The Top 5 Mistakes You can Make When Hiring a Criminal Lawyer Countdown — Reason No. 5

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

For the next five days, I’ll be counting down the top 5 mistakes people make in hiring criminal defense attorneys regardless of whether the case is a DWI, Marijuana, other drugs, theft, assault, felonies, or any other type of case.

#5: Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Based Solely on Price:

I’m not going to lie — the cost of a criminal defense attorney may very well be a good indicator of how good that lawyer really is.  Sometimes the best guy around is the priciest and the guy who charges the least may be that way for a reason.  There are plenty of other things to consider about judging a lawyer.

The more the lawyer’s time is in demand, the more it’s worth, and the higher the fee.  The less they are in demand, the less they charge.  That is the theory, anyway.  The bad assumption in that argument, though, is that the lawyer is in demand (or not in demand) because they are good (or bad) at what they do.

Consider this  —  a lawyer with a slammed schedule is slammed because they’re just better at marketing than other lawyers in the community.  Or a lawyer who charges a lesser fee has a smaller office and over-head doesn’t dictate their fees.  These things punch big holes in the theory above and there are countless other things which dictate what a certain lawyer may charge.

Should the fee be an important factor in hiring a criminal defense lawyer?  Absolutely.  Abraham Lincoln said it best about legal fees, “…In this way the client knows he has a lawyer, and a lawyer knows that he has a client.”

My point is that money shouldn’t be the only factor!  Ask tough questions.  Are you comfortable with the answers?  Do they make sense?

Your gut and intuition are often the best tools in assessing lawyers and sometimes price can be misleading.

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice.  For specific legal advice consult an attorney.

2 Responses to The Top 5 Mistakes You can Make When Hiring a Criminal Lawyer Countdown — Reason No. 5

  1. No matter what type of crime you are charged with, there are several keys to success in any criminal defense situation. First, you should always get an attorney to represent your interests. That attorney should be a skilled negotiator and should understand legal theory, practice and strategy. Often the best defense involves a simple strategy, but one that only an experienced criminal defense attorney will have the knowledge to carry out.

    An attorney that you want to hire is one who keeps a certain type of trump card in his back pocket: be willing to go to trial, even if you don’t ultimately have a trial! Often times District Attorneys will drop or lower charges when the threat of trial is on the table because of holes and deficiencies in their case or in the evidence, poor cooperation from witnesses or bad witnesses, or because there are a hundred other cases coming down the pipe that day that they will have to deal with and they want your case to settle easily.

    The essence of criminal practice is negotiation and preparation. Through research of the law and facts, finding the holes and deficiencies in a case and applying pressure on the other side, a Alabama criminal defense attorney can often times get your charges dropped, lowered, dismissed, or can win your case at trial.

    Always remember that each and every case is different; sound legal advice can only be attained by speaking directly to a knowledgeable and experienced Alabama criminal defense lawyer!

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