What should I look for when searching for a defense attorney? 60 Answers as of July 10, 2013

My brother has a criminal charge against him and am is in need of a good defense attorney who can get him out of jail time. How can I know the track record of differnet attorney and what should I look for?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
You should Google criminal lawyers in your area and call the sole practitioners, not the law firms. Ask them how long they have been practicing, how many trials they had last year and how many they won, what they specialize in, whether they will agree to a flat rate, what they charge an hour if they will not offer a low flat rate, how many cases like your they handled last year, and if they offer a free consultation. Meet with three of the best ones and see what they look like, how they dress, what their office looks like, and how they speak. If you are impressed with an attorney bargain for the fee and get them to agree to a flat fee up front. Offer to pay cash in advance for a flat rate. If you case is going to go to trial they will not give you a flat rate and you going to be paying $10,000 or more for a felony trial, and much more in Manhattan. For a plea on a misdemeanor the fee range is $1,500 to $3.000. A felony plea can be $2,500-$5,000 or more depending on the nature of the case, your prior record, and the number of appearances. If you are not facing jail and it is an easy case you may be able to negotiate a low fee, but for difficult cases be prepared to pay a lot...but it's better than going to jail.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/24/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Always check first on the California Bar website using the Attorney Search option. Make sure the attorney is admitted to practice in California and that s/he has no disciplinary actions listed - it's easy to check. You can also call the San Diego Bar for free referrals.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
Generally word of mouth to friends and relatives and other attorney is the best source.Also each county's bar association has a lawyer referral service which recommends attorneys in good standing and that have malpractice insurance. You can also do a search on the internet for individual attorneys.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/19/2011
Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi
Law Office of Rodney Nosratabadi | Rodney Nosratabadi
You should generally ask about his reputation amongst the local community and see if he has a record of good standing with the State Bar of California. You should also choose an that has both knowledge of the law and the local courts. He may be able to get your brother a better deal because of his relationship with the judges and the Deputy District Attorneys.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
Meet with him or her (or talk to them on the phone). Ask how long they have been practicing criminal law. Ask how many similar cases the have handled. Try to get a feel for the person, to make sure its someone you trust.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/12/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    Rather than it being you and what you should look for, I will tell you what I would do if charged with a crime. First, go to court and attend you hearings. In doing so, ask the Public Defenders when are the pretrial conferences and omnibus hearings this week or next and attend them. Second, watch the private lawyer on those dates. How many set their cases for pleas and how many for Motions. Third, go to the court clerk. Find out from her what lawyer has the most hearings in criminal cases on evidence. Go to those lawyers hearings. By the time you hit the 3 items above, you have received what you need to know about the better lawyers in town. Your lawyer is going to listen to what you say. Do not hand him something to read and then talk. Do not tell him how easy your case is and do not tell him you have everything he needs to win the case. Do any of these in my office and you can find another lawyer. Your lawyer is a good lawyer because he genuinely wants to help and because he is good at seeing things in cases no one else has and he has the courage to take them to court.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Hiring a lawyer is a very personal decision, you have to trust this person with your secrets, you have to have confidence in his or her abilities. Beyond that, it is difficult to say. A lot has to do with the charges you are facing. The reason I say this is that every lawyer in Texas has been through some criminal defense training - it is required study in lawschool, but a lawyer who has practiced Real Estate for the last 10 years should not consider taking a Capital Murder case, even though he or she is aptly qualified to handle a simple assault or theft case. If the case involves assault of a family member, I would highly recommend a lawyer that knows both Criminal and Family law - a finding of family violence will have a huge affect on any divorce/custody action in the future.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    7-11-11Martindale-Hubble has a listing of attorneys and their rating as well as the areas of practice. This directory should bein the Law Library of your County Courthouse.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    The first thing you should do is some basic research on the internet or elsewhere. See if you can find some testimonials and check out their online profiles. Sites like Avvo give ratings to Lawyers based on feedback, reviews, and some other criteria. Another thing to consider is whether or not the attorney has experience practicing in the specific area that the case you are involved with falls in. Sometimes people consult with attorneys they may be familiar with because of family ties or some other reason but who may not be best suited for their specific case. At our firm, we pride ourselves on maintaining honesty and transparency in our dealings and because of this we post a number of guides about how to handle legal situations on our website and blog. Finally, you should arrange to speak with or meet an attorney you are considering hiring to make sure that you relate well. Most attorneys offer a free initial case evaluation and would be glad to discuss your options with you.