When you are charged with a crime, there is a whirlwind of activity. How do you stop the storm, get your bearings, and choose the best local criminal defense attorney in Fairhope, AL for your case?
The stakes are high. Your very freedom may be at stake. Even if you are not facing jail or prison time, you may be facing a conviction that will impact the rest of your life. It may steal your ability to support your family, or even take away your basic rights such as the right to bear arms and the right to vote.
That is why it is critically important that you know a little bit about choosing the right attorney.
Are Recommendations All That They Are Cracked Up to Be?
Referrals and recommendations are a fantastic place to begin. But do not make the mistake of ending the search there. While it may be true that your friend got charged for driving on a suspended license and Attorney X may have “gotten her out of it,” but that does not necessarily mean that Attorney X is the best lawyer for your case. Maybe Attorney X just got lucky but your friend assumed that the result meant the attorney was great at her job. You just never know. So you need to do your homework.
Do a Web Search
Start by getting recommendations. Then go to the websites of attorneys that interest you. Read carefully. Make sure that the attorneys you consider have a healthy amount of experience specifically in criminal law.
For example, Attorney Y may have been practicing civil litigation for decades, but possibly he just branched out into criminal law. This should become apparent when you read the biography. They will likely try to veil any lack of experience with vague wording. So if you can’t tell how long they have practiced criminal law, or how many criminal cases they’ve taken to trial, then chances are they may be masking a lack of experience.
This is critical to know. A local criminal defense attorney in Fairhope, AL who has been in the justice system for years will know the intimate details of what you are about to face. They will know if the assigned judge is sympathetic to defendants, or if they tend to be harsh. They will know if the prosecutor is reasonable. This helps them plan an effective strategy, and to guide you to the most beneficial result.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
After fishing through the web, choose your top lawyers and make appointments to see them. Sit in their office. Get a feel for them. Are they burnt out with little energy left to take your case all the way to trial if that turns out to be the best choice for you? Or do they have passion and seem willing to do whatever it takes to secure your best result, no matter how much work that may entail? Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers so that you can find the best local criminal defense attorney in Fairhope, AL for your case.