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The Qualities to Look for in a Criminal Lawyer

Finding the Right Criminal Attorney

From the moment you get involved with the criminal justice system, it can be a cumbersome and complicated process to go through. When facing criminal charges, it is critical to have legal representation when it comes to your defense — and finding the right criminal attorney to help you can be a daunting process.

Having legal representation goes far beyond having someone advocate for you in a courtroom. You want to ensure that your attorney has all the skills, knowledge, and understanding of the criminal court system to ensure you get sound advice and reliable representation.

Selecting the right attorney is paramount to protecting your rights and getting a fair trial. Here are ten qualities you should be looking for in your criminal attorney.

1. Integrity

Having representation from an attorney whose practice lives by strong moral principles is extremely important when looking for an attorney. Your attorney is there to protect your rights and to make the right choices and decisions on your behalf.

2. Good Communication Skills

While you want your attorney to communicate well to the judge and jury, they need to be a good listener too. As a client, having an attorney who listens to the account of your case and those involved can help them decide the strategies needed to defend you.

Your lawyer should also effectively communicate with other lawyers or prosecutors involved in your case to negotiate terms and conditions relating to your release or court settlements. Their demeanor in the courtroom is also critical. When presenting a case in front of a judge and jury, your attorney needs to exude confidence and not be intimidated by judges or prosecutors.

3. Caring and Understanding

Being charged with a crime is a scary and stressful scenario. Having an attorney who is understanding and empathetic to your situation can help ease your emotional stresses. Your lawyer should have concern for your safety and well-being and understand the emotional impact that it can have on your family members as well. They should also be conscious of minimizing public exposure so you can maintain your privacy.

4. Good Research and Investigation Skills

Criminal defense involves a lot of research and time — and you can’t afford to have an attorney walk into a courtroom on your behalf and just “wing it.” Each case is unique, and a cookie-cutter approach to your defense won’t work. Your attorney should be keen on doing legal research of other similar cases, as well as taking a deeper dive into your specific case to find anything that may have been overlooked that could point to your innocence or lessen the charge.

5. Analytical Skills

When it comes to negotiating terms, challenging the prosecution, or closing arguments to the jury, your attorney must demonstrate sharp thinking and quick rebuttals when it comes to your defense in the courtroom.

6. Aggressiveness

In the defense of your criminal case, aggressiveness, at certain times, can be necessary. When used at the right time and place, it can be an advantage. An attorney who is passionate about advocating for your rights and using aggressiveness at the right time can result in a better outcome for you.

7. Approachability

When you hire an attorney to represent you in a criminal case, this is the person you are counting on for the best possible results. You want this person to be someone with whom you are comfortable. You want them to be approachable and capable of communicating with you on a level that you find relatable.

8. Criminal Law Experience

After completing their education and passing the bar exam, most attorneys move into an area of specialization. That translates to each attorney deciding to work in a specific area of the law.

If you are facing severe criminal charges, you don't want to put your freedom in the hands of an attorney who handles mostly civil cases. You want an attorney who knows their way around the criminal justice system. Better yet, there is value in you finding an attorney who has an abundance of experience with the specific crime or crimes of which you are being charged. When interviewing criminal defense attorneys, they should supply you with case studies and successes they have achieved.

9. Connections to the Local Legal Community

In every city, county, and state, the legal community has a very distinct structure. Attorneys know prosecutors, and everyone knows the presiding judges. If you are facing criminal charges in Miami, it should make sense that you want a well established Miami criminal defense attorney advocating on your behalf. Through their reputation and involvement in the local legal community, they will know how to get things done and who to call on for important information.

10. Confidentiality

When you discuss your case with your lawyer, everything you say is confidential and should always remain between you and your attorney. Not only can breach of confidential information hurt your case, but it’s also an unethical act on behalf of your lawyer. This is often referred to as an attorney-client privilege — and it’s your right to have privacy when it comes to your case.

Are You Facing Criminal Charges? We Can Help

If you are currently dealing with a criminal matter, we encourage you to seek legal representation as soon as possible. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we specialize in criminal law in the Miami area and are ready to protect your rights.

Contact us today at (305) 330-1360 to discuss your case and learn your rights.

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