What to Ask Your Criminal Defense Lawyer During Your Consultation

If you require a criminal defense lawyer for yourself, then presumably, the police say you committed a crime or multiple crimes. This might upset you a great deal. You may face considerable jail time, depending on the charges the court system brings against you.

With the right defense strategy, victory and freedom are achievable. If you hire an excellent defense attorney, they can hopefully get you off. You must meet with them and describe what criminal charges you are facing.

During that meeting, you should ask your would-be lawyer some pointed questions. Let’s talk about them right now.

How Can I Pay You?

You must ask how you can pay your lawyer. If you hire an attorney for something like a civil lawsuit where you sue someone, then you might pay the lawyer using a contingency payment plan. That means that if they can’t win your case, you owe them no money. In other words, you’re not paying them out of pocket.

For something like criminal defense, though, you will probably pay an hourly rate. It’s not likely the lawyer will charge you a flat fee.

That means you must determine what this attorney charges per hour. That’s generally how criminal defense lawyers operate. Once you figure out definitively whether you can afford what this attorney or firm charges per hour, you will know whether you can afford them.

Have You Taken on Cases Like This Before?

Next, you should ask whether your would-be lawyer has ever taken on a case like yours. If they’ve taken on prior cases where someone else faced the same charges that you do or fairly similar ones, then you should feel somewhat better about that. If your lawyer doesn’t know criminal defense law very well, or if they’re never taken on a case that’s remotely like yours, that’s a sure sign you should go with someone else.

If they’re taken on cases like yours before, you should next ask them how those cases turned out. Did they get the individuals off who they represented before? Did they keep them out of jail?

If they did, that’s another reason you should feel better. You require a lawyer with a proven track record.

What Resources Do You Have Available?

You might hire a lawyer from a prestigious law firm. You may also hire someone who’s on their own. 

They might not have a whole law office with all its resources behind them.

Ideally, you want an attorney or law firm with many resources at its disposal. You want investigators working with your lawyer who can uncover all the evidence that might keep you out of jail.

If the lawyer or law firm you hire can tell you that they have many investigators and resources at their disposal, that’s another sign you’ve chosen wisely.

What Strategy Will You Use?

At this point, you might also ask about what kind of strategy the lawyer might use. You can ask whether they’ll produce physical evidence that can exonerate you. You might ask about eyewitnesses and ways they might structure your defense.

Before the lawyer starts investigating your case, they might not completely know how they will defend you. They must uncover evidence and then use it during your trial.

However, they should have a general idea about how they’ll structure your defense, and they should tell you about it without hesitation. You should know what argument and framework you can expect when you get up in front of a judge, and your lawyer starts fighting on your behalf.

What Steps Come Next?

If you feel at this point like you’ve found the right lawyer or law firm, then you can ask them at this juncture what concrete steps come next. They might mention your next court appearance and what you can expect then. They may outline whether you should expect a cash bail option or whether you must stay in jail for the moment.

They might mention meeting with your family members if you must stay in jail without posting bail. They may talk about getting you an outfit for your next court appearance. 

They may mention to you that you shouldn’t discuss the case with anyone else. In general, they should reassure you and let you know what you should expect over the coming hours, days, and weeks.
Your lawyer should project confidence. If they don’t, then that’s also a sign you didn’t select the best available choice.

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