Oftentimes, you are in a position of having far less knowledge about your circumstances than the attorney. Placing trust in someone you do not know to represent you in court is not easy. With all of the lawyer advertising, uninformed opinions, etc., it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. There are a lot of very good criminal defense attorneys. Unfortunately, there are attorneys who aren’t so great. Like any big decision, you have to do your research. But here are a couple points to consider when choosing a criminal defense attorney:
- Trust your gut.
It may sound too simple, but use your instincts when evaluating any attorney. Does the attorney seem like he/she wants to be there, or do you feel like just another “client?” Does the attorney take the time to listen to you and answer your questions? If you feel like he/she is not engaged with you or taking you seriously, chances are that a lack of trust will always be there. This will make both of your jobs harder and take focus away from your case.
- Ask questions, get answers.
An attorney’s job is, not only to go to court on behalf of a client but to educate the client so that they can make an informed decision. To truly know if you are making the right decision about the attorney, you have to be prepared to ask questions, know what you are looking for, and determine whether the attorney is knowledgeable enough to represent you. That does not mean that an attorney is “bad” if they cannot answer every, single question off the top of their heads. The law is voluminous, ever-changing, and complex. When asking the attorney questions, you should be determining whether they seem knowledgeable, but also upfront about your circumstances.