Although there are many qualified lawyers practicing in New York and the surrounding areas, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right Suffolk County criminal attorney to help you in defending against a criminal charge.
Following are some suggestions on how to find the right criminal defense lawyer for you:
Ask for referrals. – You may know someone who is familiar with the practice of a criminal defense attorney such as a friend who works for a law firm. He may be able to get you in touch with a competent lawyer specializing in criminal defense in your area. If there is a public defender in your county, he may be able to suggest a good lawyer for you. Likewise, if a loved one or a friend had a previous encounter with the law, he may also be able to suggest a good defense lawyer that you can call.
Refer to Professional Organizations – Find out if there is an existing organization of criminal defense attorneys in your area. Most of these groups provide online directories or referral services that you can use to find a Suffolk County criminal attorney.
Observe courtroom proceedings. – You can try to sit through some public court sessions while criminal cases are undergoing trial. Take note of the lawyers’ performance. If one or more lawyers impress you, get their names and contact them later to explore the possibility of having one of them to represent you in your particular case.
Use Online Directories. – Make use of legal websites that offer directories that include criminal defense attorneys. You can find listings by area or state that can help you easily find a qualified lawyer in your general vicinity.
Consider State vs. Federal Charges. – Consider the type of charges hurled against you when looking for legal representation.
Once you have made a short list of possible defense lawyers to hire, set up a consultation meeting with each one and discuss your case. Some lawyers do not charge for an initial meeting, but others do, so it may be better to call the lawyers first to clarify about the fees before setting up the meetings. During the meetings, ask the lawyers about their experience with cases similar to your particular case, and in criminal defense in general.
Do not hire a Suffolk County criminal attorney you are not comfortable consulting with. Sometimes, your instincts can tell if a particular lawyer is not right for you. Trust your instincts. If the lawyer talks about how easy your case is and that there is no chance that you will go to jail, do not sign the agreement just yet; ask other attorneys like Charo Ezdrin.
Some lawyers have the propensity to downplay the gravity and complexity of a defendant’s case in order to secure a retainer; and when you lose the case, they will blame the prosecutor or the judge. By then, it would be too late as you would have already been convicted. So before signing a fee agreement, read and understand all the provisions and make sure to secure a copy for your future reference.