Key Questions to Ask the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Baton Rouge
Someone is arrested every 3 seconds in the United States.
If you’ve been issued a criminal summons and you fail to respond on time, the next correspondence will likely be a warrant.
Have you been convicted or accused of a crime and are unsure of what to do? If so, you must know what to look for in a criminal defense lawyer.
Keep reading to learn key questions to help you find the best criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge.
How Much Do You Charge?
Typically in criminal law, lawyers quote flat fees to their clients. Occasionally, they’ll provide a range they can charge within, dependent on how the case plays out.
For the most part, a criminal defense attorney will give you a flat fee for their services.
The initial consultation should be free, though, no matter what. This gives you a chance to explore your options and ask the right questions to determine who you believe is the best lawyer for your case.
What’s Your History Practicing Criminal Law?
The first part to this question should include making sure your attorney is Board Certified in Criminal Law.
The follow-up questions would be:
- How many jury trials have you done?
- Have many have you tried in criminal court in the last 5 years?
- Have you ever worked as a prosecutor?
Even though you don’t necessarily want your case to go to trial, it’s crucial to hire a lawyer who has experience trying jury trials.
When prosecutors make plea bargain offers, those offers are based on what results they think they can get by taking the case to a jury. When a prosecutor is aware of a defense lawyer’s lack of experience, they might be less likely to reduce the charges.
You want a lawyer who has trial experience, and if they’ve worked as a prosecutor before, that’s even better. If they’ve worked as a prosecutor previously, they’re likely to have more credibility with other prosecutors.
We Can Help – Lawyer for Failure to Appear in court.
Will Anyone Else Work on My Case?
It’s up to you whether or not you want an attorney who is devoted to your case entirely, or if you don’t mind working with a team.
Sometimes working with a team means your costs will be less, as a lot of the work will be assigned to associates and paralegals who bill at lower rates. Plus, any excellent lawyer has multiple clients and a team to help them juggle the many cases they handle.
That being said, communication should still be strong, and you never want to feel as though you’re slipping through the cracks.
How Often Will We Communicate?
When you’re facing criminal charges in Louisiana, the reality of potential incarceration and hefty fines is a lot to take on.
The last thing you need during a criminal case is to hire a lawyer who is terrible at communicating. You should be able to ask questions when they come up and work with someone willing and available to put your mind at ease while being honest.
Ask your potential attorney how they prefer to communicate, how often you should expect to hear from them, and what the turnaround time for a response is. Excellent communication skills are one of the qualities you should look for in a lawyer.
Do You Have Any Issues With the State Bar or Past Clients?
You can find out whether or not your criminal defense lawyer has issues with the state bar by visiting the Louisiana website and searching their name. It’s good to hear it from the source, though. If they’ve had any disputes or complaints against them, they should be able to tell you when and why.
No one is perfect, even the best criminal defense lawyers.
You want someone honest and open about their mistakes. Ask your lawyer to walk you through a difficult scenario they had with a previous client.
What steps did they take to alleviate the situation? If they feel they made any mistakes, what would they have done differently?
Learn more about criminal lawyer for LSU students
How Long Do You Think My Case Will Take?
It’s impossible for any lawyer to provide you with an exact time frame around your case. However, based on similar cases they’ve handled in the past, a great attorney should be able to at least provide you with examples and make an estimate based on that experience.
What Are the Potential and Likely Outcomes of My Case?
Your attorney may not be able to answer this right away, and their predictions are likely to change based on how things go along the way.
However, based on prior cases, your attorney should be able to break down typical examples of how your case could go. They should also be able to tell you whether your case would be better suited for a plea bargain or going to trial.
What Do You Need and Expect From Me?
The more helpful, honest, and communicative you are, the better your lawyer can serve you on your case.
Ask what they expect from you. Is there any paperwork you should expect to receive and fill out? Is there any way you can help by gathering witnesses or additional information surrounding your case?
How often, if at all, would they like you to check-in?
Hire the Best Criminal Defense Attorney by Asking Questions
Don’t be nervous or hesitant in the presence of your potential lawyer. If you’re facing criminal charges, your livelihood is essentially in their hands. Of course, you play a role by being honest and doing everything you can to help, not hinder your case.
The best criminal defense attorney won’t mind answering your questions or providing truthful answers. It’s the best way to set the tone for a vital relationship that’ll play a crucial role in getting you the best outcome for your case.
Are you ready to get help with your criminal case? Contact us anytime between 7 am and 7 pm, any day of the week. We are here to help!