Although many people try to avoid it, hiring a criminal defence lawyer should be the first thing do to when arrested or facing a criminal charge. Whatever criminal charges you are facing, a good lawyer can defend you in a court of law, and also see to it that you get a fair trial. Unlike a regular family lawyer, a criminal barrister is well trained and experienced around the courtroom, hence knows how to handle the jury and judges well. With many licensed attorneys out there, identifying the best one for the job can be a little intimidating. If you need help to find a competent barrister, it is wise to consult a criminal defence solicitor (read this article for more information). Discussed below are however some of the important attributes and factors to consider when shopping for a criminal barrister.
With the prosecutor and possibly jury breathing fire on your shoulder, you need someone with just the right experience to prove your innocence. An expert criminal barrister is the best lawyer to represent you in such situations. Hiring a defence lawyer who specializes in criminal law alone gives you an upper hand in winning the case, or getting the fairest ruling possible. These attorneys spend most of their time studying criminal law, and better still, know their way around courtrooms. Be sure to look for a lawyer specializing in this niche to stand a good chance in court.
Experience in the field and as a practicing criminal defence lawyer is crucial for your case. It is by working on numerous similar cases that one becomes good at what they do. Hiring a lawyer with at least 6 years of experience in criminal cases is considerably much better than one with only a year or two under his/her sleeve. An experienced lawyer knows how to approach a case when to settle, and when to proceed to trial without endangering his/her client’s freedom.
Reputation is the one thing you never want to gamble with when facing several years of imprisonment. Having a distinguished lawyer representing you not only gives your case a chance but also assures you that the lawyer will give the case his/her best. Reputation also matters a lot in the legal industry, as the prosecutor may use a lawyer’s tainted reputation against him/her. It would therefore be advisable to look for a reputable lawyer and someone you can trust to represent you.
You should also discuss legal fees with the attorney before signing any binding document. While some lawyers will agree to work on a contingency, some will bill you per the hour. Be sure to discuss payments with the attorney before signing him/her.