A criminal attorney is an attorney specializing in the representation of individuals and businesses charged with crimes. The attorney does not prosecute cases but rather seeks to reduce or dismiss a person's charges. Attorneys generally work for public law firms and hourly charge rates.
An important part of hiring a criminal attorney is ensuring that they are familiar with the laws that govern the state of the case and the jurisdiction in which the case is being handled. Some attorneys specialize in criminal defense, while others specialize in a specific area of criminal law. Criminal defense attorneys are charged a lower hourly rate, because most do not have extensive caseloads. Hiring a criminal defense attorney with a low hourly rate can help the client to pay for the legal fees associated with the case, as well as ensure that their case is taken seriously by the judge and jury.
The best way to find out if a criminal attorney is qualified for your case is to interview him. Make sure that you ask plenty of questions about the case and the attorney's experience in handling similar cases. You should also ask the attorney about the charges against the defendant, as well as any mitigating circumstances that might be present. Having a good understanding of the case, along with the attorney's understanding of the charges, will give you a good idea of whether the case is worth pursuing.
Once you have decided that you want to hire a criminal attorney, you can begin contacting local attorneys to determine which ones are the best fit for your case. You may want to choose someone who is close to home so that the attorney is familiar with the specific situation in which your case presents itself. You will want to choose an attorney who is experienced in handling the particular type of case that you have. You may also want to inquire about whether the attorney has dealt with similar cases in the past. If you are unsure as to the expertise of a potential attorney, it can be helpful to look for testimonials from past clients on their website.
If you cannot find a criminal attorney within reasonable driving distance of you, there are other options available. While some criminal attorneys work on a contract basis with their clients, others work independently through the Internet or through other legal firms.
Once you have located an attorney that you feel comfortable with, it is important to communicate with the attorney and work together towards a mutually beneficial resolution to the case. The criminal attorney can review your case with the prosecution and provide additional advice, or negotiate a plea bargain that will reduce the amount of time that you spend in prison or jail or let you avoid a prison for minor charges.