think is likable, or the cheapest option that you get. Keep in mind: the lawyer you are hiring may well determine your fate. Choose wisely!
Author Bio: Jerry Wells holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science, and blogs about politics, environment, law and business management during his free time.