At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, we believe that informed clients are the best kind. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation if you need an attorney in or around Atlanta.

Here, you can learn more about what to ask any attorney you are considering hiring. With the information here, you can feel confident in the choice you make.

1. Does the Attorney Provide a Free Initial Consultation?

Before an attorney takes your case, it is important to have it evaluated. This will ensure they have a full understanding of the facts.

You need to meet with a potential attorney, face to face, to discuss your situation. There is no way for a lawyer to provide you with advice or a quote for the cost of their services by having a five-minute phone conversation. Even more importantly, you need to get a “feel” for the attorney. Do they make you comfortable? If not, seeking legal services elsewhere may be a good idea.

During the first meeting with an attorney, some of the things to go over include the following:

  • The charges filed against you and the facts of your case.
  • What happened during the arrest, what was said, and if your rights were violated?
  • Your past criminal history.
  • Your life history, employment, and education.
  • Any issues related to immigration.

After the initial consultation, your attorney will be able to answer any specific questions you have about how to build a defense. You will also better understand if this attorney will be a good fit for your needs. You need to have an overall good feeling about the attorney. This will ensure you make the right decision regarding who to hire.

2. How Long Has the Attorney Practiced Law?

Did you know there are more than 60,000 criminal defense attorneys practicing in the United States? While this is true, not all of them can handle your case.

When you begin your search, be sure to go to the Martindale-Hubbell law firm directory or local bar association website to learn more. The attorney’s background and length of practice are two examples of important information you should have.

It is smart to hire someone in the local area since they will likely have relationships that can benefit your situation. An example is if the attorney you hire has previously worked with the prosecutor on your case. If so, they may find it easier to reduce the charges against you or get a more appealing plea deal.

Finding an attorney with several years of experience handling cases like yours will give you more confidence in their abilities. If you hire someone newer in the legal industry, they may be more likely to make mistakes that cost you.

It is also important to find a lawyer that specializes in criminal law. You do not want to hire someone who “dabbles” in all areas of law. This may mean they don’t have a firm understanding of criminal law matters.

3. What Are the Attorney’s Legal Fees?

The subject of legal fees and money is sensitive for most people. You need to find a lawyer to resolve your criminal issue while also ensuring their fees are not so high that they cause financial issues.

It should be a red flag if you ask an attorney about their fees and they do not answer the question directly.

Criminal defense attorneys use various methods to charge clients. For example, some charge hourly while others require a retainer that is used, and then another deposit is made. Others work on flat or fixed fees. This means you know what the legal services will cost from your first meeting.

You should not hire an attorney who states they will let you know their fees after the case moves forward or after they have more time to learn about the situation.

4. How Often Do They Take Cases to Trial?

If you meet with a criminal defense attorney, you must ask how often they take cases to trial. Try to find someone who has some courtroom experience. You will have peace of mind knowing that your attorney can handle them in the courtroom.

If you find that an attorney seems nervous to take your case in front of a judge or jury, it may mean they will be in a rush to accept a plea arrangement on your behalf. These attorneys do not have what is best for you in mind.

Be sure you find an attorney with strong communication and listening skills. This will ensure that you have someone who will aggressively fight for your rights.

5. Can the Attorney Provide Reviews and References?

Before you hire an attorney in Atlanta, be sure to request reviews and references. It is also possible to check their Google Business listings and BBB for past client testimonials.

Try to find an attorney who has a strong professional reputation. This will give you insight into their abilities to handle your criminal case.

If you notice a lawyer has several complaints on their record, you should take them off your list.

6. What Is the Attorney’s Track Record?

Many criminal cases never go to court. You should find out your attorney’s track record regarding this.

Many that go to trial are not successful. Because of this, you need to find out about an attorney’s success record before hiring them. This will give you more confidence in their ability to handle your case.

7. How Often Does the Lawyer Communicate, and What Is Their Preferred Method of Communication?

You need to find out how often your attorney will update you about your case. If you do not ask this, you may not get any information until the day your trial is scheduled.

You should also ask the attorney about their preferred method of communication. This is going to ensure that if you have questions or concerns, they will be answered in a timely manner.

In many criminal matters, time is important. You need to know how to communicate with your attorney to get an answer as quickly as possible.

Don’t Wait to Find a Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case

If you are charged with a crime, there are more than a few things you must consider. Finding a quality attorney who can handle your case should be a top priority.

Remember, many criminal charges can result in jail time if you are convicted or if you do not have an attorney who helps you build a strong defense.

If you need help with your criminal case, contact our legal team from the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines for an initial consultation. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the more likely you will be to have the best possible outcome for your case.

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