How to Find the Right Criminal Defense Attorney for You
There are several things that you should consider when you are searching for a criminal defense attorney to represent you in a criminal case in Oklahoma or Arkansas. At the most basic level, the attorney you consider should be admitted to practice law in your state and be in good standing with the bar. Other important factors include experience, chemistry, confidence, demeanor, and reputation.
While some new attorneys are great, you don’t want to retain someone who will be learning on the job while defending you against a criminal charge. It is better to retain a lawyer who has years of experience representing people in both misdemeanor and felony cases. Similarly, you should look for a lawyer who has experience handling other cases involving the crime with which you are charged. For example, if you are facing white-collar criminal charges, choosing a lawyer who has previously exclusively focused on handling DUI cases might not be a good idea.
When you hire an attorney, you will have to work closely with them. If you are not comfortable with your lawyer, the process will likely be more difficult. Make sure that you evaluate a prospective lawyer during the initial consultation, and ask them plenty of questions. The lawyer you choose should be someone you feel like you can trust to competently handle your claim. They should also listen to you and be able to explain things in terms that you can understand.
Some criminal defense lawyers have little trial experience. While most criminal cases are resolved through the plea bargaining process, you should try to find a lawyer who has taken cases to trial in the past. There are specific trial procedures that a lawyer must know to be able to admit relevant evidence at trial, object to improper questioning, and select a jury. You want to find a lawyer who is prepared to go to trial in case the prosecutor will not extend a favorable plea offer. Ask a prospective lawyer how many cases they have tried and what the outcomes have been. However, keep in mind that an attorney’s past results do not guarantee a specific outcome in your case.
Confidence and Demeanor
A good criminal defense lawyer should keep a neat appearance and exude confidence. You can judge your attorney’s level of confidence when you meet with them for an initial consultation. Choosing an attorney who seems confident and can deftly discuss the law with you is important. A confident and competent attorney is much more likely to represent you well in court than someone who seems unsure of themself.
If you know other people who have faced criminal charges, ask them who represented them and what their experiences with those attorneys were like. Getting a word-of-mouth referral can be a good way to find the right attorney to defend against the charges against you. A lawyer who has a good reputation for zealously representing their clients in criminal matters is more likely to aggressively defend you in your case as well.
Talk to the Attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
Facing criminal charges is difficult enough without having to search for a good criminal defense lawyer to represent you. However, by doing your homework and taking advantage of the initial consultation, you can find a great defense lawyer to represent you. Contact the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook today to request a free consultation by calling 479-783-8000 (Fort Smith), 479-455-2210 (Fayetteville), or 918-912-2132 (Tulsa) or sending us a message online.