7 Mistakes to Avoid Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

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Getting competent legal counsel in the present time can be difficult and expensive. Most of the difficulty stems from a simple lack of knowledge regarding finding the appropriate professionals to speak with. Given the hefty retainer fees and ridiculous hourly costs for legal advice or consultation, it can be rather pricey. Whether looking for their own needs, the needs of their family, or even if they are business owners, these are the blunders that the vast majority of people make when hiring a criminal defense attorney. Read on. 

Relying on the Court-appointed Public Defender

In some cases, defendants cannot afford a private lawyer and rely on a court-appointed public defender. While this may work out in very rare cases, more often than not, it acts against the defendant. The reason for this is that public defenders are extremely overworked. In most jurisdictions, they handle hundreds of cases at any given time. They also have very little time to investigate and prepare each case thoroughly. As such, defendants who go with a public defender usually have worse outcomes than those who hire a private attorney.

Hiring an Attorney Based on Advertising

Most people would never dream of hiring a plumber based on an advertisement in a newspaper. However, they often mistake hiring an attorney based on a TV or Facebook ad. The truth is that many lawyers who advertise are not necessarily the best ones for the job. In fact, some of them may not even be competent. It is always best to research before hiring an attorney. 

Hiring an Attorney Who is Not Licensed in Your State

Just because an attorney is licensed to practice law in one state does not mean they can practice in another state. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding the practice of law. As such, it is always best to hire an attorney licensed in your state, and preferably in your city. For example, if you live in Fresno, California, you search for a Fresno criminal attorney

Hiring an Attorney Who Has a Conflict of Interest

Another mistake is hiring an attorney with a conflict of interest. For example, if you are charged with a crime and hire an attorney representing the victim in the case, that attorney has a conflict of interest. So it is always best to hire an attorney with no conflict of interest.

Not Checking an Attorney’s References

You should always check the attorney’s references, especially if paying the attorney by the hour. This will ensure that you only pay for services you need and get the most out of your money. Moreover, the attorney you are considering hiring should have positive reviews from past clients. This may be a red flag if you don’t see any reviews from previous clients. 

Not Meeting with the Attorney Before Hiring

An in-person meeting with the attorney will allow you to get a feel for their personality and whether or not you can work together. It is also a good opportunity to ask questions about their experience, case results, and how they would handle your case.

Accepting the First Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company

If you are involved in an accident, do not accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company. Rather, consult with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer. The insurance company’s initial offer is usually much lower than what you are entitled to. An experienced attorney will know how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement.

Final Word

These are just some mistakes people make when hiring a criminal defense attorney. If you are facing criminal charges, avoid these mistakes to get the best possible outcome in your case.

Interesting Related Article: “Important Things to Consider Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney