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Guide to Finding Criminal Lawyer

Guide to Finding Criminal Lawyer


Do I need a Criminal Lawyer?

       A criminal law lawyer is a legal specialist who prosecutes or defends clients involved in a criminal matter. Criminal law lawyers, therefore, do not litigate in civil forums or in alternative resolution settlements. A criminal law lawyer will only represent clients charged with felonies or criminal violations; a criminal lawyer may also prosecute these suspects.

If you are charged with a felony you must hire a criminal law lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges yield severe punishments, including jail sentences and hefty fines. Because of these penalties, hiring an experienced criminal lawyer is paramount. If you cannot afford a criminal lawyer, your underlying state will provide a public defender to represent you. However, if you are in the financial standing to hire a criminal lawyer from a private practice, it is suggested that you do so. Criminal lawyers in private firms are more adept at handling such matters; an experienced criminal lawyer has the ability to mitigate charges and elucidate the legal process.

       Criminal law is a broad legal field that includes numerous offenses and coordinating charges. After you are formally charged with a felony or crime, you must acknowledge the specific type of law your charges revolve around. The hiring of a specialist criminal lawyer is critical; you need to secure legal help that is specialized for the crime you are accused of. For example, if you are accused of a criminal DUI, you must search for DUI criminal law lawyers in your area.

Finding a Criminal Lawyer:

       Because the search for a criminal law lawyer is rooted in your accused crime’s specific laws, it is suggested that you filter your search for only criminal law lawyers that have experience with your underlying legal matter.

       To find the criminal law lawyers aligned with your specific case, you should access a lawyer directory online or visit your state’s BAR Association Website. Additionally, all criminal law lawyers are listed online through their practice’s website—visiting these sites via Internet searches will enable you to find a criminal law lawyer in your area.

       In addition to Internet searches for criminal law lawyers in your region, your state’s BAR Association Website is a vital resource when attempting to find a criminal lawyer. The BAR’s database will list all licensed criminal law lawyers in your area, by category, and include information regarding the individual’s license status, awards and disciplinary actions against if applicable.  It is essential to hire a criminal law lawyer who is in good standing with your state’s BAR association.

Because of the importance associated with securing legal aid for criminal charges, you should also utilize other sources of information, including Internet forums, referrals and the advice of friends and family.

Evaluating Criminal Law Lawyers:

       After you have narrowed your search to a few criminal lawyers (who specialize in your specific charges) in your area, you must contact these legal representatives to engage in preliminary discussions. This communication will enable you to develop a rapport with the legal representative; it is essential that you feel comfortable and confident in your criminal law lawyer.

       When you contact criminal lawyers in your area, they may require you to consult with them before discussing the details of your case. A criminal law lawyer will invariably charge a fee for a consultation; however, this preliminary discussion serves as the foundation for the litigant’s undertaking. If the criminal law lawyer does not require a consultation, he or she will discuss the legal process free of charge.

       When communicating with criminal lawyers you must take note of certain personality traits; evaluating a criminal law lawyer, in essence, filters your list of appropriate legal help. When talking with the legal professional you must evaluate their ability to communicate the legal process and your standing in details that are easy to understand. Furthermore, an ideal criminal lawyer should also be attentive, affable and a good listener.

       In addition to the criminal law lawyer’s personality, you must evaluate the individual’s experience. Although clients become absorbed with a legal aid’s scholastic achievements or ancillary accomplishments, experience stands as the most illuminating characteristic. An experienced criminal lawyer—a legal representative with at least five years’ experience—is recommended to best represent you. Experience is vital because it denotes that the legal aid is accustomed to handling similar claims in the past. Furthermore, an experienced criminal law lawyer’s reputation carries over to the presiding judge and jury involved with the case. This relationship will increase the probability of having your charges mitigated.

Experienced criminal law lawyers are also able to evaluate the case, in detail, and subsequently develop a sound defense strategy or engage in a plea to diminish your attached punishments.

Criminal Law Lawyer’s and their Fees:

       The fee associated with a criminal law lawyer’s aid is largely dependent on the following variables: the severity of the charges against you, the criminal law lawyer’s experience, the reputability of the counsel and his or her firm and the geographic location. These variables constitute a large gap in the price for criminal legal help.

The majority of criminal law lawyer’s will charge per hour or require a flat fee before legal help is delivered—criminal law lawyers do not operate on a contingency platform. During your meetings, you must ask the prospective criminal lawyer for a retainer agreement or a full description of the lawyer’s fees—you must know the exact price before hiring the individual. Understanding a criminal law lawyer’s fees will enable you to effectively evaluate and choose your criminal law lawyer.

