Being at the receiving end of the law can be devastating and life-changing, especially when the individual involved is “truly” innocent of any criminal charge placed by the authorities. No one loves to be behind bars, isolated from family, friends, and society at large. The defendant needs to have a fair hearing before the final verdict proceeds from the judge. However, due to the complex judicial system in various countries, a person accused of a crime may have less chance of winning the legal case alone. There is a need to employ a criminal defense lawyer’s professional services – one who knows the ropes and can effectively stand up for the accused’s rights in court.
It does not end there. Legal cases involve tons of paperwork and, sometimes, several court hearings. Going through them alone can be mind-boggling. Besides, the individual would have to be versed in various law areas of practice and have hands-on experience. A mistake can lead to one losing a case and face a verdict. Hence, the expertise of a criminal defense lawyer comes into play. This comprehensive guide covers everything there is to know about hiring such a professional. Besides, time is a factor one cannot ignore when dealing with criminal cases. Criminal lawyers defend their clients against lawsuits that involve the following:
- Sex-related offenses
- Unlawful weapon possession and usage
- And other criminal cases
These lawyers ensure that the cases come to an absolute resolution. It is worth noting that they also consider every detail to get the best result, including collating substantial pieces of evidence, contacting key witnesses, and hiring investigators in the respective field of interest. Besides, a subtle element in a criminal charge can overturn the case.
What to Do When Hiring Canadian Criminal Defense Lawyer
It is undoubtedly imperative to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as there is a criminal charge in view. However, finding the right attorney determines the outcome of a legal case. An experienced legal professional should be no stranger to a specific criminal charge. What does this mean? The defense lawyer should have an extensive track record of successful legal battles won. Once the ideal person or agency is in sight, the next step is to set up an appointment. Remember, there is a high chance that these individuals will be busy. However, their legal team will most likely be available to attend to the case and forward it to them appropriately. So, do not overlook them based on their tight schedules.
Before setting up a meeting, kindly come prepared. It is essential to come along with a list of questions that address the situation at hand. Besides, questionnaires will most likely be available to fill. Additionally, include the following:
- Bail papers
- Documents that detail the criminal charge filed and slated court appearance dates.
- Police report copy
- Police paperwork (in the event of searched properties)
Furthermore, the individual may have to supply the criminal defense lawyer with a list of victims, witnesses, and other defendants to aid the legal case. Most importantly, ensure that the defense attorney should not represent the other party to prevent a conflict of interest.
Background and Experience Counts
When selecting a criminal defense lawyer, background, and experience come into play. The last thing anyone would want is to hire a legal attorney with no knowledge of the criminal charge involved. For example, hiring a professional lawyer specializing in murder cases for a DUI charge would reduce one’s chances of winning a legal battle, and vice-versa. Hence, it is essential to get the following details:
- The law school attended and year of graduation
- Duration of practice
- Relationship with the prosecutors’ office
- The frequency of plea agreement negotiations with the prosecutors’ office
- The number of times clients go to trial
- Association with any recognized legal organization
- The level of understanding of the charge filed
- Frequency of appearance at the courthouse of the case to be tried
These are some of the information worth gathering before hiring a criminal defense lawyer. Additionally, it is imperative to confirm that the legal professional will be handling the case. Kindly find out the options available and how best to optimize them; this includes analyzing foreseeable problems and the right areasfor the ruling. Also, scrutinize each phase of the process, not limited to arraignment, disposition, and even trial. You may call Robbie Tsang, Toronto’s one of the top criminal lawyers.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Canada?
Interestingly, the crime rate in Canada has nose-dived since 2000. In actuality, the 2018 statistics show a 30% declination from that of 2003, which implies a tremendous improvement. That is not all; property crime and violent crime has dropped 39% and 23%, respectively. However, that does not imply that the country is crime-free. Unlawful events are bound to happen every day.
For this reason and more, criminal defense lawyers are relevant in society. Nevertheless, there is the cost factor every client considers. It is worth noting that charges vary, depending on the area of residence. By the way, most of them charge by the hour, if not all. There are still criminal defense attorneys that provide clients with flat rates. Fees may range from $75 to $750, especially for those in Toronto, CA. According to a 2015 legal fees survey, a two-day trial average charge rallied a little above $30,000. It had also touched the $18,000 and $29,000 benchmarks at some points.
In 2014, the average fee for hiring a criminal defense attorney in Ontario was $235. However, as stated before, costs vary from one region to another. So, it is best to discuss this aspect with a reputable law firm. By doing so, it becomes easy to get the exact legal fee. Kindly note that less-experienced lawyers are more likely to charge less than their more-knowledgeable counterparts. But that does not imply that a client will get the best value by hiring an expensive attorney.
When addressing a criminal charge filed against an individual, one cannot overlook a criminal defense attorney’s place. Such an individual knows the law’s ins and outs and ensures that clients get the best deal in court. Hence, their expertise plays a significant role in ensuring that justice is served.