Facing criminal charges in Colorado is a serious matter, so working with the right criminal defense attorney is essential. Relying on an inexperienced lawyer who does not focus on criminal law in the Colorado court system can negatively impact the defendant’s life for years. The question then becomes: How do you pick the right legal representation?
Ask these before hiring them
Each case is different with varying priorities and repercussions, but these questions can help defendants make a choice they will not regret:
- Is the initial consultation free? Some offer free initial consultations, and some do not. Obviously, it’s better to find out if the attorney is the right fit before getting a bill, and it also shows that they are motivated to listen to the client and work with them.
- How long have you practiced criminal law? Experience matters when it comes to criminal law. It is not a good feeling to realize that someone representing you is getting on-the-job training.
- Do you practice in other areas of law? Some attorneys handle a variety of legal work, but protecting a client’s rights and future is best done by lawyers who focus on these issues.
- Have you represented others with similar charges? While attorneys cannot divulge another client’s confidential information, they can outline their previous defense and the outcome. A lawyer’s past successes can give the client confidence that they are getting strong representation.
- What are the penalties I face? The defendant needs to have a clear understanding of the penalties and collateral consequences. This can help them make decisions if they are offered a plea deal.
- Can you get me out of jail? Good attorneys know better than to make a guarantee of keeping the client out of jail or getting the charges dismissed. However, they can discuss likely outcomes.
- What happens next? Understanding the process and what to expect is essential. It is also helpful to hear their plans for building a defense.
It is an important decision
Picking the right attorney can be a life-changing decision, so it is vital to weigh their answers carefully. If the criminal defense attorney’s answers and approach make sense to the client, they can move forward together, working towards the best possible outcome.