If you are in need of criminal defense representation, the attorney that helped you buy your house or handled your aunt’s case won’t be able to help you out. You want an attorney who handles in criminal law to defend your case. An experienced 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. After all, isn’t your freedom priceless?
Finding the right lawyer can be a confusing process, that’s why we distilled the process down to a few must-ask questions and points.
So what do you need to look for in a criminal defense lawyer?
Criminal Law Experience
A lawyer should be able to show you that he has successfully defended cases similar to 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 if they have represented people with similar cases, how many of those cases the law firm handles per year, and what are their outcomes.
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 on.
Carroll Troberman, PLLC lawyers have years of experience defending criminal cases.
Local Court Experience
Hiring a lawyer with experience in the jurisdiction where your case will be tried can improve your chances of getting a better verdict in court. Sometimes, there are local laws that may be overlooked if the attorney you hire doesn’t have experience in your local jurisdiction. A local attorney will also have a better understanding at how police officers are most likely to plead in court, and have a better ability to guess which way certain attorneys are going to plead the moment before trial versus those who 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 of these boxes you stand a better chance of a favorable outcome in court.
Carroll Troberman attorneys, 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 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.
At times, some lawyers will take on a bunch of cases at once simply for the sake of profit. You’ll want to avoid working with a lawyer that does this, as they won’t be able to dedicate the necessary time to your case.
At Carroll Troberman we believe that a good client relationship is imperative to the services that we offer.
Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Lawyer Questions
Although the above points will give you a great background to utilize when choosing a criminal defense lawyer, you may still have a few questions, which we’ve done our best to answer below.
What is the difference between a criminal defense attorney and public defender?
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may be wondering if you should use a public defender or a defense attorney. Usually, public defenders are reserved for people who can’t afford to hire a defense attorney. If you do have the means to hire a criminal defense attorney, it would be a good investment, as most public defenders have a very large caseload, which means they won’t be able to give your case the time it deserves.
How do I know if I need a state or federal attorney?
The type of criminal defense attorney you’ll want to hire depends upon the level of law that you were charged with breaking. If the law you broke is at the state level, then you’ll want a lawyer that handles in dealing with criminal charges at the state level. While, if you’ve been charged with breaking a federal law then you’ll want to work with an attorney that handless in federal cases.
Federal cases are usually much larger and require more time, so you’ll want to ensure that your attorney has the bandwidth to take on your case.
How do criminal defense attorneys usually charge for their services?
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer doesn’t have to be confusing. Most lawyers’ rates increase based upon the complexity of the case at hand. If your case requires more work, prompting the attorney to bring in expert witnesses, then your payment will be higher.
There are a few different pay structures that you might one across and should be aware of:
- The first are hourly rates, where your attorney will charge based upon the total amount of hours worked on your case.
- Flat fees are also a common means of payment. Usually, a portion of this flat fee will include a refundable minimum retainer.
The price of representation also increases with the magnitude of your case. For instance, a felony case usually starts around $5,000 and will increase from there. While, a misdemeanor case will usually cost up to a couple thousand dollars.
Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer can be a big decision. After all, they have the ability to potentially reduce your charges and decrease your jail time.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you should get in touch with an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. At Carroll Troberman, PLLC, we have the criminal defense experience to handle your case. Our Austin criminal defense attorneys fight aggressively for your rights. Call us today at 512-478-3800 to set up a free, confidential legal consultation.