When you’re facing criminal charges in West Chester, Pennsylvania, it’s important to hire the best criminal defense lawyer available. Your legal representative will be your advocate in court and can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
That being said, selecting the right attorney is no easy task. With so many lawyers to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you and your situation. Here are some tips on how to choose the best West Chester criminal defense lawyer for you.
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Ask for Referrals from Family and Friends
The first step in finding a great criminal defense lawyer is to ask for referrals from friends or family members who have been in similar situations. Chances are someone you know has used a criminal defense attorney before and can give you honest feedback about their experience. This is an excellent way to get an unbiased opinion about different attorneys in your area.
Once you have some names of potential lawyers, take the time to do research online and read reviews from past clients. You’ll want to find out as much information as possible about each lawyer before making a decision.
Pay close attention to any complaints that come up during your research – if too many people have complained about a particular attorney, it’s probably best to move on and look elsewhere.
Schedule Free Consultations To Explore Your Options
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential lawyers, make sure to schedule free consultations with each one of them so that you can get a better feel for their personality and approach towards cases similar to yours.
During this meeting, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out how long they’ve been practicing law, what kind of cases they specialize in, how often they go to trial, etc.
Remember, you’re interviewing them, not the other way around.
What Questions To Ask During the Initial Consultation
When you are looking for a criminal defense attorney, it’s essential that you ask the right questions during your consultation. This is your opportunity to get to know the lawyer and decide if they are the best fit for your case.
Here are some key questions to ask when meeting with a criminal defense attorney.
Experience With Your Type of Case
It is important to ask about the attorney’s experience in cases similar to yours. Ask them how many cases of this type they have handled in the past, what their success rate was, and how many of those went to trial.
You should also inquire about their strategy when handling these kinds of cases and any creative solutions they may have used in similar situations. Are pre-trial dispositions available? Should you expect this case to go to trial?
An experienced attorney will be able to answer these questions easily and provide examples from past cases.
Experience With Litigation
While most criminal cases end in a guilty plea, some of them do go to trial, so it’s important to find a lawyer who isn’t afraid to fight for you in the courtroom. This may sound obvious, but many attorneys aren’t experienced enough with this, and it can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
You should also ensure that your lawyer represents clients throughout all stages of litigation or refers them out instead. You should feel comfortable with an attorney’s ability to handle any and all aspects of your case that arise.
Talk About Price
It’s not uncommon for attorneys to charge based on an hourly rate, but other payment options are available depending on the circumstances. Ask what type of payment structure your lawyer typically uses and get an estimate of how much your case will cost overall.
You should understand what services are included in a flat fee versus an hourly rate so that there are no surprises. Knowing this information ahead of time will help you make an informed decision when selecting a criminal defense attorney.
Communication Habits and Expectations
Communication between a client and their lawyer is paramount in any legal situation, especially when dealing with criminal charges. Make sure that you both understand each other’s expectations when it comes to communication frequency and method (e-mail, phone calls).
Knowing how often you can expect updates on the status of your case can help set realistic expectations on both sides. It also ensures that you aren’t wondering what is going on and why you haven’t heard from your lawyer.
Remember that this is an opportunity for you to get more information on what they can offer and what they would recommend doing next, given your unique circumstances.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With an Experienced West Chester Criminal Defense Attorney
If you need a West Chester criminal defense lawyer or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation.