When you are facing criminal charges, finding a law firm is imperative and should be first on your list of things to do. Below is some advice that will help you make an informed decision that will work in your favor and ensure that you are fully prepared to go before a judge when your case is heard.
1. Hire a law firm that is experienced
For how long has the law firm been in practice? How long have they been defending criminal charges? How successful have they been in helping clients with criminal charges similar to the ones you are facing?
It will help your case if the law firm in Houston you hire is familiar in defending criminal charges similar to yours. It is within your right to question the lawyer on anything, including their experience in defending such cases. Keep in mind that they will be defending your freedom. The freedom that you could lose if they are not competent enough. Don’t place such risk in someone you are unsure of.
2. Ensure they are experienced in your local courts
When searching through law firms in Houston, you should not only consider their years of successful practice in criminal defense, consider their experience in the court where your case will take place. Most courts tend to be different with each one having different procedures. It will be a major advantage to your case if the attorney that handles your case is familiar with the procedures of the court where your case is pending.
3. Should you hire an attorney or a team of attorneys?
On your search for a great law firm in Houston, look for one with multiple criminal defense attorneys or one that specifically specializes in criminal defense. Criminal charges are serious business and most cases are usually very complex. Multiple lawyers working together will come up with a better defense strategy for your case than one lawyer will. In such cases, two heads, or even more, are truly better than one.
Apart from that, an attorney who works alone could have numerous cases in different courts, which means they might not give as much attention as you would need for your case. In addition to that, if they get a conflict of two cases in two different courts on the same day, they might send a lawyer who is not familiar with your case to represent you. Again, you will be on the losing end should things go wrong.
4. Communication is key
You will need to be ready and willing to cooperate because the criminal process is usually very stressful. For this reason, make sure the attorney you choose is easy to communicate with and answers all your questions. The attorney should be able to provide you with the numbers and email addresses of all the people in the law firm you will be dealing with. In addition to that, you will need to be ready to give the full story, explaining in details everything that led to your arrest.
5. Do not expect a guarantee
When facing charges as dire as criminal charges, most people are usually very nervous and some lawyers take advantage of this. Some lawyers will guarantee certain outcomes just so you can hire them. No attorney should offer you a promise because a case is determined by numerous factors, some of which appear in the middle of the proceedings and if any of them gives a guarantee, their ethics should be questioned and you should move on to another law firm.
There are some other factors you can consider like fees and contracts. If their prices are too low, be wary but if the prices are too high, it does not mean they are the best either. Discuss payment plans, schedule, and terms before signing the contract.