In today’s world of social media, smartphones, internet marketing, and with there being a surplus of lawyers in the marketplace, deciding which lawyer to hire for a criminal charge can be a daunting task, especially for those with no experience in the criminal justice system.
One of the biggest things I see potential clients doing is simply looking for the lowest cost lawyer they can find to represent them. Calling 10 lawyers and hiring the cheapest one is not a good game plan when so much is on the line.
In some areas of life, finding a commodity at the lowest price is the name of the game. For example, someone in the market for a used car is always going to look for the cheapest price possible. If they go to lot A and see a car for sale for $20,000 and lot B is selling the same car in similar condition for $18,500, we know which car is getting sold. This same rationale should never apply to selecting a criminal defense lawyer.
The reason is simple: there is a wide spectrum of talent within the legal field. Invariably, the talent level corresponds to the pricing level. If a lawyer’s only selling point is that he’s the cheapest in town, this should cause you hesitation. Aside from price, consumers should be asking about the lawyer’s experience handling a particular type of case.
They should also be asking about the results that lawyer has obtained on those types of cases in the past. How many of these cases has the lawyer argued in front of juries? How often is this lawyer in trial fighting for his or her clients? What sort of special training has the lawyer undertaken to prepare to handle this type of case? How do past clients of the lawyer feel about the lawyer’s service? What is the lawyer’s reputation in the legal community? Even asking why the lawyer became a defense lawyer in the first place may shed light on who you are hiring. How responsive is the lawyer in returning client phone calls? Will you be handed off to a legal assistant or junior lawyer?
Don’t get me wrong, the cost of a service is an extremely important consideration, but a plethora of other factors are just as important in making this all important decision. My advice is to meet with a few lawyers after first vetting them online and hire the one you feel the most comfortable with. Check out www.avvo.com and read reviews that previous clients have posted about the lawyer.
When you meet a lawyer guaranteeing a result for the lowest price in town, run and don’t look back. Right after being released from jail, persons are in a low, vulnerable state and, unfortunately, some lawyers will take advantage of that. Take your time and find the right lawyer for your particular situation.
As the case progresses, you don’t want to be second guessing who you hired. Instead, you want to focus your energy on working with a lawyer you trust to build a formidable defense. Hopefully, you can secure your good name and future in the process. Good luck!