Questions to ask your Criminal Law Lawyer:

       Before hiring a criminal law lawyer, you must engage the individual with an assortment of basic questions. These questions, which are listed below, will allow you to get a feel for the expected legal help.

• Will you handle my case or will a lot of work be delegated to your staff?

• How experienced are you in handling cases similar to this one?

• How often do you engage in plea agreements and would I benefit from such a deal?

• What is the worst possible outcome for my case?

• Can I review a list of references from clients you have represented in the past?

• Do you offer a payment plant?

• How many trials by jury have you litigated?

Criminal Defense Lawyers:

       If you are charged with a felony you must immediately hire a criminal defence lawyer. To find the top criminal lawyers in your area you must utilize all available resources, including the Internet, State Bar Databases and referrals from friends or family members. To find a criminal lawyer you must understand the intricacies surrounding your case and the laws that you are accused of breaking. When you attempt to find a criminal lawyer, the first variable you need to evaluate is the individual’s area of expertise. Hiring top criminal lawyers will yield an unfavorable outcome if the individual is not experienced with the laws that surround your case.

Top Criminal Lawyers:

       Because the search for a criminal defence lawyer is rooted in matching your case’s underlying laws with an professional’s experience and area of expertise, it is suggested that you filter your search for only top criminal lawyers that deal with your specific situation. For instance, if you are charged with a felony DUI, you must find a criminal DUI lawyer—these professionals are experienced in DUI laws and defending DUI accusations.

       To find the top criminal lawyers aligned with your specific case you should access a lawyer directory online or visit your state’s BAR Association Website. Additionally, all top criminal lawyers are listed online through their practice’s website—visiting these sites via a GOOGLE search will enable you to find a criminal lawyer in your area.

Your state’s BAR Association Website is a vital resource when attempting to find a criminal lawyer. The BAR’s database will list all licensed criminal defence lawyers in your area and an assortment of correlating information, including disciplinary actions taken against the individual or awards given to the criminal defence lawyer. This criminal lawyer information is important, but should not be the determining factor when selecting a criminal defence lawyer.

If you have been charged with a felony, you must find a criminal lawyer immediately. Criminal charges are attached to a statute of limitations, which necessitates the securement of a criminal defence lawyer. If you do not hire a legal representative to combat your charges, a public defender will be supplied on behalf of the state to represent you.

Military Criminal Lawyer:

       If you are a service man or woman and are convicted of a felony, you must hire a military criminal lawyer. A military criminal lawyer specializes in military law—a specific scope of law that focuses on the government’s authority to operate the armed forces, the administration of military justice and the administration of benefit programs, services and affairs as associated with veterans. A military criminal lawyer will handle all issues aligned with military law, including the application and interpretation of statutory and constitutional law, as well as all regulations and devices instituted by the United States Department of Defense. Military Criminal Lawyers will also represent service men or women who have been charged with or the victims of felony crimes, such as murder, rape, assault, etc.

       A military lawyer criminal representative will handle all matters that are heard in military court; the United States military has its own set of laws to deal with military crimes that are committed on or off a military base. All military lawyer criminal representatives have a comprehensive understanding of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which serves as the system of rules that guide the military justice process.

Criminal Lawyer Salary:

       A criminal lawyer salary is dependent on the individual’s experience, reputation and the severity of the charges associated. In most instances, the more experienced the legal help is, the higher the criminal lawyer salary will be. A criminal lawyer salary is also dependent on the firm that employs them—larger criminal law firms will charge higher fees due to their reputation. In general, a criminal lawyer salary will begin at roughly $110,000 per year and will fluctuate based on the cases undertaken and the position within the firm.

Top Criminal Lawyers:

       Top criminal lawyers are individuals who have solid reputations and at least 10-15 years’ experience in criminal law. Top criminal lawyers will often assume high-profile cases to defend or prosecute famous people. Because of their status as top criminal lawyers, these individuals will be paid exorbitant fees—often times in excess of $1 million per year. Top criminal lawyers often ascend to the pinnacle of their profession because of their proven track record and their uncanny ability to represent or prosecute suspected individuals.

       Often times, these individuals will be regarded as famous criminal lawyers. Individuals such as Robert Kardashian assumed this status because they represented high profile clients or were involved with high profile cases. Famous criminal lawyers have proven track records and are experienced legal counsel; unfortunately, because of their status as famous criminal lawyers, these individuals will typically not be involved with a mundane criminal case.

Queens Criminal Lawyer:

       A Queens criminal lawyer is a legal professional who represents or prosecutes individuals charged with criminal violations in the borough of Queens, New York. If you live in this area and are seeking legal representation for a criminal charge, you should hire a Queens Criminal lawyer to represent you. The majority of Queens criminal lawyers are found online, through their law firm’s website. Before hiring a Queens criminal lawyer you should consult with a slew of them and evaluate which individual best fits your needs.

