Before you choose a criminal lawyer for your case, you should consider a few things that set some lawyers apart from the rest. Flexible office hours and the ability for you to save money are two helpful details to look for.
If you have been charged with a crime, the worst-case scenario is typically life in prison. Needless to say, this is not a scenario anyone wants to face, which is why it is important that you get a criminal lawyer to try to reduce your punishment. According to statistics, pro se defendants have a much lower success rate than those who are represented by lawyers. Of course, choosing the right attorney for you can be daunting, as can parting with the money to pay for this kind of help. Consider a few things to look for in a quality criminal lawyer.
Most lawyers have regular business hours, but not everything occurs on weekdays between nine and five. Therefore, it is nice to get an attorney who offers some availability on nights and weekends or even all the time. You might receive an important piece of mail that changes your case entirely, or you may have a pressing question that you think of when you are trying to sleep. In such cases, it is nice to be able to call your a criminal lawyer to talk, even if only briefly. If you do not wish to discuss your case over the phone, find an attorney offering evening or weekend hours in case the issue does not come up during regular hours. Also, be sure that you can talk to your attorney, not just the office staff, who might not know your details and cannot advise you.
On the other hand, sometimes talking to office staff is helpful, as it can save you money. Not surprisingly, lawyers usually hire legal assistants to answer phones and tell potential clients when appointments are available. However, some also employ paralegals, which cost less money than lawyers. This is a good way for a practice to add some legal expertise without having some of their business taken away by another partner.
You can use a paralegal to file many court documents and are actually advised to use one instead of a criminal lawyer for some tasks, as you can save lots of money every hour. While you can certainly look for a paralegal on your own, you are not advised to use one instead of an attorney, as this type of expert’s limited knowledge of the law cannot replace years of law school. Instead, look for a practice that employs both lawyers and paralegals so you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Clearly, finding the finest criminal lawyer to represent you can get the best results. In cases involving serious crimes, a good legal expert can mean the difference between life in prison and freedom, or at least thousands of dollars in fines and financial freedom. However, finding one can be an overwhelming process since you should consider several details. As long as the one you choose has a good reputation, years of experience, and can communicate easily with you, the result should be good. Flexible hours and an available paralegal, though, can set some attorneys apart from others.