When receiving a criminal charge, your mind can face a flurry of questions. However, you will eventually settle down enough to see the importance of having legal representation. In most cases, you will have the opportunity to contact a criminal defence lawyer. They will build your case, present the facts to the judge and advocate for compassionate sentencing or a complete stay from the prosecution.
However, there are several essential questions for you to ask during your interview with them. This will help you understand the expectations and what you can do to help get your best possible outcome.
What are your rates?
Always an important question, knowing what your lawyer’s rates will be is integral to their representation. Obviously, if they manage to clear you of fines or charges, but then double the amount for their compensation, you have not actually accomplished very much. Therefore, consider this question from the outset.
How long will the process take?
The legal system is a slow and lumbering beast. Very few things actually happen quickly there. To protect your interests, your best option is to inquire about the typical length of the process. Indeed, you will have some information from the prosecution side of the case, but understanding your options is vital to the timeline as well.
How can I avoid further problems?
Understandably, there are few reasons why people seek criminal defence lawyers if they are not part of a criminal excursion for which they have been charged. As a result, understanding the bad behaviours you would like to avoid is an excellent way to prevent further problems and headaches. Interestingly, this is the perfect question to ask, as it applies to both you and your lawyer.
What is your rate of success?
This is a fairly straightforward question, but it can be a great indication of your potential lawyer’s capabilities. If they appear hesitant or avoid the question, it could be worth pursuing it further. Naturally, you want to avoid a lawyer who frequently loses their cases.
What will you do for me?
Many people believe that hiring a lawyer is their only point of involvement during legal proceedings. In some situations, this idea may very well be true, but oftentimes understanding your legal counsel’s input is beneficial. Additionally, you may benefit from trying to comprehend each step of the legal process to have a better idea when results start to appear from the judge or jury.
What are my chances?
It is true that the legal system is vast, confusing and often, needlessly complex. However, the best way to learn is when you have a direct stake in the process, such as when you require a criminal defence lawyer’s representation. One of the easiest ways to learn is by asking about your chances for success or failure and expanding on the factors that may positively or negatively affect them.
What experience do you have with similar cases?
Several parts of the legal system are nuanced enough to require a lifetime of study in a particular jurisdiction. Therefore, if you choose a family lawyer to represent you in a criminal defence case, you could be betting on the wrong horse, metaphorically. Understanding the signs of experience is essential to well-rounded legal defence.
What can I do?
Finally, the penultimate question. Typically, if you are hiring a lawyer, you also bear some responsibility for the charges you now face. Asking what you can do is tantamount to establishing rapport with your lawyer, keeping yourself informed and assisting in raising the odds of success in your favour.