Time is of the essence when you’ve been arrested for a crime. You need to seek legal representation so that you don’t do or say anything that might harm your case. When you’re in a hurry, you might decide to hire the first criminal defense lawyer you come across. While there’s every reason to believe you’ve chosen a competent legal team, here are some of the most obvious signs that you might not have done so.
They Have a Poor Reputation
You may be in a hurry to choose a criminal defense lawyer, but it can be worth taking the time to learn more about their standing in the community. Read reviews, talk to friends and family about highly-regarded law firms they recommend, such as Riccio Law, and visit their websites to read client testimonials.
You may realize you’ve hired the wrong criminal defense lawyer if you fail to take these steps and later learn that they don’t have the best reputation in the community or with the Bar for putting their clients’ needs first and bringing their cases to successful conclusions.
They Seem Incompetent
Competence can be crucial when your future hangs in the balance. You want a lawyer who has the experience and skill to handle your case and can fight to achieve the best possible outcome. However, many signs can point to a criminal defense lawyer being incompetent, such as a lack of experience in cases like yours, running late, forgetting obligations, and encouraging dishonesty or corner-cutting. If you have genuine concerns about your lawyer, consider seeking the services of one who appears more capable of handling your unique case.
Communication Is Lacking
When you stand accused of a serious crime like theft, fraud, or something else, you likely want a lawyer who can answer your questions and be easy to contact. However, if you’ve hired a lawyer who rarely answers your phone calls, emails, or text messages, it can become apparent that communication is lacking.
They might have too many cases that require their attention, or they might not have done the things you’re contacting them about, and they’re avoiding your calls. The best criminal defense lawyers are easy to reach and keep their clients updated throughout their cases for peace of mind. Never settle for less because your case’s outcome might just depend on it.
Their Billing Practices Are Deceitful or Vague
Defense attorneys don’t generally charge for their services in the same way personal injury lawyers often do. Generally, there are retainers and hourly fees, whereas personal injury attorneys can sometimes operate on a contingency fee basis.
Highly-regarded criminal defense attorneys will be completely upfront and transparent about how they charge and what they charge from the beginning. You may question your lawyer’s reputation and suitability if you find that they hide their costs, their fees are expensive, they pad their hours, or they charge overhead expenses.
There can be a sense of urgency associated with hiring a criminal defense lawyer, but that doesn’t mean you have to hire the first one you find. Failure to research your options might see you with less than adequate legal representation and some of these unfortunate situations above.