Facing criminal charges and the possibility of time in jail is frightening. It’s one experience that no one wants to endure. And being accused of a crime affects your reputation, tarnishes your character, and puts your future at risk – even if you’re not convicted. This is why it’s wise to have a criminal defense attorney in Colorado by your side. But with so many attorneys wanting your trust, who do you choose? Here are some steps to make the process easier.
1. Avoid Public Defenders
A public defender is an attorney, but they represent people who can’t afford to hire one. The court appoints a public defender when necessary and pays the bill. You might think this is the best option because it costs you nothing. It certainly is the least expensive choice, but public defenders are usually inexperienced and loaded with cases. You won’t receive the attention and diligence needed to build a good case. The public defender simply doesn’t have enough time. A private attorney will have the time and dedication to give you the representation that you deserve.
2. Check Ratings and Reviews
Listening to past clients is a great way to learn about an attorneys behavior. You’ll get an idea about how the attorney treats clients. If past clients were treated well, you’ll likely receive the same treatment. Several law firm ratings and rankings services are available to help in your research. Some of the most widely-used include Avvo, Martindale Hubbell, and Peer Review Ratings. These services can help you learn about an attorney’s reputation and character.
3. Hire a Criminal Defense Specialist
Most law firms can handle criminal defense cases. But it’s best to seek an attorney who specializes in criminal defense cases. Otherwise, you might get an attorney who has legal experience, but not in the area that you need. Your reputation, freedom, and future are on the line. What you want is someone who can provide the absolute best defense. An attorney who specializes in criminal law increases your chances for a favorable outcome.
4. Schedule a Consultation
Reading about a lawyer or visiting their website can provide valuable information. But a personal meeting is important as well. Most lawyers understand this, and offer free consultations for potential clients. This gives you a chance to meet the attorney, discuss your case, and to basically see if you like the person. Go elsewhere if you’re uncomfortable with the attorney. And don’t feel bad for walking away. Your freedom is at stake, so you have the right to make another choice.
You might want a trusted friend or family member to help choose your criminal defense attorney. Making such an important decision under stress could cloud your thinking. Getting help or input from someone you trust can possibly help you make the best decision.