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    The best way to find a good criminal defense attorney is by referral from someone who has used him or her before. If that is not possible you should look for a criminal law specialist certified by the State Bar of California. You could also go to a local county bar association lawyer referral service and ask them for a recommendation for an attorney specializing in the problem. You can of course shop around on your own checking websites and other sources of information about specific attorneys. The one thing you should try to avoid are those attorney who send you solicitations on the mail after they have found your name from jail records. Such attorneys appear to have no other way of finding business.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry. In general, you should look for someone experienced with the type of case that your brother has. Of course, most attorneys will say they have experience, so this may be a difficult task. You should look at years of practice and what associations the attorney is involved with. You could call the bar association in the county where the attorney is and see whether they are a member. You could look on-line and google the attorney's name. All of these things will help give a gage on the attorney's experience. Next, you will need to be comfortable with the attorney. Can the attorney explain things to your satisfaction? Does the attorney make it understandable, or is it all legal mumbo jumbo? Is the attorney an "in your face" personality? This may be something you like, but does it get the result you want? Is the attorney level headed? Is it necessary to go head to head in the case? Can the attorney win over a jury, or will they make a jury think that the attorney is all noise? Is the attorney one who will seek the middle ground? Is the attorney one who will do the research and file motions? Has the attorney been in the COurt of Appeals and thus can prepare briefs with the applicable law? These things go to the mannerism of the attorney and whether they are a match for you. Finally, billing. You need to be appraised of how fees are paid and what they are. If its the best attorney, but you cannot afford the fees, the end result will be disaster. If its the cheapest attorney, they what room is there to complain? The price can go along with with the service level. It may be best not to shop by price, but you need to be able to afford the fees. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    This is a very important question and a critical decision you have to make for your brother. There are two recognized rating systems for lawyers. One is AVVO.com. Lawyers are rated from 0 to 10.0 and 10.0 is Superb. You can go to AVVO.com and type in any law firm you are considering and find out that lawyers rating. Another highly respected source is Martindale Hubbell. Lawyers are rated from AV or BV or CV or no rating. OF course an AV rating is what you are looking for. A good place to start is to retain a lawyer who has a 10.0 rating with AVVO and an AV rating with Martindale Hubbell. OF course in addition you will want to make sure that lawyer or law firm has substantial criminal defense experience in the court where your brothers case is pending. You can check out wklaw.com and you will find out I have a 10.0 rating with AVVO and an AV rating with Martindale Hubbell.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Look for an experienced attorney whose practice is entirely or substantially devoted to criminal defense. Look for good communication skills. Interview at least three attorneys and you will find one you are comfortable with.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Someone that tells you the truth and advises you as to realistic expectations. There is no magic wand to make this go away. Police and prosecutors don't take the time to research, prepare and file charges just to drop them. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. You can hire an attorney to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. Experience in criminal law is obviously what you are looking for. Ive been doing this for over 35 years with most clients happy with the outcome.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You should look for someone who will be proactive and start working on the case and witnesses as soon as possible. The best chance of making a difference in the outcome is how the case is dealt with from the beginning. There are times when with enough information, charges may not even be brought. You might also look for someone who has either worked for the public defender or prosecutors office in the past.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP
    Bristol & Dubiel LLP | Murray L. Bristol
    It is important to interview lawyers to determine their legal experience and further that you are comfortable working with the lawyer you hire. I recommend contacting many lawyers and determining who you are most confident in hiring.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You can look at attorney ratings websites such as "AVVO" (just make sure the attorneys you are looking at are licensed to practice in Missouri!) Also, try calling attorneys and seeing how long it takes them to get back to you and how much attention they pay to you. If they blow you off now, when you are preparing to give them money, just think how much they'll blow you off later after you've already paid! Also, you/your brother should meet the person and make sure you are comfortable with them, that they seem trustworthy, and that your personalities work well together. Not getting along with your defense attorney is never a good thing. I would also list location. You can work with any attorney in the State, but I know that my clients appreciate that I am right across the street from the court house, the jail, the parking lots, and the metro link station. That was they can get to me easily, and I can run over to court or come see them in jail at a moment's notice if an emergency comes up.