Criminal lawyers are responsible for defending persons charged with a crime. If you are searching for one, then you or a loved one must be going through stressful times. A criminal lawyer will:
- Ensure you get a fair hearing
- Try to prove your innocence and get an acquittal
- Negotiate a lesser sentence with the prosecution if necessary
However, you must choose the right one for your case to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome. Here are five points to look for when hiring a criminal lawyer.
Criminal cases are complex, and every case is unique. A lawyer can not and should not make any promises about the case’s outcome. The lawyer will advise you on the case and explain all available options. They may make recommendations based on their experience with similar cases. But it is impossible for them to know how a case will turn out. A true Toronto criminal justice lawyer will never promise anything at the start. But be wary of one who starts by giving you guarantees on a case that hasn’t even begun yet.
An experienced criminal justice lawyer is familiar with various defense strategies that will be beneficial for you. Choosing a seasoned lawyer will improve your chances of a good outcome. Such a lawyer will know all aspects of the case and how to mount a good defense. You should ask how long they have been handling criminal cases.
There are different types of lawyers and law firms. Some focus on specific areas, while others may offer general services. For a criminal case, you want a lawyer solely specializing in criminal justice. It is better to choose a criminal law firm rather than a general one. Your chances of getting an experienced criminal justice lawyer will be higher. Or you can ask if and how often they handle criminal cases.
4. Legal fees
It is wise to avoid sacrificing quality legal representation for low fees. Criminal defense lawyers are not cheap, and quality legal representation requires a good budget. That said, fees vary among lawyers. Some charge hourly, others have a fixed rate for specific cases, and some offer both options. It is good to compare fees and ensure the lawyer is clear about the costs before hiring them. You want to avoid running into problems during the case. They should explain what the retainer covers and other additional fees you will pay.
5. First impression
Evaluate the initial consultation and determine if the lawyer will be able to help you. Did they seem compassionate and show empathy? Did they take the time to explain your options? Can you determine that they would be reachable when you need them? The initial consultation should give you an impression of these things. They should also factor into your considerations before hiring a justice lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer should provide some level of peace of mind if you are facing charges. That is why you want one that is experienced, result-oriented, and empathetic. The points listed above will help you to make the right choice.