Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney
Choosing a criminal defense attorney can be a daunting task. If charged with a crime in Marin County, or any county in California, there are a few factors you should consider in selecting someone that will have a great impact on your life.
First, choose someone who practices in the area of criminal law. If you’re charged with a crime, including a DUI, you will be better served by someone who has a focused practice. Ask the prospective lawyer whether they handle other types of legal matters or is their practice in the area or criminal law exclusively. The law has become so complicated that it is the rare practitioner who can reach a level of expertise in more than one area of the law such that they can effectively represent clients.
Second, how did the attorney come by his or her experience? Typically, well-grounded criminal defense attorneys spent time early in their career working for the government either as a deputy district attorney or public defender. This experience allowed them to handle a high volume of cases and learn the ins and outs of the system. Practitioners who spent time working as prosecutors often have learned a unique perspective and understand how to negotiate with the “other” side.
Third, if you’re from Marin County, hire a Marin County lawyer. Where is this person’s office? Is their primary focus Marin County? Not only do you want to have the convenience of easy access to meetings but you want someone who knows the local courts and people.
Fourth, ask what types of cases the attorney has handled. If charged with a DUI, make sure the lawyer has done a lot of DUI cases. If charged with a homicide, your best choice will be someone who has handled murder cases all the way through trial.
Lastly, make sure the person you choose to represent you is someone with whom you can access and have a personal relationship. Being charged with a crime is likely to be one of the most stressful times of your life. You want someone that not only knows the law but that can explain it to you in a compassionate and straight forward manner. Your lawyer should be responsive, available and able to empathize with the potentially dramatic impact this circumstance will have on your life.
Confronted with the unfortunate circumstance of being charged with a DUI or other crime is not the end of the world. The right criminal defense attorney will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and make sure your rights are protected while marshalling you through one of life’s greatest challenges.