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Great question! Hiring the right criminal defense attorney to help your brother can be an overwhelming task. Here are a few tips to help you with this process as follows: 1) Contact a few criminal defense attorneys with experience in the court in which your brother's case is filed (if you don't have a referral from a trusted source you can do a Google search); 2) Experience. A good criminal defense attorney should have many years of experience DEFENDING people in the court in which your brother's case is filed. This is what we call local court knowledge and it is important that the attorney have relationships with the judges and prosecutors that court. Also, the attorney should have experience defending the exact kind of case your brother is charges with. Finally, beware of the former prosecutor. Former prosecutors are fine if they have many years of experience DEFENDING people since leaving the DAs office but you don't want the former prosecutor who spent the first 8 years of their career putting people in jail and only the last 2 years defending people. 3) Make sure you can clearly communicate your needs, desires, concerns and expectations for the case as they absolutely matter. 4) Only speak with the actual lawyer who will be representing you from start to finish. Many times you will meet with the head of the law firm only to find out that your case has been assigned to a much less experienced associate lawyer after you pay them. Settle for nothing less then meeting with the actual lawyer who will represent your brother. 5) Beware of the hard sell and words like "dismissal". I have no idea what your brother is charged with and, as such, I couldn't possibly tell you if keeping him out of jail is a realistic goal. In any case, the lawyer for your brother is one that will communicate with you honestly about the case. Finally, go with your gut. A good lawyer will be able to communicate clearly, answer your questions in a way that you can understand them, be a good listener to you and your brother, etc. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck to you and your brother.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    A good criminal defense attorney has many years of experience. I myself have over 30 years and I know that having a long, good-standing relationship with other legal professionals over the years is necessary to have the knowledge and ability to properly help clients. In addition, they should have great client reviews....google search the attorney's name to find client reviews. For instance, a google seach of my name will show many clients who give their experience working with me and my successful results.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    A good criminal defense attorney is one that is a good trial attorney. The attorney should devote a substantial portion of his practice to trial work. The attorney should also be versed in the criminal law. You could ask the attorney for references or speak to others in the community about their experience with the attorney. Searching on-line for cases they may have been involved in and the results could be helpful too. Finally, you must be comfortable with the attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    I suggest that you look for an attorney who is experienced and who works in the area where your brother has his case. Many lawyers have websites with details about their background and former cases that can help you get a feel for their strengths. You should also try talking to potential lawyers to see how you communicate with each other, which will help you assess whether or not he/she would be a good fit for your brother's case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Review their website, read online reviews, speak with them as to their experience and whether you and your brother are comfortable with the answers.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of James Christie, LLC
    Law Office of James Christie, LLC | James Christie
    Determining an attorney's "track record" is difficult, hard to verify, and not necessarily the best way to select a lawyer. You might instead consider making sure the lawyer has a good deal of experience with the type of charges your brother is facing, and has successfully resolved those types of cases in the past. There are many attorneys who will make promises about the outcome of a criminal case if you hire them (usually for a flat fee). These lawyers should be avoided, in my opinion. There are no crystal balls in criminal defense, and each case is unique. Much better to hire the attorney who simply promises to use all his/her skill and experience to work the case rather than the attorney who makes promises about how the case will turn out if you hire him/her. The former is much more likely to be able deliver on their promise, in my experience. You need to trust the attorney you hire. Find someone who will provide you with a free or low cost initial consultation, and see if you like and trust them. Good attorneys won't take offense if you tell them that you want to speak to other attorneys before making a hiring decision, and will likely be willing to make recommendations of other attorneys you might consult with.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Does the attorney have experience/ Does he know what he is talking about? Will he say "I do not know" if he is not sure of the answer? Has he taken cases to trail and won? What do police, judges and other attorneys think of him? These are questions tha can be asked to find a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Experience defending accused people and client comments. For instance, I started practicing law in 1988 as a prosecutor. This is my 21st year of practicing criminal law. Most of my clients are very satisfied. That said, I would avoid anyone right out of law school or near retirement. The former don't know what they're doing and the latter are usually burnt out and getting to retire.