The number of active lawyers in the country has increased by 15.2% over the past decade. With so many lawyers available to make your case, you need to know how to find the one who can help. Otherwise, you might end up with a lawyer who loses your case, leaving you locked behind bars.
Searching for an experienced Austin criminal lawyer?
How you conduct your search can make the difference between “Guilty” and “Innocent.”
Here are nine tips to help you conduct your search. With these tips, you can find the best Austin criminal attorney to help win your case!
1. Get Referrals & Recommendations
Start your search with recommendations from friends and family members. Though they may not have worked with a criminal lawyer before, they might know other trustworthy attorneys. Use these contacts to find other trustworthy lawyers in your area.
For example, a friend or family member may have worked with a law firm for a personal injury case. The same law firm might have an attorney who specializes in criminal law.
Remember, you want to find an attorney with experience in criminal defense law.
Their experience could become paramount for winning your case.
During your search, look for an attorney who is up-to-date with the latest criminal laws and procedures. You also want to find a lawyer who has courtroom experience for criminal law cases.
Some lawyers feel apprehensive about going to court. You don’t want them trying your case. Instead, look for an attorney who has made it to trial and verdict.
Finding a lawyer with criminal law experience will provide you with peace of mind.
2. Check the Local Bar Association
As you start to make a list of potential attorneys, check with your local bar association. They can provide you with a list of qualified attorneys in your area. Check with your list of possible attorneys and make sure they’re able to practice in Austin.
State bar associations also keep records about disciplinary actions taken against attorneys who practice in your state. Check the public records for any complaints as well.
If you don’t have many options on your list yet, the local bar association also offers a free referral service. Then, you can find an Austin criminal lawyer who is qualified to help your case.
If you can’t find the attorney listed with the local bar association, keep searching.
3. Review Online Listings
There are numerous websites that display lawyer reviews, including:
Take a look at these reviews. While one or two bad reviews don’t completely speak to a lawyer’s capabilities, you should still take note of these reviews. Cross-reference the reviews from one website to the next to counter any bias.
4. Check Their Online Presence
As you start developing a list, make sure to include the contact information for each Austin criminal attorney you research. That includes their name, phone number, address, and website. Keeping this list will help you remain organized during your search.
Next, check their website. Look for background information for each Austin criminal lawyer you’re considering. For example, which law school did they attend, and what areas of law do they specialize in?
You can also check for their:
- Social media presence
- Blog posts (check for any relevant to criminal law)
- Website reviews
- How long they’ve worked as an attorney
- Their wins and losses
If this information isn’t available online, make note of it. You can always call the lawyer to schedule an interview.
5. Consider the Law Firm
During your search for a criminal lawyer in Austin, consider what resources you’ll need. A large law firm can handle complicated criminal cases. They’ll likely have a range of resources you’ll need to complete your case.
Check the size of the law firm and how long they’ve been in business as well.
6. Make an Appointment
To narrow down your options, make an appointment to set up a consultation. Many attorneys offer consultation appointments for free. However, you’ll want to double-check this beforehand.
7. Have a List of Questions Ready
Treat these consultations like a job interview. After all, you’re looking for the best candidate to handle your case.
Beforehand, make a list of the questions you want to ask.
You can make these questions specific to the lawyer’s experience and expertise. Include a few questions that are relevant to your case as well. These questions can include:
- Delivery time
- Success rate/track record
You’ll want to find an Austin criminal lawyer who has time to dedicate to your case.
During the interview, make sure you determine who your primary contact will be throughout your case. In some cases, the first lawyer you meet with won’t become your primary contact.
8. Consider Your Comfort
Meet with or talk to each lawyer you’ve scheduled a consultation with. Afterward, make sure to take notes regarding each meeting. Remember, these are job interviews.
If you don’t feel the lawyer was listening or cares about your case, keep looking.
You want to choose an Austin criminal attorney you’re comfortable working with. How well did they answer your questions? Do they seem capable of representing you?
If you feel uncomfortable working with them, continue down your list.
9. Costs & Contracts
Criminal lawyers make a median annual salary of $120,910. There are three ways attorneys usually bill for their services: a flat fee, contingency fee, or hourly fees.
Make sure to determine the potential costs before choosing a lawyer. If you’re on a budget, see if you can negotiate their fee.
Finally, review the contract between you and your attorney. If everything seems right, you’ve found your fit!
What to Look for When Searching for an Austin Criminal Lawyer
Searching for an Austin criminal lawyer? Don’t stress over it! Instead, use these tips to find a lawyer who has your best interest in mind.
Want the best criminal lawyer in Austin on your case? Contact us today for representation!