If you find yourself seeking the services of a criminal defense lawyer in Florida, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. Every criminal law firm has a website, and often, the messaging is quite similar. As you narrow down your choices, it can be helpful to know what you should be looking for in a criminal attorney.
We’ve distilled the qualities you should look for when researching representation for criminal cases down to this list of seven attributes.
1. Years of Experience
When you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, the stakes are high, and your future hangs in the balance. You need someone who is knowledgeable about criminal law and the options you can pursue in your defense. Here, look for an attorney who has experience in the type of case that applies to your situation.
For example, if you are facing DUI charges, make sure the criminal attorney you decide to work with has demonstrable experience in this area.
2. A Successful Track Record
While experience is important, it’s not the only factor. You want a law firm that also achieves successful outcomes for its clients. Even though it is impossible to guarantee a positive outcome, at the very least, you should ask about their track record, especially for cases similar to yours.
For example, the procedures for practicing civil law are vastly different than criminal cases, so be sure to inquire about a prospective attorney’s experience in criminal law.
3. A High Degree of Professionalism
It can be difficult to define professionalism without using the word “professional” to describe it. When we say professionalism, it encompasses several factors that you should seek out in an attorney. Often, professionalism refers to demeanor. A criminal defense attorney should carry himself in a way that is courteous, compassionate, respectful, and humble, while remaining confident.
Professionalism can also be related to appearance. While the concept of a disorganized and disheveled genius might be a romantic notion among tech startups, it has no place in the courtroom. Instead, a criminal defense lawyer should strictly adhere to the standards of professional attire and hygiene.
4. Personal Service
Your first instinct might be to work with an attorney at a large firm with a giant team. The rationale might be that you can benefit from their experience, resources, and a deep bench. However, you might fight that working with a large law firm comes at the cost of losing out on personal attention from an attorney dedicated to your case.
If you decide to team up with Ron Chapman, you can rest assured that you will always be dealing directly with him personally because he is a solo practitioner. You will always have Mr. Chapman available as your primary point person to discuss your case.
Most people don’t blindly hire a mechanic, a home repair professional, or even a barber without doing some research about the person’s reputation. Why should hiring a criminal attorney be any different?
Before you dive in and commit to working with an attorney, make sure you spend some time researching their credentials. Specifically, the attorney should have good standing with their state’s Bar association. You can also read reviews on legal sights like Avvo, Yelp, Lawyers.com, the attorney’s website, and Google.
And finally, you can get a lot of helpful information by asking around. Do you know any friends or family members who have needed the services of a criminal attorney? Ask them who they hired and how the outcome was.
6. Negotiation Skills
It goes without saying that you want the best possible outcome for your case, and what many people don’t know is that a lawyer’s negotiation skills can play a major part in whether you get a favorable verdict. In some instances, these negotiation skills, along with a healthy dose of proactive measures, can even help prevent charges from being filed in the first place.
7. Value and Payment Structure
It’s never a good idea to bargain-basement shopping for a criminal defense lawyer, and to increase your chances of having a positive outcome, you need to work with the best attorney you can afford.
In determining what you can afford, it can help to put things into perspective. What would a criminal conviction cost you? Would it result in you losing your freedom? Are you facing consequences that adversely affect your reputation or career? Whether the odds are stacked against you, or you have a case that you are confident you can win, you want to ensure that someone competent is in the driver’s seat.
Don’t be afraid to ask about cost. You may be able to work out a flexible payment plan that allows you to retain quality legal representation in a manner that you can afford.
Contact Ron Chapman Palm Beach County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Practicing since 1990, Attorney Ron Chapman is a criminal defense lawyer with 32 years of experience that can benefit your situation. He has helped hundreds of people in situations like yours during this time. To discuss your next steps, Call for a meeting with Mr. Chapman at (561) 832-4348 or complete our online form.
Copyright© 2022. Ronald S. Chapman, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis St. Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401