LOOKING FOR A GOOD
Looking for a good lawyer is not always a pleasant task. There are many lawyers out there who handle all types of legal matters. There are civil lawyers and there are criminal defense lawyers. Some are good, some are bad and some are just plain “ugly.” “Ugly,” in the sense that all they want is your money and they will promise you the world but deliver nothing. No lawyer can promise you more than he/she will do the best job possible. Excellent lawyers don’t keep a scorecard of wins and losses because sometimes a win means no more than having saved a client several years of their life or it could mean as much as a dismissal of charges. Even the worst of attorneys get cases dismissed on occasion. If you handle hundreds of cases, some are bound to be dismissed through no fault of the lawyer.
If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, take your time in selecting a
criminal defense lawyer. When we look for a lawyer out of state, the first place we look is to see whether that state has “certified specialists” in criminal law. Assuming it does, then we check with the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL), a national organization of criminal lawyers. We believe every criminal lawyer interested in criminal justice belongs to this nationwide organization.
Having now found a criminal law specialist who belongs to NACDL, it’s time to find out more or less what this lawyer does. Does he/she specialize in DUIs, in misdemeanors, in drug cases, or major felonies. You certainly do not want to retain a DUI attorney for a drug charge or major felony. If the lawyer has to look up the statute to determine the class of felony or punishment for your charge, he/she probably is not the right lawyer for you. If the law firm is one the ends with “associates,” you better find out who will be your lawyer and who will accompany you to court each time you go. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a different lawyer each time you go to court, never knowing who you hired. You will have paid big bucks for the named partner and received a salaried associate. Don’t be afraid to ask who will be handling your case. If the named partner tells you his “firm” will be representing you, “run” don’t walk. That means you won’t know who will be showing up for court. Make sure the lawyer you retain will be “your” lawyer handling “your” case, will be responsible for “your” case, will be responsive to “your” phone calls or emails, and will personally will be handling court appearances in “your” behalf.
When your life or that of a loved one is on the line, you want to be sure you are in good hands.