Critical Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring an Attorney

The decision to hire an attorney is very important.  As you do your research, we’ve assembled some tough questions that we encourage our clients to ask when interviewing attorneys.  When criminal charges are involved, the consequences are serious — so, you should hire the best attorney for your situation and thoroughly understand who will be representing you.

1. How often are you in court?

This is one of the best questions you can ask because it indicates how much time your attorney is in front of a judge, defending cases and representing you. Some attorneys don’t have much court time because they are either too new, haven’t been given key opportunities by their firms or spend a lot of time settling cases through plea bargains.

2. How long have you been handling criminal cases?

This is another critical question that exposes the experience level of your criminal defense attorney Springfield, MO. Depending on your criminal charges, the outcome of your trial will change the course of your life. The decision of hiring an attorney is a very important one.

3. How many trials have you done in your career?

Trials are serious business and they aren’t for the weak-at-heart.  Not only does this question reveal experience levels, but it also demonstrates the potential exposure your attorney has with judges, prosecuting attorneys and the general court system that will determine your legal outcome.

4. How many jury trials have you done in your career?

Trials in front of a judge have a different tone and legal strategy than a trial by jury. An experienced trial attorney understands the motivating factors a jury will have when determining if someone is guilty or not guilty.

5. Explain your experience handling cases like I have been charged?

Criminal lawyers are specialists at their work.  Make sure to hire a specialist that understand your specific charges, has a deep background in your specific charges.  You wouldn’t hire a foot surgeons to perform open-heart surgery, make sure to know the specialty of the lawyer you need.

6. Do you have experience as a prosecutor? If so, how does that benefit my case?

Many great defense attorneys cut their teeth by prosecuting hundreds or even thousands of cases just like yours.  As prosecutors, they mass significant trial experience in addition to building good relationships with the court system. It is not uncommon for a good prosecutor to start their own practice as their career progresses.

7. How much of your practice is devoted to criminal defense?

Again, hire a specialist and make sure to get a firm understanding of your attorney’s strengths, experience and passion.  Those attributes will be passed along to your case, so make sure they are aligned to benefit you.

8. Will you be handling my case personally?  Will others be involved and what are their experience levels?

Really large firms may delegate your case to a less experienced “team” where your case could get lost in the shuffle. Ensure your criminal defense lawyer in Springfield, MO is 100% committed to owning your case and managing the details of your defense.

9. What should I expect if I have questions about my case? What should I expect from you regarding communication?

Your criminal charges are serious and you will have questions throughout the process. Make sure your attorney has an open line of communication and you have access to ask questions, seek advice and get a quick and reasonable response.

10. What type of fees do you charge?

A solid criminal legal specialist is an investment when the criminal charges can have a lasting impact on your life and personal freedom. While you don’t want to hire a cheap attorney, you also need a fair price.  Get a few different quotes from attorneys and exercise caution for over-priced lawyers with big advertising budgets.

11. Do you have payment plans?

Your charges and the amount of time the attorney may need to spend on your case determine the fees for your defense.  Ask about payment plans, payment flexibility, credit card payments or other flexible means to retain the attorney.

For more topics, check out these posts:

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If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, contact the experienced defense attorneys at MRD Lawyers to talk about your options. In cases like these, experienced attorneys will work with you to develop a criminal defense strategy. MRD Lawyers have 30 years of experience winning cases in the Greene County Court System, and we understand how to battle a complicated charge.

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