If you’ve been accused of a crime, you may not know what to do next. The first thing you should do is hire a criminal defense attorney. But who should you hire? And how do you decide who’s right for you?
It is crucial to understand why you need a criminal defense attorney and how they can help if you’re facing legal charges. Here, the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling explains everything you need to know.
Why Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Criminal charges are serious. If found guilty, you could face fines, prison time, community service, driver’s license suspension, and the long-term collateral consequences of having a criminal record.
Many Americans trust our criminal justice system to get it right most of the time. Unfortunately, thousands of good people have been wrongfully convicted due to police or prosecutorial misconduct, flawed evidence, and inadequate representation.
Do not let that happen to you. Hire a criminal defense attorney if you are investigated for or charged with a crime. Your lawyer can look out for your interests and protect your rights.
What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney
There are many criminal defense attorneys, so how do you find the right one? Start by looking for the following qualities:
- Accessibility – Your lawyer should be just a phone call away at any moment.
- Experience – Your attorney should have many years of experience handling criminal cases like yours.
- Track record – Your criminal defense lawyer should have a successful track record, including negotiating plea bargains, getting charges dismissed, and securing not-guilty verdicts.
- Comfort – You need to feel comfortable with your lawyer. You will spend a lot of time together and need to trust them with the details of your life and the charges against you.
- Affordability – You need to understand how your prospective lawyer’s fees are calculated and whether you can afford to hire them.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
Criminal defense attorneys represent those suspected of committing a crime or facing criminal charges. A defense lawyer may do some or all the following as part of their representation:
- Investigate the allegations
- Analyze the prosecution’s evidence
- File pretrial motions
- Negotiate plea deals with the prosecutor
- Represent clients at trial
Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Before hiring a criminal defense lawyer, ask them these questions:
- Have you handled cases like mine?
- How much would I work with you?
- Who else would work on my case?
- How many jury trials have you handled? How many have you won?
- How do I get in touch with you?
- What is your fee? Do you offer a payment plan?
- Can you provide client testimonials or references?
How Do Criminal Defense Lawyer Fees Work?
Criminal defense attorneys’ fees vary based on their experience, reputation, and flexibility. Some lawyers bill by the hour. Others charge a flat fee. Some attorneys require an upfront retainer fee, while others may offer a payment plan. Make sure you understand your lawyer’s fees at the outset to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling
If you are looking for a tough, committed criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling today. Our legal team has two decades of criminal defense experience and has tried over 70 jury trials to verdicts throughout California. Founding attorney Justin E. Sterling personally handles his clients’ cases from start to finish. Contact us 24/7 for a consultation with an experienced defense lawyer.