Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

What To Consider When Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney.

How soon should I hire an Attorney?
You should begin to search for an attorney as soon as possible. This will ensure that the attorney that you have hired has a chance to become familiar with your case and make any necessary motions for your case. For instance, if you are arrested and the bond is set in an amount that you cannot pay, your attorney can request a bond reduction. If you find yourself a defendant in a criminal case, hiring an attorney quickly or even before a warrant is issued will help the attorney protect and preserve your legal rights. Once you have acquired an attorney, describe your case as accurately as you can. This will ensure effective representation and will help your attorney in obtaining the best options for your case. At the Law Office of Nate Stark, we will begin aggressive representation of any client immediately after a retainer is paid.

Key elements to keep in mind when choosing a Criminal Attorney are: 1) Friends referrals; 2) Referrals from Civil Lawyers and 3) Interview with the Attorney recommended to you.

What am I getting for my money?
Your attorneys’ fee will ensure that your attorney can focus on your representation. You and your attorney must agree on fee, payment and payment plans, if any. Once retained, you should be able to consult with your attorney whenever you have a legal question pertaining to your case.

At the Law Office of Nate Stark, we strive to be immediately available to answer client questions and constantly update the information available to the client regarding their case.

Often, the money you have spent in hiring an attorney is much less than paying court fees and fines. Variations in legal fees can be justified by the experience of the attorney involved or the number of cases the attorney or firm takes on.

How do I select a Criminal Attorney?
Remember to bring any and all paperwork pertaining to your case during your initial consultation. Make a list of questions that you would like to ask the attorney, pertaining to your pending case or to the experience your attorney has in criminal defense. Some questions to consider are:

  • How much experience does the attorney have in the type of law I am looking for?
  • Does the attorney charge for a consultation? If so, how much?
  • Will you be able to get a written contract of what type of legal services you will get for your fee?
  • If you have a common legal issue (i.e. DWI, Expunction) is there a standardized fee for this service? If so, how much?
  • If you have an uncommon legal issue, is there an hourly rate? If so, how much? What are the services that are included with this rate?
  • Does the attorney make guarantees about the outcome of your case without knowing the evidence in the prosecutor’s file? If the attorney does make such promises, ask yourself how such promises are possible.
  • Can you communicate well with the attorney about issues in your case?
  • Was the attorney clear with the services that you will receive on your behalf?
  • Do you have a clear understanding as to how the attorney will represent you in your case?

Remember that the attorney you hire will be representing your interests to a prosecutor, judge or jury. Your decision should be based, in part, on how well the Criminal Defense Attorney communicates clearly with you.

It is also imperative that you understand the terms of the contract or agreement with the attorney before you sign it. If it is unclear, please ask questions and ask the attorney to explain anything that you are unsure of.

What should you expect from your services?
You and your attorney should be able to work together effectively to make sure that the best outcome from your case is possible. These are the expectations you should have for your services:

  • Your attorney should give you honest and detailed answers regarding possible defenses in your case, including best and worst case scenarios.
  • Your attorney should keep you updated with the status of your case including any necessary appointments.
  • Your attorney should never represent someone else who has an adverse interest to yours.
  • Your attorney should follow your instructions as to how you would like to proceed with your case matter. Unless those instructions indicate an illegal or unethical matter.
  • Your attorney should include a clear and concise itemization for what you are to be billed for.
  • Your attorney should always keep your best interest in mind when determining the best outcome for your case and never make any deal or agreement without your consent.

In addition, your attorney should expect certain obligations, which may include:

  • You must be on time to all of your appointments and court appearances.
  • You must keep your attorney updated with current contact information, during the duration of your time of service.
  • You must be open and honest with the details of your case.


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