Photo by Sora Shimazaki
Originally Posted On: How to Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Montgomery County (Fast!) (nonstopjustice.com)
Were you wrongly given an assault and battery charge by an officer? Do you want to fight against the charges such as domestic abuse, drug charges, or theft? If so, then you will need to find a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
The decision on who you hire will play a pivotal role in your case. They’ll be the ones advising you the entire way, gathering evidence, and speaking on your behalf. In other words, you need to take the time to find the right one.
See below for a guide on how to find the right one in Montgomery County for your needs. That way, you’ll find someone that will have a positive influence on your case.
1. SEARCH FOR LOCAL EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE
Make no mistake about it, this criminal defense process will be life-altering for you one way or the other. Either you get convicted of the crime or you’re not found guilty, those are two completely different life experiences from that day forward.
When facing charges, there is a lot at stake and you want to find someone with the experience and know-how to represent you. That way, you can ensure that you hire the right person for your case.
The best outcome usually will require a lawyer who is knowledgable, experienced, and local. The law can often be “who you know” rather than “what you know”, so getting a lawyer that’s familiar with the judges and prosecutors in your case can be a huge benefit.
While searching for a criminal lawyer in Montgomery County, of course you want to read their reviews. Even if you need one fast, you need to take the time to find one that is local or in your community.
Make sure the lawyers you reach out to one that specializes in criminal defense. Be sure to ask them about previous cases they’ve done that were similar to your situation.
Don’t be afraid to ask them about the process. What can you expect if you hire them? What route would the suggest that you take? What do they feel is the “best-case scenario” for your situation? Do they know the judge in your case? How long have they practiced in that county?
2. GET THE ATTORNEY YOU PAY FOR- NOT A HAND-OFF
If you’re going to be hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, then you want to make sure that they’re the ones that will oversee your case. Bigger firms unfortunately hand off cases to inexperienced or newer attorneys in the firm without the client knowing. This can have drastic effects on your case- and your future!
It’s not uncommon for attorneys defer things like paperwork or filing tasks to other people in their firm, such as assistants and paralegals. But the main attorney, the person ultimately responsible for your case, should NOT get handed off to someone else.
You want someone hands-on. Someone that genuinely cares about the outcome of your case and is willing to work hard to achieve a positive result.
Be sure to ask them about their entire process. How do they prefer to go about gathering evidence? Do they delegate any work to other people inside their firm? Is there anything you (the defendant) can be doing to help them along the way?
Every criminal defense lawyer has a preferred method. Make sure that their process makes sense to you before you agree to abide by it.
3. PRIORITIZE COMMUNICATION
Unless you’ve studied criminal law yourself, the entire process will seem complicated and (at times) confusing to you. You’ll be depending on your lawyer to guide you through every step of the process.
To do that, the criminal defense attorney you hire has to prioritize communication with their clients. There’s no worse feeling than being left in the dark with your own criminal case.
Take note of their communication skills during your initial call/meeting with them. Do they lay out the process in a helpful way? Do you like the way that they conduct themselves? Do you have a good working relationship with them?
A criminal case can last up to a year, so you want to make sure you find an attorney that you enjoy working with.
Lastly, find a responsive attorney. Are they quick to answer your questions? Do they respond to you in an efficient amount of time? Are they willing to pick up your call at any time of the day or night?
4. LOOK AT ONLINE REVIEWS
Even if you need to find one quickly, it’s always wise to check the online reviews before hiring a lawyer of any kind. This gives you a peek behind the curtain as to what it’s like to be a client with that specific lawyer and their firm.
Be sure to focus on both the average ratings and the comments. Do the clients speak highly of the attorney? What type of criminal charge did they have? Would they recommend them to others? What was the process like?
There are some reviews that you should take with a grain of salt. However, these reviews will give you a general sense of which Montgomery County lawyers can be trusted with your case.
5. COST IS IMPORTANT- BUT NOT MOST IMPORTANT
A good criminal defense attorney won’t be cheap. Like everything else in life, you usually get what you pay for. However, a lawyers price will be impacted by the severity of your charges, their experience, the amount of work likely needed for your case, and if a trial is anticipated. A lawyer will charge for their services in one of two ways: by an hourly rate or via a fixed fee. Each one has its pros and cons.
Fixed fee lawyers are a win-win for you as a client and the lawyer. When a lawyer quotes a fixed rate or fee, they are incentivized to get the best possible outcome in the shortest amount of time. Don’t let a seemingly steep upfront rate deter you- it’s actually a sign your lawyer is experienced in your area and won’t tack on additional fees later. Fixed fees are the “no-haggle” pricing of the legal world.
Hourly rate lawyers might seem less expensive at first but can quickly add up expenses as they work your case. Many unknowing clients are shocked to see “billable hours” adding up to astronomical levels with no conclusion in sight.
Get a lawyer that is transparent with their estimates and is forthcoming about any additional fees. Too many lawyers hide those legal fees until the end, leaving their clients in a tough situation.
Make sure to ask for an estimate on the cost for them to represent you. While many factors might alter the price, it’s always good to have a point of reference.
FIND A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER FOR YOUR CASE
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide for how to find a criminal defense lawyer in Montgomery County, be sure to use it during your search.
Be sure to read this article for more information on how criminal defense has changed in the past 10 years. There you’ll begin to understand more about the process.
For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page and we will be happy to assist you further.