You’ve been charged with a crime. It may be something relatively minor, such as simple assault. Or something much more serious, such as fraud, robbery, manslaughter or another crime that has the potential to be life changing.
You’re going to be in for the fight of your life, trying to do everything you can to protect your freedom. But you can’t do it alone. You know you’ll need the best possible criminal defense lawyer for your situation that you can afford.
So what do you do to find that person or that firm?
First, you got to determine what your legal needs will be. A minor charge may only require a consultation from an attorney about how to best proceed. But make no mistake, if you are facing a serious charge, you will want the full services and attention of top flight legal representation.
Then you’ve got to decide what type of defense attorney you’ll need. It may seem obvious, but if you’re charged with a federal crime, then you’ll want an experienced federal defense attorney. A state level charge means you will probably want to seek out someone with relevant experience in that type of court system. This is important because when you’re prosecuted at the federal level, you’ll be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office, which has a lot more time and resources to put into your case. It also pays to try and find a specialized attorney who has experience with exactly the type of charges you are facing.
You’ll need to figure out what your costs are going to be, which you can accomplish after an initial consultation with one or more attorneys who may represent you. If you can’t afford the costs associated with a law firm, you may need to talk to a public defender, who are assigned by the courts to represent people with limited resources.
Finally, while there are many highly skilled attorneys out there, you need to make sure you find one with the qualities that are important to you as well. Do you want someone who is compassionate? A bull dog? A strong negotiator? What kind of reputation do they have? What’s going to make you feel like you can trust this person to represent you the way you want to be represented as you face the tests you will encounter going forward?
Dwane Cates Law Group proudly serves clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa and surrounding Arizona communities.