Being charged with a criminal offence is a major event in anyone’s life. You will more than likely not know what is likely to happen to you or what you need to do to navigate your way through the criminal justice system.
In these situations, it’s important that you seek advice and representation from a lawyer. They will be able to guide you through the legal minefield and make sure that you receive the best outcome possible.
But how do you know that you’ve chosen the best criminal lawyer for your case? Read on to find out more.
Don’t Choose Based Only On Price
It’s common knowledge that hiring a lawyer can be expensive at times. For this reason, it may be tempting to choose your criminal lawyer based on the cheapest quote that you can find.
This is a big mistake.
While it might appear that you will be saving money by hiring a cheaper lawyer, it may end up being much more expensive in the long run.
You need to consider the following questions:
- Why are they so cheap? Are they desperate for work and are willing to do anything to get your business? Some lawyers will even go so far as to offer to beat other quotes simply to get your business. A proper criminal lawyer understands that they are not a commodity like a set of steak-knives.
- Do they have the experience you need? Some lawyers try to be jack-of-all-trades by working in any area of law that they can find work in. They might therefore be charging less than others simply because they don’t have the same knowledge and experience as a dedicated criminal lawyer.
- Who will actually be representing you? You might have the initial discussions about your case with a senior criminal law or even partner of the firm and then be impressed with the price you are quoted, only to find out that your case is passed on to the most junior lawyer in the firm. In some situations this is not a problem however you should make sure that you know who will be working on your case at all stages.
Ask About Their Experience
As mentioned above, it is important that you ask any lawyers that you speak to about their experience with cases similar to yours. This might seem obvious however it’s something that many people don’t think about. You need to know that your lawyer has experience with cases like yours so that you know your case is being handled by an expert.
It is also important to remember that the length of a lawyer’s career doesn’t always reflect their experience. Many criminal lawyers have been practising for years but they only work on a very specific area of criminal law or they only focus on very minor charges. This might meant that they simply don’t have the experience that you need. For example, some lawyers choose to focus solely on traffic law – you probably wouldn’t want a traffic lawyer representing you in court for a drug possession charge!
On the other hand, you may speak with a lawyer who has only been practising criminal law for a few years but already has extensive experience in cases like yours. Therefore the best criminal lawyer for your case may not be the one who has been practising law for the longest.
Do You Feel Comfortable Around Them?
It’s important that your lawyer has the experience that you need and charges an affordable fee for their services. However, it’s also important that you feel valued by your lawyer.
We have been in court and witnessed many occasions when lawyers have treated their clients in ways that can only be called embarrassing.
We are not saying that your criminal lawyer should be emotionally involved in your case. If anything, this can work against you as your lawyer needs to approach your case objectively so that they can defend you against all angles. They should however treat you with courtesy and respect at all times. Being charged with a criminal offence is a life-changing event for most people and you want to know that you can contact your lawyer at any time to get advice or to ask questions, if necessary.
You also need to have a good working relationship with your lawyer. If you don’t feel comfortable in your lawyer’s presence, this will not help your case.
Therefore we recommend that you find a lawyer who is friendly and approachable but is willing to fight hard for you in court to get the desired outcome.
Brisbane Criminal Lawyers
Harper Finch Lawyers are Brisbane’s leading criminal law firm. We can help with any police charge or traffic matter anywhere in Queensland. Contact us now to speak with one of our expert criminal lawyers to find out more about how we can help.