How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

Defending your rights in the courtroom is the job of defense attorneys everywhere. If you are faced with criminal charges, it’s important that you choose the right attorney to defend you. You have rights, and it’s the prosecutions job to prove you are guilty and get a heavy sentence leveled against you. Don’t get railroaded, inform yourself of your basic rights and hire an attorney that is dedicated to upholding them.


There are a lot of criminal defense attorneys out there and it can be difficult to narrow them down to a short list. It’s important that you research the attorneys in your area and choose when who is experienced with the charges you are facing.

Track Record

You obviously want to choose an attorney with a reputation for success. Remember, when it comes to criminal charges, success doesn’t always mean getting the charges dropped. Success is relative to your situation. A good criminal defense attorney will be able to plea down your charges and avoid court altogether, helping you avoid receiving the maximum penalty. If you do go to court, you want a defense attorney who has proven their abilities during trials.

Team or individual?

Selecting a criminal defense attorney may be more difficult than choosing a law team in general. By choosing a firm, you get access to a team of lawyers, with the one best suited to your case getting assigned to it. Law firms may also have a greater amount of resources available to them than a lawyer who works alone – including their co-workers, private investigators and the financial backing of the firm itself. This isn’t to say that choosing a lone wolf isn’t a good idea. There are many independent defense attorneys who may be perfectly suited to your case, it will be up to you to determine what will be the most appropriate option, and this may depend greatly on the nature of the charges you are facing.


Some defense attorneys gear their efforts toward particular charges. Some specialize in murder cases, others in domestic assault, and other still on drug and alcohol related cases. Choosing a lawyer who is specialized in the charges you are facing is a good idea. When you are facing criminal charges and a criminal record, it’s best to go with an expert, not a jack-of-all-trades.

Not everyone is guilty

Just because charges have been laid against you does not mean you are guilty. People are falsely accused all the time, but it is not the end of the world. Your criminal defense attorney will dig through the evidence against you, as well as find evidence of their own to refute the prosecutions claims. If you are innocent, it can be proven – by a good attorney. Prosecutors see a lot of bad things in their day-to-day jobs, which often makes it difficult for them to see innocence. Proving your innocence is not only important because you deserve justice and freedom, but it’s also an important part of ensuring the right person(s) is sought out and charged, eventually.

You want an attorney that believes in you and your situation. If your defense attorney is just as jaded as the prosecution, you may have an uphill battle on your hands. Openly discussing your case with your attorney will help you get a sense of whether or not they are really on your side.


Legal defense can be expensive, but well worth it. Court appointed attorneys (or public defenders) aren’t necessarily going to do the job as well, or as thoroughly as a privately hired attorney. Public defenders are often over worked and unable to dedicate the time necessary to properly resolve your case. Cost should be one of the last things on your mind when deciding between your own legal counsel, and a public defender. What’s more important, your innocence and freedom, or your check book?

The day you find yourself trying to decide on which lawyer to hire may never come – then again, it might. Being prepared to choose the right defense attorney for your case is important, and something that you shouldn’t underestimate. The right attorney can be the difference between your freedom and your incarceration. Don’t take any chances.

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