DC Criminal Lawyer:

       A DC criminal lawyer is legal aid or consultant who represents or prosecutes clients charged with criminal violations in Washington, D.C. If you live in the district and are seeking legal aid for a criminal charge, you should hire a DC Criminal lawyer. All DC Criminal lawyers are found online and are listed in the district’s BAR database. You should hire a DC Criminal lawyer who specializes in your specific subject matter—the individual should be experienced with handling cases similar to yours.

How to Become a Criminal Lawyer:

       To become a criminal lawyer—prosecutors or criminal defense lawyers—you must complete 4 years of undergraduate and education and an additional 3 years of law school. Many people interested in how to become a criminal lawyer will study criminal justice in college. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, a candidate must then take the LSAT to be admitted into Law School. Those interested in how to become a criminal lawyer must graduate from Law School then pass a written bar examination to become licensed in their particular state of practice. Becoming a criminal lawyer is arduous; passing 3 years of law school requires an indefatigable worth ethic and immense focus. These requirements on how to become a criminal lawyer will vary by state; however, the majority of jurisdictions will require the individual to pass a separate ethics examination.

       Becoming a criminal lawyer is not an easy task; however, employment of these professionals is projected to maintain a steady growth over the course of the next decade. Those focused on becoming a criminal lawyer must work hard and possess a natural interest for the legal system.

Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer

       When you are seeking legal representation for a criminal offense, it is important to know where to look for a top quality lawyer.  Criminal defense is a specialized area of practice that requires the dedication of time and resources in order to best represent clients.  The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is a nationwide organization with the goal of assisting criminal defense lawyers, providing services for those in need, and fighting for defendant's rights.  Public defenders, private defense lawyers, judges, and law professors are all members of this criminal defense  lawyers association.

       The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers can be a valuable resource for anyone who has been charged with a criminal offense.  They can provide important information about your rights and the criminal justice process.  This criminal defense lawyers association can also be an important tool in your search for qualified representation or help if you cannot afford to retain a private lawyer.  Criminal defense groups associated with the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers can be found in your local area.

       When meeting with a criminal defense lawyer, ensure that you feel comfortable with them.  You will have to develop a trusting relationship with your lawyer as you will be entrusting your case to them.  Discussions of your personal life, financial considerations, and defense strategies will all be a part of this relationship.  Using all possible research tools available to you will work to your benefit in ensuring that the the lawyer you choose will be the best possible fit for your situation. 

San Mateo Criminal Defense Lawyer

       If you are facing criminal charges in the San Mateo area, it is important that you seek the help of a local San Mateo criminal defense lawyer.  In order to have the best possible representation, it is extremely important that you have a lawyer with experience in both criminal law and practicing in the local courts.  The criminal justice system is not always the same in every place and the rules and customs are different between different courts and even between different judges.  A San Mateo Criminal defense lawyer will have the expertise to practice in the San Mateo area and will also have the skills to try your case in court. 

More on Guide to Criminal Lawyers

A criminal lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in defending individuals or companies who have been charged with criminal conduct. Criminal lawyers can be either employed through criminal courts as public defenders or work as a private criminal lawyer who take on individual clients on a case by case basis.

In the U.S, criminal lawyers deal with the issues around an arrest, past and present criminal charges, and the ongoing criminal investigation. Criminal lawyers also take on the substantive issues regarding the crimes that the client is charged with.

Unlike civil law cases which deal with private suits between two or more parties, criminal lawyers take on clients who are being prosecuted by either the federal or state government due to an action that is classified as a crime. A criminal act must have an actual act, the mental state, and intent to create or do social harm. These criminal cases require the prosecutor to show the judge or jury that the defendant is guilty of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, it is the criminal lawyer’s job to prove otherwise.

Where to Look For a Criminal Lawyer

There are many different ways to find a criminal lawyer. One of the best ways to start finding one is through referrals from either family or friends, or through online research.

However, in certain circumstances, the individual who is facing criminal charges might not want to publicize any news about his or her arrest family and friends. The person also may not have enough time to do extensive research online to find the best criminal lawyer.

As an alternative, a great way to find local criminal lawyers is to use different lawyer directories that are quality assured. These sites work to connect potential clients to experienced criminal lawyers. These sites usually allow users to search for criminal lawyers by cities or state.

Do I Need To Hire A Criminal Lawyer?

When an individual is potentially facing a criminal penalty, or time in prison, it is ideal to hire a criminal lawyer. The legal system is set up in a manner that being intelligent is most likely not enough to successfully represent oneself in court. The best criminal lawyers are taught to scrutinize cases and figure out just what are the important facts, as well as the best factors and arguments to look at in order to lessen or eliminate potential crimes.

