If you’re facing arrest or have already been arrested, you may be living in daily fear of the unknown. Even if you have been arrested in the past, when law enforcement comes knocking, fear is a natural response. If you are facing your first arrest, if there is a warrant out for your arrest, or if you feel a criminal charge is imminent, you must take action to seek sound legal counsel right away.
The sooner you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney, the better your chances are of having a positive outcome. This is especially true when you have been charged with a serious crime.
Choosing a criminal defense attorney is a huge decision and one that cannot be taken lightly. If someone you love has already been arrested, is going to be arrested soon, or is already in jail awaiting arraignment, time is of the essence in retaining a criminal defense attorney.
What to Look For in a Criminal Defense Attorney
Finding a good criminal defense will alleviate some of the anxiety, fear, and stress, but it certainly will not alleviate all of it. Look for a criminal defense attorney with a good track record and find you one you like and trust. While it’s not crucial that you like your lawyer, it is important that you trust him to fight for your freedom or to at least reduce the penalty.
You’ll want a criminal defense lawyer who’s tough but who also shows compassion and kindness toward you. After all, you may be fighting for your life, and having a good lawyer who’s also a trusted counselor on your side may mean the difference between your freedom and your incarceration.
You also want to make sure the criminal defense attorney you choose has experience with defendants who have committed the same crime you’re being charged with. For instance, if you’ve been charged with theft, and your lawyer handles mostly DUI cases and domestic violence, you will want to inquire about his experience handling the charge you’re facing. If an attorney avoids answering questions or is not readily available to address your concerns, you should consider looking for an attorney who won’t leave you constantly wondering what’s next.
When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
There are instances in which you need to call an attorney immediately including if there’s a warrant out for your arrest, if police show up at your door with a search warrant, or if you’re called in for police questioning. The more interaction you have with police prior to hiring a lawyer, the more difficult it will be to defend you. Anything you say can and will be used against you; hiring a lawyer will make it more likely that you will avoid saying anything that will hurt you later. It does not matter if you are guilty or not guilty of what you’re being accused of—hire a lawyer immediately.
A good criminal defense attorney will do everything in his power to ensure you remain free while being investigated. Every case is different, so there’s no way to predict what will happen if you do not hire a lawyer or if you do hire a lawyer, but hiring a criminal defense attorney is the only choice if you’re facing a serious criminal charge.