There are now nearly 21,000 criminal law firms employing over 61,100 criminal lawyers and attorneys in the US. If you need a Tampa criminal defense attorney, you’ll need a means of narrowing down your options. Otherwise, you might choose a criminal defense attorney who lacks the experience you need.
Here are five questions you can ask while vetting Florida defense attorneys. Asking these questions will ensure you find the right lawyer for your case.
Start your search for an attorney with these tips today.
1. How Long Have You Practiced Law?
Before hiring a criminal defense attorney, make sure they have years of hands-on experience relevant to your needs.
First, determine how long each lawyer has practiced law. You can start building a list of Florida defense attorneys by visiting the state bar association website. Make sure each lawyer is licensed to practice in the state of Florida.
Otherwise, check the Martindale-Hubbell law firm directory for a list of local lawyers.
Look for a lawyer who has years of hands-on experience practicing in Florida.
Some laws and procedures can vary based on your location. Finding a lawyer with local experience will give you peace of mind about their abilities.
If they only recently passed the bar, however, remove them from your list. An inexperienced lawyer is more likely to make a mistake. Chances are, they lack the professional network that can strengthen your defense, too.
How Long Have You Specialized?
It’s not enough to find a general lawyer with years of case experience. Instead, look for lawyers who specialize. Determine how long each lawyer on your list has specialized as a criminal defense attorney.
Make sure their specialty is relevant to your needs, too.
For example, perhaps you were charged with a drug crime. Maybe you need a lawyer with experience handling federal defense cases. Choose someone with years of experience handling cases like yours.
These attorneys will have an easier time navigating the complexities of your case.
Make sure they’ve handled multiple cases like yours in the past, too. Ask them about the outcome of those cases. Make sure they’ve handled similar cases recently as well.
2. How Often Do Your Cases Go To Trial?
As you learn more about each lawyer’s professional history, ask how often their cases go to trial.
You can’t anticipate how your case will proceed. It’s best to cover your bases by finding someone with years of courtroom experience.
Otherwise, you might end up with a criminal defense lawyer who is apprehensive about going to court. If they’re nervous about trying a case in front of a judge and jury, they might drop the ball. They might even try to avoid going to court by accepting a plea deal.
Make sure you’re choosing a lawyer who has your best interests in mind. Determine if they have the skill set necessary to handle your case, too. For example, they should feel confident in their abilities to try your case in court.
They should also have strong communication and listening skills.
A lawyer with active listening skills will know how to analyze a lawyer’s or witness’ statements. They’ll know how to think on their feet to develop counter-arguments.
Finding a lawyer with the right skill set for handling your case in court can help you feel more confident in their abilities.
What Strategy Will You Use?
As you interview the attorney, ask what strategy they’ll use when trying your case.
The lawyer shouldn’t use a cookie-cutter approach. Rather, they should consider the details of your case and the evidence involved. Then, they should run you through your potential legal options.
Your Tampa criminal defense attorney shouldn’t push you in one direction or another. Instead, they should help you review the pros and cons of each option. Then, they’ll develop your case strategy based on your preferences and goals.
3. What’s Your Track Record?
Only 2% of federal criminal cases went to trial within a span of a single year. A majority (90%) pleaded guilty instead. Meanwhile, the remaining 8% of cases were dismissed.
Most of the defendants who did go to trial were found guilty. Fewer than 1% went to trial and won their cases.
Before hiring a criminal defense attorney, make sure you’re choosing a winner.
Ask each lawyer how many cases like yours they’ve handled in the past. Then, compare their wins and losses. Determine how many of those cases they won recently, too.
Finding a lawyer with a strong track record can give you peace of mind before they begin handling your case.
What Are the Possible Outcomes For My Case?
Ask your defense attorney what outcome they expect for your case.
They shouldn’t give you any guarantees about how the case could proceed. Instead, they should prepare you for each possible scenario.
For example, the protection might drop all charges. Your lawyer might manage to work out a plea deal instead. However, you should still prepare to go to court.
4. How Often Will We Communicate?
Determine how often you and your criminal defense attorney will communicate once they start working on your case. Make sure the lawyer you speak with is the one who will handle your case, too.
Otherwise, they might hand your case off to a paralegal or junior attorney.
5. How Much Will This Cost?
Ask each lawyer about their fee structure. Pricing can vary between attorneys. Determine what’s included with each lawyer’s fees.
Ask how they calculate their expenses as well.
You’ll likely pay more for a more experienced and capable lawyer. Don’t choose the cheapest option, though. Instead, choose a defense attorney who is capable of winning your case.
You’ll find their services were worth every penny once you’re free.
Find the Best Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case Today
Don’t make the mistake of hiring the first criminal defense lawyer you call. Instead, use these tips to find the best Tampa criminal defense attorney. Hiring the best lawyer can increase the chances of a positive outcome for your case.
Are you facing criminal charges? Don’t hesitate to call for help.
Contact our team today for a free, instant case evaluation.
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RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team knows what it takes to fight on your behalf.
Let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at (844) RHINO-77.