After being arrested and charged with a crime, choosing a criminal defense attorney can feel like a daunting task. In choosing a criminal defense attorney, it pays to ask the following questions:
1) Does the attorney specialize in criminal defense? As in all trades, practice makes perfect. In much the same way, if a criminal defense attorney practices criminal law exclusively and is certified by the State Bar of Texas as a criminal defense specialist, he will be more likely to have the expertise necessary to achieve the best results.
2) Does the attorney have any specialized training relevant to the crime I am charged with? A dedicated criminal defense attorney will look to give his client every possible advantage, including mastering the tools used by police in conducting criminal investigations. For example, dedicated DWI attorneys undergo the same training police officers receive to administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), which often form the basis of a DWI charge. Specialized training can show a dedication to a field of law and can make all the difference in many cases.
3) What kind of reputation does the attorney enjoy? Attorneys earn their reputations from their peers and from the results they achieve for their clients. The importance of an attorneys reputation is difficult to overstate. Criminal defense can often involve complicated negotiations with judges and prosecutors, and attorneys with good reputations will have an advantage because they will be known, trusted and respected. Asking other attorneys who they would recommend is a good way to gauge an attorneys reputation. The Internet has also made it possible to read reviews of attorneys from former clients on websites such as Google or Avvo.
The personal and professional consequences of being charged with any criminal offense can be great. But choosing an attorney is really no different than choosing any other professional a decision should be based on level of expertise, dedication, and reputation. Keeping these factors in mind will allow you to achieve optimal results by choosing the right attorney for your case.