Presented to you by Los Angeles criminal defense attorney,

Robert Helfend

This article will help guide you through the process of selecting an excellent criminal defense lawyer who can effectively represent you. To begin, use the Internet to do some research on different criminal defense lawyers. Be as thorough as possible, look up reviews and biographies, use this to then develop a list of three to four criminal defense lawyers. Pursue the following steps to ensure you choose the correct criminal defense attorney.

  • Ask yourself:
    does their work history show that they have expertise in the area of criminal defense you are looking for?
  • Do they have good reviews?
  • Ask around, word of mouth is a great way to find out about your list of lawyers
  • Contact local and state bar associations to investigate the reputation of the lawyer
  • Consider other qualifications that you are important to you; perhaps you may need a lawyer that speaks different languages
  • Once you have selected someone that satisfies your requirements and is suitable to what you need, it is time to ask about rates. Usually, criminal defense lawyers charge a flat fee and require an upfront payment. Don’t be afraid to bargain on rates and shop around to find a rate more comfortable for you. There is high competition in this field so do not feel required to pay an exuberant amount. However, keep in mind that more experienced and reputable lawyers charge more. Always make sure that the criminal defense lawyer you choose has several years of experience defending the specific charges you face.

    Often, criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains with the district attorney’s office. Therefore, try to get a feel about whether your lawyer has a good reputation within the DA’s office, as well as any good ties with the prosecuting attorney.

    What to ask of your criminal defense lawyer:

  • Ask your lawyer for a retainer agreement. Read each and every clause carefully and do not be apprehensive to ask about anything you do not understand.
  • Speak with your lawyer and see if s/he is personable and can explain issues to you easily. Does s/he make eye contact with you?
  • Last but not least, use your instincts and common sense to make the right decision when acquiring services from a particular lawyer. Always go with someone that makes you feel comfortable. Ensure that you are retaining a person who has patience and will have no reservations about answering your questions promptly and clearly. Will that person make you feel at ease as you are about to go through a stressful situation?

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