Hiring a criminal lawyer is not an easy decision. You want to make sure that you find the best representation you can at your price point. People who are charged with a criminal offence are understandably distraught, but it’s important not to let your emotions negatively influence your decision. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in a criminal lawyer:
Pay attention to credentials. Does your prospective lawyer have credentials that have been formally recognized, or do they simply claim to have credentials? Look for a lawyer who has additional education and experience beyond what is required. For example, a lawyer may earn a master’s degree in a particular area of law or may have additional training outside of a law school. They may have been recognized by their law school or bar association with a scholarship or award.
Look for an expert. Once a lawyer passes the bar exam, they are allowed to take on any case they choose, however, the law is incredibly broad. This is why lawyers specialize in specific areas of the law, because it is far too complicated to do it all at once. If you are on trial for murder, you need to find a lawyer who specializes in murder trials, not in tax evasion.
Involvement and engagement are good signs. Many lawyers belong to advocacy groups or sit on boards of directors for various organisations that are related to their field of law. When a lawyer is engaged with the community, it is a good indication that he or she has a more developed understanding of their practice than a lawyer who is not similarly involved. It also indicates that they are selfless with their time, which may mean that they will devote more of their energy to your case than another lawyer would.
Make a budget. Lawyers are expensive, and if you’re in trouble with the law the last thing you need is to be in trouble with the bank as well. Be realistic about the amount of money you can afford to spend and try to find a lawyer within your price range. Even if you are interested in a lawyer outside of your price range, it may be worth it to have a conversation with them anyway. A distinguished lawyer may be able to recommend the services of an associate whose services are less expensive but every bit as competent.
Schedule a meeting. At the end of the day, one of the best things that you can do is trust your own judgement. Meet with your prospective lawyer and make a judgement call. Do you trust them? Do them seem knowledgeable? Are they genuine? Are they able to answer your questions satisfactorily? You want to make sure that the person representing you is someone who you can get along with. Building a relationship with your lawyer will go a long way in ensuring that they deliver a good result.
If you are looking for a lawyer in the Kitchener area, make sure to keep these tips in mind during your search. It may make the difference between a favourable outcome in your case and potentially life altering repercussions.