Aside from representation during court, criminal lawyers do many other things that can greatly benefit a defendant. These lawyers are usually more effective in negotiating deals with rather than self-represented defendants. They can also help figure out better sentencing program in the case of a guilty verdict, apply rules and regulations that are less commonly found.

Furthermore, these lawyers have much more experience handling criminal trials. Criminal lawyers can help explain the intricacies of a criminal case, spend time and effort on the case, gather information more easily, and find and utilize other resources such as investigators or expert witnesses.

Once settling on a lawyer, it is possible to look for a lawyer who is board certified.  The problem with lawyers who are not certified is that they can accept whatever cases they want after passing the state bar, regardless of the quality of their work. Because of this, it is ideal to make a note of criminal lawyers, who are board certified through the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

There are not many lawyers who officially specialize because many rely on their substantial reputation or experience in a given field. However, not all lawyers who claim to have expertise in criminal law actually have the competence or experience that is implied by their websites, advertising, or declarations. Because of this, finding a board certified criminal is ideal when looking for the best criminal lawyer.

Evaluating Experience & Education

When looking for a criminal lawyer, background education is not necessary to look at. All lawyers start out going to college or university for four years and then layer attend law school that is accredited by the state bar authorities or the American Bar Association.

In law school, prospective criminal lawyers complete three year programs that are a combination of core courses as well as courses specializing in criminal law. The curriculum also includes internships such as internships. Some students also take advantage of training opportunities or clinical programs that help provide free services to other students under an advising professor.

These students graduate with a Juris Doctor and then take the state bar exam where passage gives them the right to practice within the state. After graduating and passing the bar, many states also have continuing education programs so that criminal lawyers can remain up to date on the various developments and changes in the legal field.

Unlike the educational background, experience in criminal law is extremely important for a good criminal lawyer. The lawyer should have proven track record of handling diverse criminal cases (such as misdemeanors, drug charges, felonies, white collar crimes, etc.) as well as the needed skills, trial experience, and training. During the initial consultation, an ideal criminal lawyer should have complete knowledge over how to handle criminal proceedings as well as the most effective tactics to use.

Additionally, if a lawyer has any experience teaching at a law school or CLE program, or if he or she has published any legal articles, it shows research, dedication, commitment to good practice, and skill in field work. Such activities also show good standing in the legal community.

Looking at a Criminal Lawyer’s Personality & Values

An individual should not rely on a first impression of a lawyer or how friendly he or she may be. The most important quality is whether the criminal lawyer has the right qualifications and experience to win a case.  However, it is important to consider the professionalism and reputation of a lawyer to get a grasp of what sort of person and lawyer he or she is.

One thing to look for is the lawyer’s reputation at the local district court. If a lawyer is well respected among prosecutors, judges, fellow lawyers, it shows the quality of the work as well as lawyer’s integrity and commitment. Furthermore, a criminal lawyer can show commitment by being a member of various legal and professional organizations, such as a professional criminal defense organization, or by continuing his or her education in relevant legal fields.

Getting a free consultation with a lawyer who shows these ideal qualities can be very helpful in finding the right criminal lawyer to create an attorney-client relationship with.

Criminal Lawyers’ Fees and Rates

The rates and fees of hiring a criminal lawyer often vary depending on many different factors, such as the lawyer’s geographic location, experience, track record, and reputation. Often, criminal lawyers bill clients either by a flat fee or hourly. Depending on the situation, a lawyer can provide different payment plans to accommodate for charges that occur throughout the legal process. It is always a good decision to go through a few criminal lawyer consultations in order to get a ball park range on criminal lawyer fees. It is important to discuss exactly what will be charged, such as phone calls or other communication.

In the case that an individual is unable to hire an attorney due to financial reasons, he or she may be able to get a government or state appointed lawyer, or public defender, for representation.

Interviewing a Criminal Lawyer

Before choosing a criminal lawyer, an individual should feel comfortable enough to discuss all different issues and aspects regarding the criminal charge. Some great questions to ask include:

Are references available from different clients he or she has helped?

What is the track record of the lawyer regarding winning criminal cases?

Does this criminal lawyer have experience in criminal law and criminal cases?

How successful is the lawyer in working out plea bargains or reducing charges?

Did the lawyer have any cases that were similar in the past?

How do the lawyer’s attorney fees work? Is there any payment plan available?

How much does the lawyer handle versus other support staff?

Are any firm promotional materials or brochures available? If so, is the information legitimate?

How many jury trials has the lawyer previously litigated?

Is a copy of the firm’s retainer agreement available and can it be explained prior to signing?