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You can't really know an attorney's track record. Cases are so different- a lawyer might lose a case at trial but beat the recommendation of the State by 40 years so that technically it is a win. A lawyer may have never lost because the lawyer never tries cases (which means that the lawyer cops everyone out. This is not good because a cop-out lawyer does not earn the respect of the State so the offers his/her client receive are generally not the best because the State does not fear a trial from this lawyer.) A lawyer who tries every case "fighting for the client" is probably trying to make a name for him/herself and does not care about the client's life. (Or they are trying to get board certified or some other thing that requires a certain number of trials, etc.) Also, don't be fooled by a great website. All that means is that the lawyer spent a lot of money on it. Most of these lawyer do not answer the questions or provide the info that is on the site. That is done by some website designer . . . Got avvo.com where there are lawyer who have been rated and most have client evaluations. Client evaluations are great because they are out of the control of the lawyer and provide you with a real insight into the lawyer's efforts. Determine what the lawyer's rating is with Martindale-Hubbell. (AV is the best and I would not take anyone with less of a rating.) A lawyer who has been around for at least 10 years, does not send out solicitation letters, has plenty of clients so that the lawyer is not chasing clients, will try cases but does not insist that every case need be tried, has the respect of clients and peers (which generally means they are also respected by the judiciary & prosecutors) is the way to go.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    I strongly believe that finding an attorney that you can trust is the most important thing. Especially in criminal cases the attorney is in a position to require a large fee for a minimum effort, and there are shortcuts that are taken by less than scrupulous attorneys. Generally speaking the longer an attorney has been practicing law and the more experience the attorney has the more competent that attorney will be. I would not recommend hiring any of the attorneys who advertise or send out solicitation materials to people who have been arrested. I would also suggest that it is perfectly all right to consult with more than one attorney before you make a decision. If your brother is in my geographical area and are not already represented, I might be able to offer my services for a reasonable fee. I have handled hundreds of criminal cases over the thirty-three years I have been practicing law. Feel free to have him call me for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    I always tell people the best quality to search for in an attorney is communication skills. First and foremost, can you communicate well with your attorney. If not, chances are they wont communicate well with the court as well. Second quality to look for is effective experience. Find an attorney with extensive experience who you can communicate with effectively.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    A thorough interview regarding experience, knowledge of the law and knowledge of the court and/or judge.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    When searching for an attorney, one should have a face to face consult. Ask questions about their professional background (ie, former prosecutor or former public defender), success in prior cases similar to your case, number of jury trials completed, and the relative ease of reaching the attorney in between court dates. You want a lawyer who is aggressive, reachable and empathetic to your situation. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    It is best to talk to a few different attorneys. If they will not talk to you on the phone, they will probably not call you back after you hire them. Attorney is licensed in Alabama only. This writing does not constitute "legal advice" nor does it start an attorney-client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    All lawyers are different. In my case I am a former police officer and run a professional office doing various criminal defense. As lead counsel I am also a former police officer, which gives me an edge in defending cases and cross examining the police. We do a lot of auto crimes, assaults, DWI, drug crimes, vice crimes, and the like. We have a toll free number and are very responsive to our clients.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    Choosing a good criminal defense attorney is a difficult decision. After all, its not like you can ask your friend or neighbor who they hired for their last felony! That said, you can look them up on a site like AVVO, although you should be careful not to put too much stock in their ratings as they can be arbitrary and misleading. If you know a non-criminal defense attorney you can trust, asking them for a suggestion might be a good first step. There are also questions you can ask the prospective attorney to help you make a sound decision. How much experience and specialized training do they have in criminal defense? Or for the particular charge your brother is facing? Are they willing to take a case to trial when necessary? Do they have a good working knowledge relationship with the judges and prosecutors in the jurisdiction where your brother is charged? Finally, be sure you and, if possible, your brother, have a frank conversation with the attorney so you know he or she is someone you are comfortable with entrusting so important a task as defending a criminal charge. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Grant & Grant
    Grant & Grant | Richard L. Grant, Esq.
