Criminal Defense Lawyers - Questions to Ask During Your First Meeting With Your Lawyer

The last thing any of us want is to deal with the possibility of conviction for a crime. Whether you have become involved in something illegal by accident or are driven in the heat of the moment to commit wrongdoing, you should know that you still have the right to fair trial. As such, if you are able to afford the services of a criminal defense attorney, it is important to find one who will competently handle your case and work toward a solution beneficial to you. That said, you will need to thoroughly interview your candidates.

When you first sit down to meet with your lawyer, come prepared. Bring along every bit of information related to your case - this includes court documents, bail papers if applicable, and any police paperwork related to your incident. Be ready, too, to ask many questions of your attorney, which can include the following:

    * Have you handled a case like this before? If so, how many?
    * Did all of the cases go to trial or were you able to settle out of court?
    * How successful were you in winning clients acquittal or lighter sentences?
    * How long have you been in practice?
    * Where did you get your law degree?
    * What are your qualifications for handling this specific case?
    * How do you suggest I plead in this case?
    * What can I expect if I go to trial?
    * Will I be required to take the stand if we go to trial?
    * Do I have any advantages with regards to witnesses, evidence, etc.?
    * Will you work this case alone, or do you have a partner or assistant?
    * How do I contact you if I have more information to give?
    * How long do you think a trial will take if we go to court?
    * How much do you charge, and what is the payment plan?

The more you know about the trial procedure going in, the better prepared you will be when the time comes. After meeting with your lawyer, if you feel you can have a good relationship with the firm and the attorney is qualified and competent enough to represent you, continue the open lines of communication so you will know what to expect every step of the way.

Remember, the lawyer you hire will plead your case and work to ensure you receive a fair trial if your case goes to court. Be cooperative and don't be afraid to ask questions.
About this Author

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on North Carolina lawyers and Outer Banks lawyers.