When you face criminal charges, you need the best lawyer you can get. The founders enshrined the right to an attorney in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution because it is critical for defendants to have legal counsel.
If you were arrested, you should have received a Miranda warning informing you of your right to an attorney. As part of that warning, the officer probably said, “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”
This means that you have three choices for representation when facing criminal charges:
- Defend yourself without the assistance of an attorney,
- Ask for a court-appointed attorney, or
- Hire a criminal defense lawyer.
While you can’t guarantee a successful outcome with any of these choices, hiring a criminal defense lawyer usually gives you the best legal representation. Defending yourself is a risky move because you may not understand the complexities of criminal law. Accepting a public defender seems like a good option, but these attorneys are often burdened with excessive workloads.
Hiring an attorney can feel like a complicated challenge because there are so many lawyers out there. If you have the resources to hire a criminal defense lawyer, you may wonder, How do I choose a criminal defense attorney near me?
Four Tips for Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Here, we’ll share four tips that should make your criminal defense lawyer search easier.
Closer Isn’t Always Better
You may be tempted to choose a lawyer close to your home. You want to know, Is there a criminal defense lawyer near me? This is certainly a convenient option, but a close lawyer isn’t always best. Be willing to drive a little to find experienced legal representation.
Ask for References
Do you know anyone else who faced criminal charges? Ask that person if they had a good attorney. If you know an attorney who practices a different area of law—like divorces or real estate—ask them for a criminal defense attorney recommendation.
Run an Attorney Search Online
Find attorney reviews online on sites like Avvo, Facebook, or Google. Experienced attorneys may have hundreds of reviews posted online. Read through other clients’ feedback to feel more confident about your attorney choice.
Consult Your Local or State Bar Association’s Attorney Directory
The Ohio State Bar Association offers an attorney directory and even lets you sort results by specialty. Also, if you would like to understand more about the law surrounding your criminal charge, this site is full of legal information.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer
Once you find a potential attorney, you’ll want to schedule a consultation. This meeting allows you to share your experience with the attorney and receive legal direction. The attorney can offer potential strategies, and you can ask questions.
When you speak to an attorney, be sure to ask them these questions:
- How long have you been practicing?
- Do you offer free consultations?
- Have you handled cases like mine?
- How do your fees work?
If you decide to hire the criminal defense lawyer, you’ll sign a contract so your attorney can start your defense.
Choosing the Right Attorney Is Crucial
When you face criminal charges, your freedom is on the line. You need to pay careful attention to each step you take after you’re charged. Every interaction you have with the police could put your defense at risk. An attorney can advise you on what to say and not say when speaking to the police.
You need a criminal defense lawyer with the knowledge to present your best defense. An experienced attorney will use every legal strategy available to set you free. You’ll want to find a law firm with a successful record and plenty of passion for their work.
You’ll find all of these qualifications and more at Gounaris Abboud, LPA. Our Ohio criminal defense attorneys have a combined 50 years of legal experience. We offer confident, aggressive criminal defense as we attempt to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Get an Opinion on Your Case Today
Stop worrying about how to defend yourself against criminal charges, and take action. Schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and get started on your best defense. Call our knowledgeable law firm today at 937-222-1515 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.