Being accused of a crime is not a pleasant experience. Realizing that your freedom and your future may depend on the outcome of your case should be reason enough to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find. How do you find that best attorney for your case though? Ultimately only you can decide which attorney is the right fit for you and your case; however, there are some steps most people taken when they need to find the right attorney, including:
- Consider how you want your case handled first. Not every defendant’s goal is to avoid a conviction. Some defendants know they cannot avoid a conviction or don’t want to take the risk of a trial. When that is the case, the goal is to negotiate the best guilty plea agreement possible under the circumstances without giving much consideration to taking the case to trial. For other defendants, avoiding a conviction is more important and, therefore, they are prepared to risk a trial. If you are already sure how you want to handle your case it can help you to choose the right criminal defense attorney for your case because some lawyers focus more on negotiating plea agreements and others focus more on taking cases to trial.
- Seek referrals. While it is understandable that you may be reluctant to disclose the details of your arrest with friends, family members, and/or co-workers, doing so may be beneficial in your search for an attorney. Often, the people you know end up being the best source for a referral. Most people have either had their own brush with the law, or have a close friend or family member who has at some point in time. Try to put aside your embarrassment at your situation long enough to ask about referrals because someone who has had first-hand experienced with a defense attorney is really your best source of information.
- Check local, state, and national Bar associations. Bar associations are another excellent resource when looking for the right attorney. For example, the Omaha Bar Association offers a lawyer referral service Likewise, the Nebraska Bar Association also has an attorney directory that may be of assistance.
- Research online. Never rely entirely on what you read on an attorney’s website when deciding on which attorney is the right attorney for you and your situation; however, in today’s electronic age it is rare to find an attorney without an extensive internet presence so why not make use of that fact? You should be able to find out a wealth of information about a prospective attorney by perusing his/her website and spending some time surfing the internet. Look for an attorney whose practice is clearly focused on criminal defense work because just as you would not go to a dermatologist if you had cancer, you should not hire an attorney who handles primarily personal injury cases if you have been charged with a crime.
- Interview attorneys. Most attorneys offer free, or low cost, initial consultations. Take advantage of this is you are not sure who to hire at this point. Keep in mind though that you may have a limited amount of time to talk to the attorney given that the consultation is free so come prepared and make the most of your time. Have a list of questions typed out and ready so you don’t forget anything important or get side-tracked during your consultations. If you have any paperwork from your case, bring that to the appointments as well. Ask each attorney pointed questions such as whether they see any defense options or what type of plea agreement they think you might get if they represent you. Pay attention as well, however, to your comfort level with the attorney because you are, to some extent, placing your life in this person’s hands. You want an attorney who is both competent and with whom you feel you can develop a positive attorney-client relationship.
Contact a Best Criminal Defense Attorney at Petersen Law Office
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the State of Nebraska, do not hesitate to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.