If you are facing criminal charges in the State of Nebraska, regardless of whether those charges are relatively minor or are extremely serious, the first and most important step you should take is to retain the services of an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney. When your freedom and your future are at stake, choosing the right lawyer is imperative. If you have never needed a criminal defense lawyer before though, you likely have no idea where to start. Ultimately, only you can decide who to hire to represent you; however, the following suggestions may help you choose the right Nebraska criminal defense lawyer for your case.
1. Make sure you understand your situation. Before you start looking for an attorney, make sure you understand the charges against you, consider your game plan, and set a budget. Each of these will be important when choosing an attorney. Choosing an attorney whose practice is devoted entirely, or at least primarily, to criminal defense is essential; however, you may need to narrow the field even more because some criminal defense attorneys narrow their practice down even more. For example, some attorneys specialize in DUIs while others in capital murder cases. Likewise, some defense attorneys have a reputation for negotiating great plea agreements while others almost always go to trial. Finally, there can be a fairly wide range of fees charged by attorneys. While this is not the time to shop for bargains, considering what is at stake, it is important to know how much you can afford to invest in your defense.
2. Ask people you trust for a referral. This is also not the time to be concerned with what people may think of your situation. Ask people you know for a referral. You will likely be surprised at how many people you know have been in your shoes (or have a loved one who was)– and are now in a position to offer you an invaluable first-hand opinion.
3. Check with local and state Bar associations. Check with the Lawyer Referral Service of the Omaha Bar Association or the Find-a-Lawyer service offered by the Nebraska State Bar Association. Both services allow you to search for a lawyer based on characteristics such as geographic location, area of practice, and even languages spoken.
4. Do your own internet search. Just to be clear, it is never a good idea to hire someone as important as your criminal defense lawyer based on nothing more than a Google search result; however, you can gather some very useful information by doing an internet search. Almost all attorneys now have a website with varying degrees of information available. Looking over the website of an attorney who has been referred to you, or who popped up in the Bar association search may provide you with additional information that may help your decision making process.
5. Prepare for consultations. By now you should have a few names that are strong candidates. Schedule consultations with 2-4 of them as soon as possible. Most attorneys will offer a free initial consultation, though you will not have an unlimited amount of time. Make the best of the time you do have by preparing for the consultation. Make copies of documents relating to the case and write down important questions. Important things you might want to know may include how many trials the attorney has done, how many years in practice he/she has, and what the strategy would be for your case.
6. Analyze the options and make a decision. Now it’s time to make a decision. Consider all the information you have, along with your impressions of the attorneys and their staff, and make the best choice for you and your future.
<h2>Your Choice – Your Future</h2>
Your criminal defense lawyer will, in many regards, have your future in his/her hands. Your choice of attorney can, and likely will, make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. By following the above steps you should feel confident that you have the tools and information you need to choose the right criminal defense lawyer for your case.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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