Did you know that in the US, property crime is a much more common occurrence than violent crime? When you find yourself accused of either, you need a defense lawyer. But do you actually know how to identify a good defense lawyer over a subpar defense lawyer?
Fortunately, it is easy to find one with a little work. Read more from Jarret Maillet regarding how to find a good criminal defense attorney.
1. Communication Skills
Hiring an attorney to defend you is all about communication. You need to have an open dialogue with your attorney for a number of reasons. They need to know what your wishes are, they need to communicate their experience, and they need to keep you informed about the process.
On a wider scale, they need to represent you in a trial. Would you want someone to try and persuade a jury of your innocence if they had poor communication skills?
Aside from this, it is not all about their public speaking. They should be good at listening, as they need to pick up on comments and be able to analyze testimonies in real-time.
2. Commitment to Confidentiality
The best criminal defense attorney will have a commitment to confidentiality. In the first instance, they need to keep your information and specifics private from a legal standpoint.
Secondly, disclosing any aspects of your case to their friends and peers could mean information leaks back to the prosecution. This can put the trial in jeopardy, and give people information to use against you in court. While a lawyer will have to share some information with their team, you need to know they can keep the case private elsewhere.
Many people believe that hiring an attorney is all about finding the one that will get the job done. However, you need to make sure that you find one with the same ethics and moral outlook as you. If not, you could end up winning the trial but at a moral cost.
For example, you may get a lawyer who is willing to criticize and question people over issues you do not think are morally justified. Perhaps the lawyer involves themselves in criminal means to get a job done. Find a lawyer that has integrity and one that you admire for their work.
4. Strong Judgement
Very often, a lawyer will have limited information to go on. This is when judgment comes into play. A good lawyer will draw reasonable and structured conclusions from the limited evidence that is available.
By spotting these judgments, the defendant’s arguments can be strengthened. All the lawyer needs to do is find ways to fortify against the weaker elements.
Judgment also includes being decisive. At multiple times in the case, decisions will have to be made that will play a huge part in the outcome. You need a lawyer who can make these decisions in confidence, knowing the strengths, weaknesses, and what the repercussions may be.
As well as being outwardly communicative and confident, the best criminal defense attorney will be extremely analytical. They will have to pour over documents and testimonies, analyzing them for flaws and weaknesses. All of this has to be turned into something logical.
In addition, they also have to know the law. Analyzing loopholes, previous cases, and other information will help when creating a strong defense. If your attorney does not have this, then you can expect a superficial, weak case.
6. People Person
A lawyer needs to be a people person, as it is half of their job. While many think it is all about constructing a case behind the scenes and being confident enough to deliver it, being an attorney also means communicating with others.
This can include their staff, customers, and legal representatives. They have to be able to get people to listen to them, making plea bargains with the opposition or when they give advice to clients. If they can’t work with these people and get them onside, then their career as a lawyer will not be successful.
In addition, people skills give vital clues to a judge. They can read when people are lying, and know how and where to press. Reading a jury is also a vital skill that a high-level, quality attorney should have some degree of success with.
7. Flexible Fee
Hiring the best criminal defense attorney can certainly be expensive. The longer the trial runs on, the more money you are going to incur. For many people, paying all of that money in a lump sum is just not feasible.
Lawyers will charge in two ways. The first is with a flat fee given for all of their work, including the trial. Others may charge by the hour, in which case you need to make sure they have a transparent billing process.
Some may use a hybrid approach, in which a flat fee is charged until the case goes to trial. However, you need someone who is flexible about how you pay them. While fees are a given, you may be able to find someone who can organize a payment arrangement that will suit your budget.
How to Find a Good Criminal Defense Attorney
Now you know how to find a good criminal defense attorney, start looking in the local area. Ask for recommendations, and interview three or four attorneys. You will be putting together your defense before you realize it.
If you are looking for defense for your case, then Jarrett Maillet Criminal Defense should be your first stop. Serving the Savannah area, we have over ten years of experience. Contact us to discuss your case, and we can begin proving your innocence starting today.