What are the five things you should always look for in an attorney if you are charged with a federal crime?
If you are charged with a federal crime, you want to make sure that you retain the right attorney who will be able to help you in your matter. This can be a confusing and daunting event because there are so many attorneys out there. The following list is meant to aid you in what to look for when searching for the attorney to handle your federal criminal matter.
- Experience: You want to find an attorney who has experience in federal criminal matters. Defending a federal crime can be extremely different that handling a state or local crime. Make sure the attorney has handled the type of case you have. There is also a big difference between a street crime (such as drugs and guns) and a white-collar crime such as bank fraud, healthcare fraud or credit card fraud. Make sure the attorney has handled the type of case you have. Also make sure the attorney has experience in both trying such cases and negotiating plea agreements in those matters.
- Location: You want to find an attorney who practices regularly in the federal court where you were charged. If you are charged in the federal courts in New York or New Jersey, make sure you find an attorney who is familiar with that court and has appeared there regularly.
- Personality: You want to make sure that the lawyer is someone who you get along with and trust. You need a lawyer who understands you and who is on your side. You also want to make sure that the lawyer you hire is a fighter – someone who is able and eager to go to battle for you.
- Responsiveness: You want to make sure that the lawyer or her staff responds to you in a timely manner, as the lawyers can explain. You may want to contact the office a few times prior to retaining them, to see how they are at getting back to you. You want to be kept up to date on the status of your matter, and you want to have your lawyer accessible to you during this time.
- Reviews: You want to make sure that the attorney has positive reviews regarding her representation of others. Prior to retaining an attorney, you want to make sure that this attorney is the right one for you – and that others who have hired her would recommend her.