When dealing with a crime case, you cannot simply call the same family lawyer who took care of the will and neither can you use the same Houston attorney your friend used in a car accident. These are civil attorneys and they are not what you need. You need someone who deals with criminal law and depending on the charges you will probably need the best defense Houston attorney you can find.
Criminal vs. Civil Attorneys
Most private defense attorneys usually either practice in partnerships or choose to practice on their own and more often than not, they practice in specific geographical areas. On the other hand, civil attorneys tend to congregate in big law firms sometimes with many branches in different cities. Personalities differ greatly between civil and private defense attorneys but the major difference between them and the differing nature of the work they do is:
· Private defense attorneys tend to represent individual offenders whose problems are usually local. On the other hand, civil attorneys tend to represent large companies that do business all over the country or even the world.
· Civil attorneys usually represent companies that need legal advice and representation on a continual basis. Private defense attorneys defend one shot offenders without any re-occurring needs.
Most of the time, private attorneys have at some point in their career worked for the government for several years either as public attorneys or prosecutors before they decided to go private. This makes them the better choice for criminal defense cases.
A Local Advantage
As a defendant, you should try to hire a Houston attorney who has experience in the same courthouse where your case is pending. Despite the fact that the same laws apply in the state of Houston, procedures vary depending on the courthouse. For instance, there might be a plea-bargaining policy in one court and no such policy in another.
A defense attorney in Houston TX will probably know the prosecutors that will be more likely to plead before trial and those likely to negotiate in advance. A local attorney will know the police officers as well as how they perform before juries. A defense attorney who is well versed with the local procedures and the personnel will be a good representative.
When searching for the best Houston attorney, it is best if you inquire if they have represented defendants with similar offenses to your case. Modern criminal law has become very complex and most attorneys choose to specialize in certain types of offences. It will be appropriate if you question the lawyers experience during the consultation and you will be entitled to honest answers. If the Attorney is evasive or gives vague unrevealing answers, you will be best without them.
The Personal Factor
The attorney will be speaking on your behalf and regardless of how highly recommended they are, it will help your case a lot more if you are more comfortable with them. You will need to have a good attorney client relationship where you will be involved in decision making. The attorney should be able to see you as a person and not just another case for them.
Gauge during the initial consultation if the attorney is someone you can talk to freely, whether they explain things in a way you understand, whether they actually really want to help you and whether they can engender trust in judges, prosecutors or even jurors.