Being charged with a criminal offense, whether it’s minor or major, is a problem. If you are arrested and charged, you are at risk for severe penalties and financial costs as well as having a criminal record, potential jail time, attorney costs and the cost of a bail bond. Being charged with a felony, whether it’s for a while collar crime or other related criminal offenses, can also lead to a loss of significant relationships, future job opportunities and other negative life altering experiences. Although some legal concerns can be handled quickly, a felony arrest warrants the legal advice of a highly qualified criminal defense attorney. Working with the right criminal attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and that they will support you throughout the duration your case.
If you’ve found yourself facing criminal prosecution, the following tips regarding hiring a criminal attorney will help ensure you receive the best representation. These suggestions can help make the difference between a jail sentence and a dismissal or reduced plea sentence. Start with referrals from family and friends them move on to online research if they were unable to refer someone. Doing a thorough background search on possible attorney choices instead of randomly calling any you find during an online search is never a good idea. The only way to be sure you’re making the best option is to find out as much as you can before you set up an interview. Narrow down your list of choices and then dig deeper, if possible finding out the legal organizations they belong to, which should, at the very least, be County and State Bar associations. If the criminal attorney you’re considering belongs to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section or the State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the chances are good that they’re good criminal defense lawyers.
When you’re ready to consult with a criminal defense lawyer, have a list of questions ready and feel comfortable enough with them to cover all the aspects of your criminal charge (s) and how they are going to address them. Find out if they’re prepared to provide references from clients that they have served that had a similar charge. Additional questions include how many jury trials they’ve litigated and how often they’ve asked for a lesser charge and worked out plea agreements. Some of the best qualities to look for in a criminal defense attorney include outstanding communication skills (necessary to successfully argue your case) and have exceptional negotiating skills.
Criminal defense rates vary depending on several factors that include their reputation, experience, and geographical location. As you consult with your potential attorney, ask what they charge and how their fees are calculated. If you’re on a tight budget, find out if they offer as a payment plan. The majority of criminal defense attorneys charge a flat fee or bill hourly. Depending on the payment method, many lawyers approve payment schedules to deal with ongoing costs while others require a retainer before starting work. In any criminal case, it is important to consult with several criminal defense lawyers to find one that you feel comfortable with to represent you and get an idea of the charges. If you can’t afford to hire a criminal defense attorney, you can request state appointed lawyer to represent you. For the best possible representation, contact this New Orleans criminal lawyer for representation during a highly charged emotional time.
Hiring the best criminal defense attorney requires lots of thought and research. Hopefully, these suggestions are helpful to make the process of finding the right criminal defense attorney easier and more reassuring for a positive outcome.
Stephen D. Hebert, LLC – Attorney at Law
700 Camp St #216
New Orleans, LA 70130
See the map below for directions to his office.