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A Guide to Choosing the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of a serious criminal offense, it is crucial to mount a strong legal defense to protect your reputation and avoid serious legal consequences. However, if you have been accused of a crime, you should know that you are not alone. According to data from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, there are over 10 million criminal charges filed every year.

With a competent lawyer at your side, you can usually get your charges dropped or be found not guilty. Therefore, people who have been accused of a crime need to understand how to choose the best criminal defense lawyer.

Problems With Criminal Charges

After being formally charged with a crime, finding a great lawyer is crucial for defending your livelihood and reputation. In many cases, the consequences of criminal charges can seem relatively minor at first. For instance, some people who have been accused of trespassing may only have to pay a small fine that costs no more than an ordinary traffic ticket. The problem, however, is that all criminal charges appear in public records, so anyone who does a background check on you will be able to see that you have been charged with a crime. Consequently, many people who are convicted of minor charges are unable to find a job or rent an apartment.

Criminal charges can also make you vulnerable to more significant changes later down the road. In many cases, people who have a clean record can get their charges dropped when they are accused of a crime. If someone with a clean record gets convicted, they usually get a minimal sentence. However, once you have a conviction on your record, you can get the book thrown at you over relatively minor crimes. Police and prosecutors are also much more likely to press charges when you have a criminal record. As a result, people accused of a crime need to do everything in their power to avoid a conviction.

How Lawyers Defend Their Clients

Thankfully, lawyers exist to prevent people from being wrongfully convicted of a crime. Even if you are guilty, having a great lawyer at your side can lead to charges being dropped. Lawyers achieve positive outcomes for their clients by building a strong case for why their clients should be found not guilty. Most serious criminal cases require prosecutors to prove several facts beyond a reasonable doubt, and a good lawyer can usually find several holes in a prosecutor’s accusations.

Additionally, lawyers and their law firms usually have a personal relationship with prosecutors, police, investigators, and other people who influence criminal cases. Even in very serious cases, therefore, lawyers are often able to get charges significantly reduced. An advantageous settlement can then be reached to reduce the consequences of criminal charges even further.

Signs of a Great Lawyer

When searching for a lawyer, you should look for several key indicators that a lawyer is a right fit for your case. Some of the signs to look for include:

Great education: Lawyers become the best through world-class preparation. Look for lawyers who attended top law schools and have multiple graduate or doctorate degrees.

Extensive experience: Law school teaches the law and proper conduct in court, but the skills necessary to win in the courtroom can only be learned through experience. Look for a lawyer who has at least five years of experience in criminal law.

Focuses on similar crimes: Some lawyers claim to be able to do everything, but the jack of all trades is never the best at anything. Make sure that your lawyer focuses on similar types of criminal matters.

Proven track record: Before choosing a lawyer, you should review the lawyer’s performance history. Lawyers who win almost every time give you a much greater chance of being found not guilty.

Attentive to client needs: Unfortunately, some lawyers seek to pack their schedule with as many clients as possible to make more money. These lawyers are unlikely to be adequately prepared when your court date arrives. Make sure that your lawyer is willing to spend time truly understanding and researching your case before agreeing to move forward.

Selecting the Best Lawyer

You should put significant time and effort into choosing the right lawyer for your case. In general, you should take the role of an employer when choosing which lawyer you will hire. Therefore, you should first browse through a broad range of lawyers online. You can then reach out to a few lawyers who are credible and have a track record of success.

After reaching out to some prospective San Antonio lawyers, it is crucial to meet with them personally. Although online meetings can be convenient, lawyers who are only willing to meet online are much more likely to brush you off. In your meeting, ask many questions aimed at understanding the lawyer’s background. You should also give the lawyer information about your case to test the lawyer’s competence and level of interest. When you put in the effort to find the best lawyer, you will be on your way to overcoming your criminal charges.

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