Above all else, finding and choosing the right criminal defense attorney is extremely important. A criminal case can have an incredibly negative impact on your personal reputation, your family, and ultimately your employment opportunities. The person that you need on your side throughout the process is a good criminal defense lawyer…but how do you trust that the criminal defense lawyer is the right fit for you, your case, and your family?
Police, prosecutors, and courts take criminal charges very seriously. Prosecutors often aggressively push for severe penalties such as jail or prison time, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. Sadly, many people don’t realize how serious their case is until it’s too late and the damage is done. The right criminal defense lawyer can stand between you and that aggressive prosecution, help you navigate the criminal justice system, and find the best resolution that fits your goals and needs.
The following information is meant to help guide your search process so that you have a better idea of what to look for when you’re in need of a criminal defense lawyer.
Ask about the criminal defense cases they handle or have handled
You want your criminal defense lawyer to have experience with the charges you are facing. It can be essential to your case to have a lawyer who has extensive experience with the specific crime with which you have been charged. For example, on the Law Offices of Mike Howard website––we list out the different criminal charges our attorney, Mike Howard, is experienced in handling.
You deserve to be well-informed about your case, its possible consequences, and possible outcomes. If you need more information about certain criminal charges, we offer that information here on our website for free.
You want to make sure your attorney has the experience, but most importantly you want to make sure that the clients they did work with HAD a good experience with them and their staff. All the experience in the world doesn’t mean much if you end up being treated poorly. You should check reviews on Google, Facebook, AVVO, other legal review websites, and review any of their testimonials on their website.
Ask for referrals & do research in your area
If you know someone who has ever had to go to court for a criminal charge or has needed a criminal defense lawyer for any matter, don’t hesitate to ask them for more information on who they used and what their experience was like. You don’t need specifics about their case but more about if they would recommend their lawyer to someone else. If they would (or wouldn’t) recommend the lawyer they used, what specific experiences led them to this recommendation?
Aside from word of mouth, each state has different resources that may help you find the best of the best, for example, in Dallas we recommend you check out D Magazine’s Best Lawyers Database. Using their search engine you can narrow down the type of lawyer you would need or even base it off of where they are located.
If for any reason your case moves to a trial, you want to make sure the lawyer that’s on your side is ready and confident with their experience in the courtroom. Even if your case isn’t likely to go to trial, choosing a lawyer with a reputation around the courthouse for going to trial and getting their client’s great results can make a big difference in how your case shakes out.
If your prosecutor knows the criminal defense attorney you chose never goes to trial, that will factor into their evaluation of the case and their offers (likely in a bad way) whereas if they know your chosen attorney will go to trial and fight hard, that can lead to better resolutions for you. In addition to all of the above advice, it’s important that your lawyer values what YOU want.
Although he/she will be managing certain aspects of your case, such as filing motions and calling witnesses, the big decisions—including whether to plead guilty or go to trial—are ultimately up to you. Look for a lawyer who genuinely takes the time to get to know you and your goals, and who is able to actively integrate your input into the legal strategy needed to win your case.
They actively listen and are fighting for YOU
On a similar note… it’s simple but even still, many attorneys don’t listen. It’s important for you to know that your lawyer sees you as more than just a case. At the Law Office of Mike Howard, we start by listening to you to learn not only the facts of your case but who you are, what’s important to you, and what your goals for the case are. From there, we individually tailor our representation to fit you.
We believe in fighting for justice for our clients and have a history of tremendous success both inside and outside the courtroom. We are proud of the reputation that we’ve developed for truly representing our clients’ best interests, standing up for them in their times of need, and caring about them on a human level. We then leverage that reputation and our skillset in the courts to get fantastic results.
BONUS TIP: Take the FREE consultation or case evaluation!
Most lawyers do a form of a free consultation, so if they do––take it! The consultation is the perfect opportunity for you to see if you feel comfortable with the lawyer and his/her staff before you make the very important decision of whether to hire them. This is the perfect time to ask about any questions or concerns you have in regards to your case so that you can make sure you know that you’re in the right hands.
If you still have questions and you want more specific information on how criminal defense lawyers can help you, you can learn more here. It’s not just about choosing any criminal defense lawyer, it’s about choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for YOU. If you’re from outside Texas, we hope that this information helps you in your search for the best criminal defense lawyer in your area. If you’re from Dallas or the surrounding area, we’d love the opportunity to help you with your case: schedule your case evaluation today.
At the Law Office of Mike Howard, we bring together a unique blend of experience, legal knowledge, and a reputation for both integrity and vigorous defense of our clients. We approach our clients and their cases differently than a lot of criminal lawyers. We get to know our clients as people. We make sure they understand every aspect of their case. Respect, empathy, and compassion drive us. We are responsive and use technology to ensure we meet our clients where they are. All of this not only leads to happier clients but better results.