If you have been charged with a criminal offense in San Diego, you have probably heard the advice: “hire a criminal defense attorney right away.”
It's true. It is in your best interest to work with an attorney even before you speak to law enforcement to ensure that your rights are protected. But how do you choose the right attorney for you?
There are many criminal defense attorneys out there. Many of them have flashy commercials or signs on buses and benches. But these lawyers may not be right for you and your case. When your freedom is on the line, it is not worth it to invest the time and money into an attorney who is not the right fit for your needs.
Even minor offenses can have serious consequences for your personal and professional life. The decision on which San Diego criminal defense attorney to hire should not be taken lightly. In this article, we will share three of the most important questions to ask when choosing the right San Diego criminal defense attorney for your unique case.
How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney
There are many factors to consider when making this decision. The first step is to take advantage of the free initial consultation that many defense attorneys offer. This interview will give you the chance to identify a lawyer who you feel most confident can help you obtain the outcome you desire in your case. While there are many questions you should ask during the consultation, these three questions should not be overlooked, as they can provide you with valuable information when making your hiring decisions.
Question 1: Have you worked cases similar to mine?
Don’t be swayed by a criminal defense attorney with an impressive advertisement on TV or a great reputation in the area. While they may be a phenomenal attorney, it does not mean that they have experience representing clients facing charges similar to yours.
A top-tier property crime attorney may be skilled and have an impressive success rate trying cases related to burglary; however, how many drunk driving cases have they tried? If you are facing a DUI charge, you want to know that your attorney has the right experience for your case.
Do your research to determine if the attorney has worked cases similar to yours. Review their websites and schedule your free consultation to ask them about their experience working with clients who were facing the same charges as you.
Question 2: What is your trial experience?
If your case where to go to trial, you want to feel confident that your attorney has experience in the courtroom. During your consultation, be sure to ask them about their trial experience; specifically, those involving charges like yours.
In your communications, both on the phone and in-person, observe their demeanor. Do they speak clearly? Do they exude confidence and tenacity? Do they look presentable? These factors are very important during a trial. Your initial phone conversations and consultation can provide you with many clues as to how effective your attorney will be if your case were to go to trial.
Question 3: What is your communication style?
For many people, facing criminal charges is one of the scariest times of their lives. The consequences can be devastating. When you are hiring a San Diego criminal defense attorney, you want to be sure that your attorney is communicative and collaborative throughout the process.
Ask the attorney what you can expect when it comes to back and forth communication, getting your questions answered, understanding the legal process and your legal options. An attorney who avoids phone calls or fails to explain situations or terminology to help you better understand your situation, can leave you feeling frustrated and lacking confidence.
While these three questions are great starting points for making this important decision, we recommend that you sit down and record a list of questions to bring to your initial consultation. By being prepared with questions, you can get a better idea of the attorney’s experience, style and skill.
Through this process, we encourage you to trust your gut. Does the attorney make you feel confident? Does the attorney show genuine concern? Do you feel you can trust this attorney and ask questions openly?
Making the decision to hire a criminal defense attorney is a big one. If you are facing charges in San Diego, call the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today to schedule your free consultation. Prepare a list of questions for our attorney so you can better understand her skills and experience.
Joni Eisenstein has been practicing law in the San Diego courts for over 25 years and has extensive experience and a stellar reputation for being knowledgeable, tenacious and genuine with her clients. Contact her office today to schedule your appointment to speak directly with attorney Joni Eisenstein about your San Diego criminal charges.