Building a defense case can easily become a complicated task. If you aren’t careful in choosing the proper Philadelphia defense attorney, you could seriously end up damaging your future with possible imprisonment and a criminal record. Before you begin your search for a defense attorney, there are a few things you should know that may help ease the process for you useful reference.
The first step in hiring an attorney is to understand which area of law your case falls under so you can search for a lawyer who specializes in that particular facet of law. For instance, a criminal case can easily require a great deal more tenacity in the courtroom than that of a misdemeanor, such as minor property damage and theft, as well as acts of violence. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it would suit you best to only consider lawyers who have experience in criminal law, particularly in the area you are charged with, as a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer will likely yield better results with your case.
Step two in the process of hiring a defense lawyer is to draft up a list of lawyers who you think might be able to help you. You can find candidates by browsing through the local phonebook and newspapers, as well as asking family members. Asking the opinion of people you trust can really cut down the quest for a lawyer, providing you get along well with him/her and can develop a sense of trust, as required with many attorney/client relationships. Another great source for finding candidates is online using Google or another good search engine. This is a great way to yield several results which you can trim down by adding more specific search criteria.
Next, you will want to find out if the attorney offers a free consultation. This is particularly important if you are on a budget, as paying for several consultations could lead you to feel pressured into “settling” with a lawyer to end the mounting consultation fees. Start setting up appointments with a handful of lawyers or so to carry out a short face-to-face interview.
Your meeting in person with the lawyer is quite imperative, as you need to be sure you can get along well with your lawyer. You will be asked a series of questions about your case, after which you may ask a few questions about the lawyer. Some good questions to ask are how long the lawyer has practiced defense law in Pennsylvania, how much they charge for cases such as yours, and what their win/lose ratio is. You can research the lawyer’s previous cases, and pay particular attention to those that closest resemble yours. You can get a good idea how the lawyer would handle your case based on whether they have won or lost more cases like yours.
Remember these bits of advice when you’re looking for a lawyer and you should find the process a little less overwhelming. Also, keep in mind that your future and freedom could be at stake, therefore it’s okay to be a bit nit-picky when selecting your Philadelphia attorney.