There are several qualities many people want when they need criminal attorneys at Hanaford Law. Experience usually tops the list. The ability to be forceful or aggressive when necessary is also a quality some people want in their defense lawyer. Honesty is also on the list.
Since most attorneys offer a free initial conference with prospective clients, it is possible to do a “job interview” at different law firms in order to find an attorney you are most comfortable with. Unless you are under arrest and need someone at your side NOW, doing several consultations before making a decision may be the way for you to go. When you sit down with the lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience in handling crimes like the one you have been accused of. An example would be if you have been accused of identity theft. You want a lawyer with a background in defending fraud cases. A lawyer that specializes in civil law may not be the first choice in a criminal law case.
To determine the “honesty factor”, pay attention to what the lawyer says to you about handling your case. No honest attorney will promise you an outcome. All they can vow to do is to try. Ask them how they have handled these kinds of cases in the past. You want to get a sense that they have “laid it out for you squarely”. It’s not about whether they say you have a good or bad chance, but whether they think there is a good defense that can be crafted. Can they explain it clearly to you? It can be a sign that they are a straight shooter.
To get an initial impression of how forceful or aggressive the attorney is, ask about the first steps they will take if you hire them and ask how soon. If you truly want a defense, then you are interested in a lawyer who begins strategizing a court case and does not immediately default to a plea bargain.
One last thought: you don’t have to like your criminal defense attorney. But you do have to trust him or her, and you have to be able to communicate. Your initial consultation can set a tone for trust and communication. They build trust by getting to work for you immediately. They build communication by being honest. If you get both from them, then you may have found representation.