Being faced with criminal charges can be a demoralizing experience. Besides the prospect of jail time, your reputation might be hurt and there is a possibility this will affect your future even if you’re not convicted. Given this complex situation, it’s key to get the best help you can get when hiring someone to guide you through the criminal justice system.
Next up are 6 important factors when choosing a criminal defense lawyer.
Being in such a serious situation, you’ll want someone who has experience, as well as someone who has a high success rate in this type of case. You’ll also want a lawyer that has experience in all courts, from provincial and territorial to superior courts. This is because the jurisdictions of the courts sometimes overlap, and you’ll want someone who can represent you in all of them.
2. Steer clear from the Legal Aid Program
Even if you’re eligible for the Legal Aid Program, whose requirements are different in every province, you might not want to go down this route. Public defenders are usually not very experienced and are also swamped with work as they have several other cases to handle. Your best bet is to invest in a criminal defense lawyer to have a proper chance at success.
3. Local network
Hiring a lawyer with an established network of local connections is key to increasing your chances of success. They will know prosecutors and judges and understand local procedures. They will also know who considers plea bargains and who doesn’t. This is important to creating a winning strategy for your case.
4. Get the free consultation
The best way to get to know a lawyer like Zamani Law is by meeting them face to face. It’s important to research reviews, websites, and social media when choosing a lawyer, but taking advantage of a free consultation is priceless. It’s extremely important that you feel comfortable with your lawyer and that you feel they treat your case with empathy. It’s also key to take this opportunity to ask them any questions you might have. This will help you assess if you feel at ease with this lawyer.
5. Available for you
One of the most important factors to consider when hiring a criminal defense lawyer is that they’re available for you as soon as you need them. Time is very important in a process of this kind. You’ll want a lawyer who doesn’t take the time to answer your emails and who can schedule meetings with you quickly. This will make you feel at ease in such a difficult situation.
Lawyers can be expensive, especially if you’re on a budget. But you have to consider that a lawyer who offers a lower rate probably won’t have as much experience as one who charges more. Extra high fees won’t help either, as they will add stress to your life. Try to choose a lawyer that falls between these two extremes.