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Finding a High Caliber Criminal Defense Attorney Time is vital for anyone facing criminal charges. Even then, you’d like the best attorney you can find. After listing one or two names of local criminal defense lawyers, try to arrange meetings to consult them. Several good ones are busy, so you could end up meeting with their staff. Don’t delete them from your list only because they are busy. Anyhow, you should come to the meetings prepared. Some criminal defense attorneys will have you answer a questionnaire just before your meeting. Bring as well all documents requested by the lawyer for assessment, including: > All documents received from the court, stating your charges and the next date you are to appear in court;
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> Your bail papers;
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> Any paperwork given by the police if your property was searched; > A copy of the police report if you can get one; > List of all victims, witnesses and defendants. Career History and Experience If you are charged with DUI, there’s no need for a lawyer who mainly represents murder suspects. Here are some questions to ask: > How long is your experience as a criminal defense lawyer? > How often are you seen in the courthouse in which they will handle my case? > Do you typically negotiate plea agreements with the prosecution? > Do you have a good relationship with the prosecutor’s office? > How often do your clients end up in trial? > How familiar to you are the against charges? > How much of your practice is spent representing clients with similar cases? > Are you a member of any bar association or any other professional organization? Case Assessment Regardless of which court you are charged in – county, state or federal – you want a lawyer who can give you a clear idea of what’s in the offing. Some important questions you should ask are: > What are the legal options available to me? > Guilty plea, plea agreement or trial – which one do you recommend? > What parts of my case are favorable to me? > Can you foresee any potential problems with my case? > What should I expect at the various stages of the process, from arraignment to trial? Case Management To prevent misunderstandings, you must know what’s happening behind the scenes with your case. If someone else is handling your case, ask to meet them. You also want to know if the attorney will be representing you personally in court. Very importantly, ask whom you can call if you have questions or concerns. Legal Costs Criminal lawyers almost always charge on an hourly basis, but you are free to explore the possibility of a flat fee. Rates can be highly competitive, so do shop around. As you might expect, reputable lawyers charge higher. You have to decide if it makes sense to pay more for an established attorney or a law, considering the charges against you.