There are more than 800,000 lawyers currently working in the United States, and many of them are criminal defense lawyers. If you’ve been charged with a crime, chances are you’re looking for someone with good lawyer skills who can represent you in court and help to get the charges against you dropped, or at least reduced.
When you’re searching for a criminal lawyer, there’s a lot you need to keep in mind. As with any other profession, not all lawyers are created equal. Read on to learn about the key signs that a criminal defense lawyer is great at their job and can help you with your case.
What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?
A criminal lawyer represents those who are facing criminal charges on a state or federal level. They must carry out a variety of responsibilities, including the following:
- Investigating cases
- Interviewing witnesses
- Research case law, codes, and statutes in their area
- Building a defense for their client
- Negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce charges or have them dropped
- Drafting, filing, and arguing motions
- Advocating for the defendant during the trial
- Drafting, filing, and arguing appeals after the judge has made a decision
When you’re involved in a criminal case, be it a DUI or something more serious like accusations of domestic violence, it’s always in your best interest to have a criminal lawyer on your side.
What Makes a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer?
You have a basic criminal lawyer description to work with. Remember, it’s not enough just to work with any criminal defense lawyer, though. Make sure you’re working with someone who has the skills and qualifications necessary to represent you and either get your charges dropped or have them reduced in a significant way.
What makes a good lawyer and, more specifically, a good criminal lawyer? When you’re reviewing candidates, the following are some key characteristics of the defense lawyer that you ought to look for to ensure they’re fit for the job:
First, it’s imperative that any criminal lawyer you consider working with has extensive legal knowledge. Find out where they went to school and when they graduated.
Ask them what steps they take to make sure they have a firm understanding of the current legal landscape, too. The answers to these questions, plus the way they speak to you during your consultation, will help you understand if they’re knowledgeable enough for the job.
Speaking of the way they speak to you, look for a criminal defense lawyer who has excellent communication skills. They should be able to explain complicated legal matters in a way that makes sense and helps you understand exactly what is going on with regards to your case. They should be polite and professional as well, and you should feel comfortable sharing all the details of your situation with them.
In addition to having a good base knowledge of criminal law and what’s likely to happen with your case, your lawyer should also have excellent research skills. A big part of their job is researching past cases, as well as the finer points of the laws themselves, to look for ways to reduce or get rid of the charges against you.
Your lawyer must be able to analyze the information they’re taking in, too. They need to be able to understand what the laws and the outcomes of past cases mean and look for ways to spin the information so that it works for your case. If they can’t do this, or can’t do it well, it’ll be harder for you to be let off the hook.
A certain amount of aggressiveness and perseverance is needed from criminal lawyers. They need to be willing to stick with your case until the end and give you their full attention until they arrive at a conclusion that works in your favor.
Dedication to Confidentiality
You need to feel that you can trust your lawyer if you’re going to share the most personal, intimate details of your case (which are necessary if you want to have a chance at securing a victory). Look for a lawyer who is known for keeping things confidential and is unlikely to leak your information to the press or to anyone else.
Good Courtroom Demeanor
Another essential part of your lawyer’s job is to represent you in court. That’s why you need to search for a criminal defense lawyer who has a good courtroom demeanor.
Try to find someone who’s known for doing well under pressure and who won’t let the judge or another lawyer intimidate them. Read reviews from their past clients and see what people have to say about a particular lawyer’s courtroom presence before you agree to work with them.
Sometimes, you’re going to get a less-than-ideal ruling from a judge. In these situations, you need to have a lawyer on your side who’s willing to negotiate and get you a better outcome.
Make sure your attorney has the skills necessary to get this done. Reading their reviews, as well as learning about the typical outcomes they get from cases like yours, can help you determine whether or not their negotiation skills are up to par.
A Personal Touch
Finally, look for a lawyer who will take your case personally. Legal marketing experts like those at http://gladiatorlawmarketing.com/marketing-for-criminal-defense-lawyers often emphasize the importance of getting personal in marketing and promotional materials.
Make sure your lawyer also is willing to get personal when dealing with your specific case, though. If they take the situation personally, they’ll be more inclined to give it their all and work hard to secure a good outcome for you.
Find the Best Lawyer Today
Now that you know more about what to look for in a criminal defense lawyer, it’s time to begin your search. Follow the guidelines outlined above and you’ll be able to sort through the options in your area and find a great lawyer to defend you and protect your rights.
Do you want to learn more about hiring or working with a lawyer? If so, check out some of the other legal-related articles on our site today.