    Hi, There are many factors to consider when selecting any criminal defense attorney. Next to having the necessary experience in a specific area of the law, one should select an attorney who has extensive Trial and Courtroom experience. Many attorneys can negotiate a settlement of the criminal charges for a reduced criminal plea and court fines, but there are a small number of well trained and experienced trial attorneys who can fight hard in the corner of the defendant from arraignment through trial. It is also important that you select an attorney who practices regularly in the court where the case is filed and has an excellent working relationship with the District Attorney's Office and court personnel. It can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case. I would also suggest that that it is extremely important to first meet face to face with the attorney before the attorney is retained.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Castleberry & Elison
    Castleberry & Elison | Peter Castleberry
    First, no criminal defense lawyer can promise or guarantee a client that he will no be sentenced to a jail term. Although it may be highly unlikely in some cases, any time you are charged with a crime, jail time is a possibility. That said, client's look for different characteristics in attorneys, and a lawyer that is right for one client might not be right for another. Many criminal defense attorneys will offer free and confidential consultations. I recommend talking to several different lawyers before making a decision. Ask the lawyer about his/her level of experience defending criminal cases in general and whether the lawyer has represented clients facing your particular charge. Inquire about what you can expect as far as fees and costs. Some attorneys will quote hourly rates while others will offer to represent you on a "flat fee" basis, meaning that you know we exactly how much you will have to pay in attorney fees up front. Beyond the attorney's level of experience and financial considerations, it is important that you and your attorney communicate effectively and that you feel comfortable talking about the facts of your case with your attorney. If you and your lawyer have an inherent personality conflict, this can adversely effect the preparation of your defense. Also, many criminal defense attorneys have online profiles on www.avvo.com. You can read reviews by previous clients.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You should just call and ask questions, or if the attorney has a web site, check out his credentials. Ultimately you will want someone who is interested in taking the case, who seems competent in handling the case, and who you feel is most appropriate in terms of cost vs. action required to handle the case. Gut feel about a person goes a long way to hiring someone who you think will represent your interests the best.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    You should look for an attorney who concentrates his practice in criminal law. Begin by researching his website and if you know any attorneys, ask their opinion. An experienced attorney can review your brother's case and provide him with the best advice possible.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    Someone that gets back to you. Someone you trust and is experienced.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/10/2013
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    You can find a lot of information on the internet. A google search will give you a starting point. Websites such as AVVO.com have lawyer ratings and often reviews from a lawyer's past clients as well as other lawyers. It is a pretty good sign if the lawyer is listed on superlawyers.com or is rated on martindalehubble.com. You can use these tools to narrow your search to a few lawyers, then talk to them to see which one would serve you best.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Corey D. Bryan
    Law Office of Corey D. Bryan | Corey D. Bryan
    Speak with others that are familiar with the attorney. Ask around, word of mouth is usually a great indicator because this comes from people that have dealt with this attorney before. Track records of attorneys can be hard to follow as usually the attorney him/herself will overhype their track record to get you to hire them. Once again, word of mouth is usually one of the best indicators. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    The things I would look for include: 1. An attorney that you meet with that will personally handle your case (not pass it off to someone you never spoke to) 2. An attorney who has previously handled cases in the court you (or your brother) will be in 3. Someone that specializes in criminal defense 4. Look at their website....do they have successful case results? positive testimonials from previous clients? staying active in the area of criminal defense 5. Speak to and meet the attorney. See if he answers your questions well. If you feel like the attorney is being realistic and not "guaranteeing" results Those are a few things I would consider.