A criminal conviction can have a major impact on your life. Long-term consequences of a conviction may include fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, difficulty finding employment, and much more.
That’s why, if you’ve been arrested in Clearwater, FL, you need the right criminal defense attorney on your side. You can’t settle for a lawyer simply because they’re the first name that came up when you ask for recommendations. You need to make sure you’re hiring someone who will provide you with the strongest possible representation.
These tips will help. If you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Clearwater, FL, keep them in mind.
4 Tips to Finding the Best Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer
1. Check Reviews
Finding a criminal defense attorney doesn’t need to be as complicated a process as you might assume. In many ways, it’s very similar to the process of finding a contractor or any other professional.
If you were planning on building an addition to your home, would you hire a contractor simply because they promised unbeatable service? Probably not. You would probably do some research, ask for client testimonials, and check for reviews online.
You should do the same when you need the best criminal defense attorney in Clearwater, FL. While the degree in which they can provide client testimonials may be limited due to attorney-client privilege, if they deliver results, they will have positive reviews. Popular places to check for lawyer reviews is on their website, Google reviews, and even social media.
Ask for these before hiring an attorney. A criminal defense lawyer who does right by their clients will gladly provide them. One who tries to evade this request may not be right for your needs.
2. Make Sure They Have Relevant Experience
You want to know any attorney you hire has the proper education, training, and qualifications to represent you. Checking on these details before making a hiring decision is essential.
However, you should also ask if they have specific experience handling cases such as yours. For instance, if you were arrested for a DUI, you’d want to find a Clearwater criminal defense attorney who has dealt with DUI cases before. Doing so confirms they understand the nuances of all applicable laws. If an attorney hasn’t handled cases similar to yours in the past, it’s best to look elsewhere.
3. Trust Your Impressions
Relevant experience and a proven track record are among the most important factors to prioritize when seeking a criminal defense attorney in Clearwater. You need to be confident you’re hiring someone with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to build a strong case.
That doesn’t mean you should neglect your own impressions when you meet with an attorney for the first time. After all, their job may be to represent you in a court of law. You will feel more comfortable with the idea of them doing so if you are comfortable with your relationship in general. If you feel an attorney is paying attention to you during a consultation and taking your needs seriously, that’s a good sign. On the other hand, if you find it difficult to speak with them, or you feel they do not genuinely care about your case, you should seek representation elsewhere. A lawyer who does not demonstrate any personal concern for their clients typically is not one who will represent them effectively.
4. Look for a Prosecutor
It’s often very beneficial to hire a criminal defense attorney who also has experience working as a prosecutor. There are several reasons why.
First of all, someone who was once a prosecutor understands how the prosecution goes about building a strong case. That means they also understand where the prosecution’s case may be weak. Knowing what the prosecution’s potential weaknesses are is key to using them in your favor.
An attorney who formerly worked as a prosecutor will also have significant courtroom experience. Having litigated in many cases, they know how to prepare if yours does go to court. Attorneys without this experience can spend minimal time in a courtroom.
It is also worth noting that prosecutors tend to have substantial caseloads. They are busy professionals who must learn how to balance many different cases while giving each one sufficient attention. Thus, when you hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience as a prosecutor, you’ll know you’re hiring someone who can address your needs, instead of treating you like just another client among many others.
Remembering these tips is critical to finding the best criminal defense lawyer in Clearwater, FL. Do not forget how important this is. Hiring the right attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Again, because a criminal conviction may have long-lasting consequences, hiring the right criminal defense attorney in Clearwater, FL can also have a major, positive impact on your life for years to come.on Aug 12, 2019