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How to Interview a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you should find yourself in need of an attorney, it would be a great idea to prepare yourself effectively. Make a list of questions that you can ask during each interview. Interview several attorneys and know exactly what you are looking for.

Ask How Much It is Going to Cost

Billing will be done differently from firm to firm. Attorneys may ask for a large retainer up front to cover costs as they arise; other lawyers bill for those costs as they occur. Every lawyer will have a slightly different approach to billing and costs. Sometimes attorneys can accept payment plans. The most important thing is that you know about costs beforehand and you understand how they will be implemented.

Ask Who is Going to Help You

Ask your potential attorney if they will be available to answer your call at any point. Make sure you are comfortable with the answer you get. You should also see who will handle your questions; will you be helped by the attorney, or will you be pawned off on a paralegal? Will your updates be given you by telephone or will they be done in writing? Will the attorney be present at each step of the legal proceedings, or will a different lawyer in the same firm?

Ask about the size of the lawyer’s firm. How many people are employed there? Will you be getting help from other lawyers, other paralegals, and legal secretaries? What is the firm’s reputation?

Would you be more comfortable with a small firm that would give you more personal service? Would you rather have a small team that will all recognize you and know how your case is progressing? Would you rather the attorney be more available to you?

Make sure you know the answers to those questions and feel like the attorney is really on your side and cares about your future.

Ask What Kind of Experience They Have

How many years has your lawyer been practicing law? How many years has he or she been specializing in criminal law? You are sure they are specializing in criminal law, right? You want to make sure that the lawyer you choose to protect your future has the ability to do so.

Having an attorney who has experience on both sides of the case is very beneficial. A criminal defense lawyer who has been a prosecuting attorney is an ideal candidate. This person can evaluate your case from both sides; this option gives you an almost unfair advantage. This lawyer would be a definite boon to your defense.

Don’t feel bad if the attorney you see gives you a referral elsewhere. They may understand that they aren’t the best lawyer for you or your case. Visit the person they suggested. Ask the same questions of that lawyer; make sure the lawyer, the case, and you are a good fit. It’s your future on the line.