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Ask 3 things: 1) Will this attorney personally represent you from start to finish, or simply pass your case down or reassign it to someone else? Remember, no matter how good an attorney's resume is, if he/she won't be the one representing you, then the resume is irrelevant. 2) Does this attorney quote you a low start-up fee, then, if you don't plead, bill you for more and more money everytime the cass is heard in court? 3) Does this attorney specialize in criminal defense, or does he/she take whatever walks in the door?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If by track record you mean success rate, there's no way to know that other than by asking a particular attorney. The main thing to look for is the experience level of the attorney (consult the attorney's website), the areas the attorney has experience with (that it corresponds to what your brother is charged with) and then overall how responsive the attorney is to answering questions and the like. Your brother's comfort level with the attorney enough to confide in the attorney is very important. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Years of experience, the type of criminal cases the lawyer typically handles and prior bar complaints are a good place to start. There are also reviews of attorney's all around the internet. There are many criminal defense attorneys who are both skilled and experienced. Above and beyond that, you should look for an attorney that your brother will feel comfortable with. Some attorneys may speak way over your head, others will speak to your brother as if he were not bright. A criminal case can take time and requires a trusting relationship between the attorney and the client. Finding the right match can be as important as anything. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You should look for someone who has a narrow practice that focuses on Criminal Defense. You do not want a generalist who is trying to do too many things. You also want someone with at least 5 to 10 years or more of experience. Sometimes a young lawyer who is eager is a good bet but they are hard to distinguish from other younger lawyers who are just green. You should also look for someone who practices regularly in the court where your crimes are charged. Home field advantage is huge in law. It is important to know the likes and dislikes and idiosyncrasies of the judges and DAs in the court where your charges will be brought. The last thing, but not least important by any means, is client testimonials and ratings. You can check my credentials in all of these areas and find that they are at least very good and in most cases, excellent in every category. I may not be local to where your brother is being charged. If that is the case, look online for someone in that area.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    There are no guarantees that even the best attorney can get your brother out of doing jail time. Be weary of any attorney who makes those promises! Chances are they are lying to get your business. Look for an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense. Lots of clients and awards don't really mean much but ask them lots of questions and see what they tell you. A good attorney should know the law and the procedures of how different courtrooms and Judges work. They should also be willing to discuss the procedure (but not the facts bc that's priviledged) in an intelligent manner to ensure that you understand what is going on.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Ask a local real estate or family lawyer who best criminal defense trial lawyer. Ask local police who they would hire for a family member if they got in trouble? Ask anybody in town, gas station guy/ waiters anybody. Then interview the 2-3 names that match? Ask lawyer when last case they tried was? Out come? When is next one? What associations or groups do they belong to? Have they written any books as experts in their field? Have they trained other lawyers? My opinion is you want a lawyer that handles only criminal defense and is the go to guy in the locality. Finally meet with the lawyer and make sure your brother and he get along, that lawyer appears smart and personable and his personality doesn't conflict with brother's. If you are in the north country I would be happy to answer the above questions and will look forward to meeting your brother. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    The best thing to do is go on personal recommendations and/or interview some attorneys on the phone and see who impresses you the most.