If you recently found yourself under arrest and charged with a criminal offense for the first time in your life, you likely feel as though your life has been turned upside down. Dealing with the stress and emotional response to facing criminal charges is certainly difficult for most people. The most important thing you can do for yourself and for your future when you find yourself accused of a crime is to retain the services of an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney. If you have never had to hire a criminal defense attorney before, you may not know where to start nor much about criminal defense attorneys in general. For example, you may be wondering if defense lawyers specialize in certain types of cases. By learning a bit more about criminal defense attorneys in general, and the answer to that question in particular, you will likely feel less stressed about your situation and more confident about choosing the right attorney for your case.
How Law School Is Different
Unless you have attended law school, you would have no reason to understand what is taught there or how the learning process works for aspiring attorneys. Contrary to how undergraduate school and even many post-graduate schools operate, law school does not require students to pick a specialized area of practice. Instead, students receive a well-rounded education in the law. While students do have the opportunity to choose a few elective classes, they by no means choose a “specialty.”
Deciding What Type of Law to Practice
Although students do not choose a specialty while in law school, most students do eventually decide what type of law they hope to pursue after graduation. Some decide civil law is more suited to them while others decide criminal law is their passion. Once again, there is no requirement, however, that a student choose a particular type of law. If criminal law sounds more interesting though, a student might pursue a position with a firm needing a criminal defense attorney or with the prosecutor’s or public defender’s office after graduating from law school.
Narrowing the Area of Practice
After graduating from law school and being out in real life for some period of time, an attorney may further narrow the areas of practice he/she prefers to handle. Some defense lawyers, for example, are eventually known for their representation of individuals accused of drug-related offenses. Other attorneys might prefer to focus on sex offenses, murder cases, or even federal criminal prosecutions. This does not mean the attorney can no longer accept other types of criminal cases, only that the attorney has handled many of the same, or similar, charges over the course of his/her career. As a result, he or she has gained a wealth of knowledge about how the police often investigate those types of cases, the strategies a prosecutor often uses when prosecuting them, and how well certain types of defenses typically work in those types of cases.
How Does this Impact My Choice of Defense Lawyer?
When you are considering the numerous lawyers who claim to be “defense lawyers” to represent you in your case, it is wise to focus on attorneys who clearly limit their practice only to criminal cases. Although all lawyers understand the basic tenets of the law, the manner in which civil cases are litigated and criminal cases are prosecuted is very different. Furthermore, you should ask an attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has defended to try and find out if the attorney has chosen to narrow his/her practice even more. If so, it only makes sense to hire an attorney who frequently defends people accused of the same, or similar, charges as yours. Ultimately, however, it is up to you to hire the attorney with whom you feel the most comfortable and who inspires the most confidence.
If you are currently facing criminal charges in Nebraska, it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.