What to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Austin
If you need a criminal defense lawyer, the attorney that helped you buy your house or handled your aunt’s case won’t be able to help you out. An experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer is the difference between a jail sentence and an acquittal. You may think the initial investment might be a bit steep, however, this could be an investment in your freedom. Finding the right Austin criminal defense attorney can be a confusing process, that’s why we distilled the process down to a few points:
Criminal Law Experience
A lawyer should be able to show you that he has successfully defended cases like yours in the past. If, for example, you are charged with a white-collar crime, you don’t want to get a lawyer who handles mostly drug offenses.
You should always ask a potential lawyer the following:
- If they have represented people with similar cases
- How many of those cases the law firm handles per year
- What have those outcomes been
In some cases, you may want to speak with their colleagues as well. A criminal defense lawyer that is respected by their colleagues is usually very talented, and has developed good relationships with judges, which may help your case later.
Local Court Experience
Hiring an Austin lawyer with experience in the jurisdiction where your case will be tried can improve your chances of getting a better verdict in court.
- Sometimes, an inexperienced or out-of-area attorney may overlook local laws.
- A local attorney will have a better understanding of how police officers are most likely to plead in court.
- A local attorney will have a better ability to guess which way certain attorneys are going to plead the moment before trial.
- A local attorney will be able to make an experienced guess about which attorneys will negotiate.
During a criminal case, you’ll want every advantage you can get. You don’t want to sacrifice criminal-law knowledge and experience for local court experience, but if you can find a lawyer that checks all these boxes you stand a better chance of a favorable outcome in court. The defense attorneys at Carroll Troberman, PLLC, Blair Carroll and Meredith “Shelly” Troberman, have great professional relationships with judges and prosecutors in Central Texas courts.
You want to feel comfortable when talking to your criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer needs to represent you in your case, so you want there to be a personal connection in your professional relationship. Look for a lawyer who involves you in all the decisions that need to be made and who sees you as more than just another case.
The Criminal Charge Process
Perhaps your entire knowledge of the criminal process comes from television courtroom dramas and you’re wondering what really goes on in real life when it comes to the criminal charge process. Or, perhaps you’ve just been charged and want to know what lies ahead. Either way, you deserve to know the typical criminal charge process in the US.
After an arrest is made, a police officer will fill out an arrest report describing the time, date, location, and other details of the arrest. The arrest report is then submitted to the prosecutor who will decide what criminal charges (if any) should be pursued.
charges will be filed within 48-72 hours of the arrest, depending on the jurisdiction. The type of charge a prosecutor decides to go with depends on a few things: community policies on certain crimes, their own political beliefs, and justice required of the situation. If the prosecutor decides on a felony charge, a grand jury will be involved in deciding whether the charges are adequate.
Grand juries are not the same as the juries in trials, called petit juries. While petit juries determine if the defendant is guilty or not guilty, grand juries will determine if there is enough evidence to allow for a trial. In general, grand juries are made up of larger groups of people and can sit on a case for up to a year and a half. They also do not have to be unanimous in their decision like petit juries do.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal act, it’s imperative to get legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the Austin criminal defense lawyers today at Carroll Troberman, PLLC for a consultation.