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    I believe every good criminal defense lawyer has a substantial amount of trial experience. Good negotiated settlements are normally the product of being able to identify and articulate issues with a case and the willingness (and reputation) of the client and the attorney to go to trial (as opposed to being always willing to accept a plea bargain) if the settlement offer is not in the client's interests. By the same token, the best advocates at trial are normally those advocates with experience in the courtroom before jurors and judicial officers. There are a lot of criminal defense lawyers, including myself, that advertise their rating from a particular lawyer rating service or the cases that they got dismissed but that information in my opinion can be very misleading. There are certainly lawyers with extensive trial experience that are not necessarily the best fit for a particular case. I would probably ask a prospective lawyer what experience they have handling/trying Class A felony casesI think most lawyers with that experience tend to be pretty good. I hope this is helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    There are no official track records but you can look at someone's web site. My web site has a News section that lists recent outcomes in my cases. As for what to look for, you want experience and someone who will return your calls or emails. That's my personal opinion.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You wants someone with a lot of experience, I have 20 years. A willingness to fight and go to trial with cases and someone that will keep in contact with you so you know how the case is progressing.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    That's a good question, but there isn't an easy answer. If you know attorneys in other fields who can recommend someone for you, that might help. If not, then you need to talk to potential lawyers and see who you're comfortable with. It certainly helps if they have experience, and it's important that a significant part of their practice be criminal law, but neither of those are guarantees. There is no record of an attorney's "track record," and that record wouldn't help you much anyway. Every criminal defense attorney loses most of their cases, in the sense that the client is convicted of something. But if you're charged with, for example, a serious assault carrying a prison term of several years, and your attorney gets you a plea bargain where you're convicted of misdemeanor assault and you're sentenced to probation, that's almost certainly a win. It's tough. I know who the good attorneys are, and so do the prosecutors and judges. But it's hard for you to find out. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    I would pick someone between the ages of 30-60, who almost only does criminal, and used to workin agovernment job related to criminal law.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Ask around to see if anyone knows a good defense attorney or to see who has a reputation as being good. Look for someone that has experience, not just in terms of years but more importantly in terms of handling the types of cases your brother is charged with. Ask how many trials he's done. Check with the local bar to see if he has ever been disciplined or to see if any complaints have been filed against him. If you know any judges or clerks, ask them their opinion because they see defense attorneys on a daily basis.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    While there are no resources which you can go to which detail a lawyer's win-loss record, you can ask family and friends about lawyers, and you should always meet with the prospective lawyer and ask some good questions, e.g. their experience in court and number of cases tried. Naturally, I believe that lawyers with a prosecution background make some of the best defense lawyers! Finally, I recommend you retain a lawyer that you like and feel like you can trust. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    That is a tough question. I suggest that you consult with 2 or 3 attorneys. Ask lots of questions about the attorneys experience. But, if there is any one thing I would be sure to ask about it would be to ask how many criminal jury trials the attorney has handled all the through to the jury's verdict. The market is full of lawyers who take clients' money and never handle jury trials. In my humble opinion, you can not be a truly effective defense attorney if you are not willing to take cases before a jury. Very many so-called defense attorneys go for years without trying cases before a jury. Other than that, ask your friends for referrals, and trust your instincts.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    You should look for someone who has experience have him explain what he's done in the past specific to your brother's case, someone who is fairly priced the amount should depend on the seriousness of the charge and the amount of work (as explained by the lawyer) that will have to be done and, finally, you have to find someone with whom your brother can work I'd insist that the lawyer meet with your brother before taking the case and then ask the brother what he thinks. In other words, you have to kick some tires before you find the right lawyer for your brother's case. This may be the most important purchase you make, so invest some time into the decision.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    I think interviewing the attorney in person is your best bet. You can also go to www.calbar.org to view any State Bar complaints or disciplinary actions against the attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney