What Should I Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A criminal defendant must hire a successful criminal defense lawyer after they are accused of a crime. The system provides a defendant with the right to a trial by their peers. In addition, a defendant has a right to be represented by an lawyer at trial. These rights are provided to ensure that each defendant gets a fair trial so that no one is jailed unjustly. The key to this system working as intended is for the criminal defense lawyer to competently represent their client in court.

What Should I Expect from a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal law is complex, and a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will evaluate a case for weaknesses that can be used to mitigate the case against the defendant. The lawyer does this by evaluating the situation surrounding any arrests, searches and seizures, evidence gathering, and other prosecutorial action. An effective lawyer can identify if there were any problems in how law enforcement officers conducted themselves that could prevent incriminating evidence from being used against the defendant. The lawyer will also evaluate evidence that is incriminating and exculpatory in order to strategize on how best to represent their client.

How to Select a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Research criminal defense lawyers in the geographic area to find one that has handled similar cases successfully in the past. It is vital for the criminal defense lawyer to be familiar with the intricacies of the law as it pertains to the particular charge in order to be able to build a strong defense strategy.  The right criminal defense lawyer will also be familiar with the local court system and rules as well as know the prosecutors, the judges and their dispositions.

Once a few possibilities are selected, it is important to meet with them. First impressions are important. If something feels off, then it is important to honor this feeling and move on. There are no guarantees of outcomes, and false promises are a very bad sign.

Did the prospective lawyer accept the call promptly or return a voice mail message right away? If not, they may not be the right choice. The right lawyer is responsive and respectful of the client’s time. Check out the lawyer’s communication style to see if it is clear and helpful. The lawyer will be inquiring about the facts of the case, and it is important to feel comfortable sharing these details.

Before hiring a lawyer, understand the cost and how the fees will be charged. A retainer agreement is a contract between a lawyer and their client. Make sure to review an agreement before signing. It should clearly spell out the terms of the contractual relationship.

What Happens During the Course of Representation?

Normally, an arraignment hearing is the first appearance in court and involves the defendant being informed of the accused offenses, and they are asked to enter a plea. The defense lawyer should already be very familiar with the case and advise best as to how to plea. The lawyer will investigate options that may include entering into a plea agreement to a lesser charge to avoid a trial.

If the case proceeds to trial, the lawyer will make important decisions on jury selection. At trial, the lawyer will zealously represent the client. If a client is found guilty, the criminal defense lawyer will attempt to negotiate for a favorable sentence or consider filing an appeal.

Haddonfield Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Provide Trusted Legal Guidance to Clients Accused of Crimes

Our Haddonfield criminal defense lawyers at Agre & St. John have successfully represented various clients, and our legal team can help you if you are accused of a crime. Contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797 for an initial consultation today. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.

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