Hiring a defense attorney can be one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Unfortunately, there are many mistakes that can be made during this process, some of which can negatively impact your potential case. Before you hire a lawyer, you might want to know about the most harmful mistakes you can make.
Calling the First Number
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when hiring a defense lawyer is to call the first number that you see. Defense attorneys can’t just be picked randomly – it’s a process that requires a great deal of research and effort. Being too cavalier with your choice can hurt you.
Assuming the Worst
Many also go into the hiring process assuming the worst. They assume that a lawyer cannot or will not help them, so they put a minimal amount of effort into finding a lawyer. This is a fantastic way to set yourself up for failure.
Listening to the Television
Do good attorneys advertise on television? Of course. But remember that they’re doing just that – advertising. Hiring an attorney because he or she seems impressive on the television isn’t doing research, it’s buying into marketing. If you are looking for a lawyer, you owe it to yourself to look at more than a thirty-second ad spot.
Hiring the Wrong Kind of Attorney
Not all lawyers practice criminal law. In fact, a lawyer who doesn’t practice criminal defense should never take your case. If you are working with a lawyer from a different background, you cannot get the kind of defense you’ll need to be successful.
Assuming All Lawyers are Alike
Your experience with one lawyer is not the experience you will have with every lawyer. Never go into the process with the expectation that a new attorney will deal with your issues in the same way as your last attorney. Having unreasonable expectations will hurt your ability to work with an attorney.
Not Looking at Expertise
While you might hire a criminal defense attorney, you might not hire the right attorney. It’s important to hire a lawyer who has experience dealing with cases like yours. An attorney who generally deals with criminal DUI charges, for example, might not have the same kind of expertise with one who is used to dealing with property crimes.
Being Afraid to Talk Numbers
You know what you can afford – and your attorney knows what he or she needs to charge. There are usually many ways to deal with the cost of hiring a criminal defense lawyer, but you need to have these discussions early on so you can deal with them in the right way. Never be afraid to talk numbers with your attorney.
Not Being Honest
Your lawyer can only help you if you give him or her all of the facts. If you aren’t honest with an attorney, you are hurting his or her ability to zealously defend you. Always be honest with your attorney, even if what you say isn’t pleasant.
Being Afraid of the Cost
Don’t be so afraid of the cost of representation that you turn down the services of a good lawyer. This is one of the most important investments you may make in your life. Chasing a bargain isn’t worth putting your future in jeopardy.
Allowing Others to Make the Decision
Only you know whether a lawyer is the right person to help you. Don’t let friends or family members pressure you into making a choice.
Not Talking to the Lawyer
Your relationship with your attorney is one of the most important professional relationships you may ever have. As such, you should only work with an attorney if you can actually talk to him or her. Failure to do so might put your future at risk.
If you need the help of a criminal attorney, make sure to avoid the mistakes above. When you’re ready to talk about your situation, contacting a skilled lawyer like William Hanlon Clearwater Criminal Lawyer can make all the difference.