There are few things worse than getting arrested and going to jail. A single incident can derail your life and make it difficult to get a new job, apply for housing, etc. To make matters worse, even a brief period of incarceration can have a significant impact on your mental health.
It’s imperative to work with the right Virginia criminal defense attorney to protect your freedom and reputation. Not everyone understands how to find the best one, though. Let’s explore some of the most common mistakes people make when searching for lawyers.
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Settling for the Cheapest Attorney
This is one of the most important mistakes to avoid when looking for a criminal defense attorney. In general, the cheapest options are sure to fall short of your goals.
You often get what you pay for, but this doesn’t mean you need to spend as much as possible. Somewhere in the middle of the price range is likely a suitable option that won’t stretch your budget. Although it can be tempting to find a lawyer quickly, don’t settle until you find someone who can meet your needs.
Withholding Vital Information
It’s not uncommon to feel uncomfortable sharing certain information with our lawyer. This is especially true if you’ve been accused of particularly concerning crimes, such as sexual abuse. It’s crucial to remember that the role of a defense attorney is to prioritize quality when creating a defense case.
They aren’t particularly concerned with who’s at fault. For instance, let’s assume you were falsely accused of sexual assault by a female acquaintance.
The aftermath of this accusation has been fairly traumatic, as your friends and family have been constantly asking you about the case. This has led you to not want to talk to anyone about the situation at all.
If you don’t tell your attorney about the key details, it could impact their ability to create a sufficient legal defense. This could then put your freedom in jeopardy and make it less likely you clear your name.
Find an attorney you have no issue communicating with. They should be both accessible and enthusiastic about your case. Continue your search until you find a lawyer who’s willing to listen to your concerns.
Hiring Inexperienced Attorneys
If a lawyer doesn’t have sufficient experience, they’ll fall short of your goals. Unfortunately, many people overlook this obligation.
While inexperienced attorneys can help you reach your goals, it’s not worth rolling the dice. Prioritize attorneys who’ve handled a large number of cases like yours in the past.
This will help ensure they understand the fine details of your situation. Looking into their past cases can go a long way toward finding a suitable option.
In general, it’s best to hire someone with at least a decade of experience in the industry. You shouldn’t have issues making the right choice if you know what to ask your lawyer.
Valuing Promises over Strategies
While it’s best to find an attorney who can promise great results, you shouldn’t believe them without looking into their strategies. If they attempt to deflect questions about this topic, this is a red flag you can’t ignore. Your prospective lawyer should have no issue breaking down their strategies.
You can often find the info you’re looking for on their website. Stay wary of lawyers who refuse to illuminate the tactics they use. This is a sign they don’t have established strategies that can meet your goals.
Checking online reviews can also help you find a suitable attorney. Look for feedback that mentions professionalism, timeliness, and overall results.
Not Asking about Their Pricing
Depending on who you work with, you’ll need to accommodate different payment terms. To clarify, some attorneys bill their clients hourly, while others will charge a flat fee.
It’s essential to understand your financial obligations so you can avoid surprises or misunderstandings. You’ll likely have to schedule a consultation to learn about their rates, so don’t be surprised if you have difficulty finding concrete answers when researching.
Mistaking Aggression for Expertise
Many lawyers advertise their aggression in the courtroom. It’s not inherently bad to be headstrong as an attorney, but this needs to be supported by legal expertise.
If someone is aggressive without a solid foundation of knowledge, they’ll risk making mistakes or oversights. Instead, look for someone who can be adamant when necessary and has the expertise to get the right results.
Hiring a Family Friend
Working with a family friend can save money and provide them with extra work. However, you shouldn’t hire them unless they meet the necessary criteria.
Not only will this put your freedom in jeopardy, but it can also strain your relationship. For instance, imagine if you hired a family friend to handle your criminal case. They fall short of your goals due to inexperience and poor time management.
It would be difficult to not resent them. In many cases, it would be unlikely for your relationship to ever be the same. It’s always better to find a reliable attorney instead of settling for someone with inadequate experience.
Deciding You’re Better Off Alone
Some people assume they can handle their cases on their own. They also believe they can navigate the nuances of a trial without an attorney on their side.
The truth is this is never a viable option. Hiring an attorney will always give you a greater chance of success.
This even applies to people who know the legal system. Keep this information in mind when moving forward so you can avoid issues you may have otherwise encountered.
Find the Right Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
With enough due diligence, you’ll have no problem finding the right Virginia criminal defense attorney. You’ll then be able to get the results you need and protect yourself from issues you may have otherwise encountered.
Mark Nicewicz has over 25 years of experience representing clients in state and federal courts. He strives to exceed all expectations and deliver fast results without sacrificing quality. You’ll learn more about how we can help when you book a consultation today.