What should you ask your criminal defense lawyer? That is a question that many people don’t know the answer to. Asking the right questions will help you feel safer and more confident in your choice of counsel. In this blog post, we will discuss ten questions that every client should ask their Rochester criminal defense lawyer before entering into an agreement with them.
What is your hourly rate?
An attorney’s hourly rate can vary greatly depending on their experience level and how busy they are. If you want to feel comfortable with the cost of hiring an attorney, it’s important that you understand what goes into determining their billing rates. This will help you better anticipate costs related to legal fees.
What is your Retainer?
According to King Law, every client should ask their attorney what the fee required to hire them will be. This way, you know how much must be paid upfront before they begin working on your case. The retainer, or fee required to hire an attorney, can vary greatly depending on the attorney’s practice area and experience level. If you would like to know more about the average retainer, we recommend that you read this blog post: “How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer?”
What is your Success Rate?
Every client should ask their criminal defense lawyer about their professional reputation and what kind of results they’ve been able to achieve for their clients. Your lawyer should provide you with a list of references and some examples of cases they have successfully handled in the past, along with details on how they could help them reach a positive outcome.
What Areas do you Practice?
Every client should ask they are criminal defense attorney what type of law they practice. If the attorney only practices criminal defense, you know that they should be well-versed in all aspects of this area and handle your case easily. An experienced trial lawyer will understand what it takes to win a criminal case and can use their experience defending clients like yourself against unfair legal charges.
How Long Have you Been Practicing Law?
While an attorney’s experience level is important, it can be difficult to determine how experienced they are based on their bio alone. Every client should ask they’re criminal defense lawyer about the specific years that they have spent working in this field and specifically defending people like them against legal charges. This will give you a better idea of how much knowledge they have gained over the years and what kind of experience their practice has to offer you. As much as every lawyer has a starting point for criminal law, it is necessary to entrust the complexities of your case to a very experienced attorney.
Do you Specialize in Criminal Defense?
While it can be difficult for an attorney to dedicate themselves solely to one area of law, every client should ask them if they can handle cases involving serious charges like theirs. For instance, if you are accused of a violent crime like manslaughter or murder, hiring an attorney who has defended similar cases before may be beneficial. Therefore, to increase the success of your case, you must hire a defense attorney who you are sure has spent many years dealing with criminal cases. Hence they are more knowledgeable on the arguments the judges may present and all the required evidence to prove your case.
What do you think about my case?
Please inquire about your potential criminal defense attorney’s early opinion of your case at your initial session with them. This is your opportunity to assess the lawyer’s expertise and learn about the defenses he can provide. It would be best to inquire with your lawyer about whether it is preferable to reach a plea deal or go to trial. You should gather as much information as possible to get a sense of how the lawyer will approach your case and what alternatives you have. You’ll be able to tell if the criminal defense lawyer is a good fit for your needs this way.
What are your educational and professional credentials?
When hiring a defense attorney, you want to ensure that your attorney has the appropriate educational and professional qualifications, just as you would when employing anybody else to do a job. Questions such as the law school they attended to the bar association or organizations they belong t such questions might assist you in determining the authenticity of your legal counsel. You could also inquire if the attorney you’re interviewing has ever been accused of or sanctioned for professional misconduct. You want an attorney who has a solid reputation in the legal system to represent you.
Who will handle my case?
Most lawyers work for firms that have junior associates and paralegals on staff. Attorneys frequently transfer specific aspects of your case to other members of the legal team. This can be advantageous to you because a junior associate’s hourly charge is likely to be lower, allowing you to avoid paying a higher rate for your attorney to perform the same activity. However, ensure that your lawyer is engaged in all major decisions in your case. Also, ensure they are actively supervising the work of the rest of the team. You have the right to question your lawyer if they will be able to devote enough time and attention to your case.
What is my role in the case?
In a criminal case, the chances are high that you will be involved in your case. You will most likely be requested to produce and assist in preparing papers and essential background information as the defendant. You may also be advised to refrain from speaking with witnesses or performing any legal work. However, in other cases, taking an active part might improve your case. For example, in a DUI or drug-related case, getting treatment before the court mandates can help your case later. You want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to aid your case, and the best way to accomplish so is to get advice from your attorney.