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Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to hire the right criminal defense lawyer for your situation.

If you’ve run into trouble with the law, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

In fact, there are thousands of people every year who find themselves in a situation where they need to hire a legal professional.

But, not all lawyers are the same, and it’s important to know what to look for before you make a decision.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Experience Matters

This is one of the most important attributes to look for in a criminal defense lawyer.

While it would be nice to disregard how long someone has been practicing law when looking for who to hire, the truth is that their experience often directly correlates with how well they can represent you.

If you hire someone who’s fresh out of law school, you’re rolling the dice on their success since you won’t be able to look at their track record. Furthermore, a lawyer who hasn’t worked on many cases won’t know how to deal with unexpected issues that may occur.

In general, you’ll want someone who has around two decades of experience. This provides a solid chance of them having dealt with your particular situation in the past.

So, it’s best to hire someone well-rounded who has been in the industry for at least a decade. This will give you the best probability of things going your way in the courtroom.

Are You Comfortable With Them?

It’s not a great idea to hire a lawyer that you feel awkward around or one that you can’t communicate with. The following factors could affect your ability to work fluidly with your attorney:

  • They’re difficult to contact unless it’s during business hours.
  • There is a language barrier that both parties have trouble overcoming.
  • They neglect to answer key questions or concerns about your case.
  • You simply don’t feel comfortable talking to them.

Regardless of their experience, someone whom with which you cannot fluidly communicate is not a legal professional that you want to represent you.

Doing so may adversely affect the outcome of your case due to them not knowing the right information about you or the scenario.

How’s Their Record in The Courtroom?

There are plenty of attorneys out there but, not all of them are able to thrive in court.

In fact, courtroom experience is so important that it’s better to hire a younger attorney with a solid background in courtroom representation over a lawyer who has more general experience but mostly deals with legal documents.

Representing a client in the courtroom can be a nerve-wracking and stressful experience. So, you’ll want to research how well your potential legal professional does in court before you decide to employ their services.

A great way to do this is to check their website or simply ask about their past cases and how many successful verdicts they’ve reached. If this information about them is difficult to obtain, that lawyer most likely isn’t someone you want to hire.

Other ways you can check their ability to perform in court is to observe how well they handle questions. If they always seem to have the answers, you’re in the clear.

If they stumble over their words or have to look something up, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Ask Your Friends and Family

If you’re in need of a criminal defense lawyer, it’s not uncommon to draw a blank when you sit down at the front page of Google.

Luckily, you most likely have better alternatives.

Ask your close friends and family if they’ve ever needed a criminal defense lawyer. They’ll be able to give you a firsthand account of their experience with that individual. This includes:

  • Their ability to communicate with their attorney
  • Their legal verdict
  • The total amount that they paid for their representation
  • Their overall experience working with that legal professional

If nobody you’re close with has needed the services of a criminal defense lawyer in the past, you can turn to coworkers and acquaintances. Chances are that someone in your social network can point you in the right direction.

How’s Their Fee?

Legal fees are often something that people forget to consider. This is especially true when it comes to criminal defense.

While there’s no set number that a lawyer should charge, you should go with your gut when shopping around for different attorneys.

If an attorney has only been working as a legal professional for less than ten years but they charge $300/hour for their work, they’d better have the portfolio to back it up.

Similarly, if you encounter a lawyer who’s been working in the industry for 40 years but they only charge $100 per hour for their services, their success rate is most likely less than you need it to be.

You should also keep an eye on whether or not your potential attorney is trying to squeeze more money out of you than they deserve.

Click here for a full guide on what to look for.

Knowing How to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about how to hire the right criminal defense lawyer in mind, you’ll be well on your way to employing a legal representative that will keep you out of trouble.

Want to learn more legal tips that can help make your life easier? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog!

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • Traffic Violations
  • Reckless Driving
  • Felonies and Misdemeanors

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 1985
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


  • University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • J.D. - 1985
  • Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1982
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Major: Economics & Philosophy
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