1. How long has the attorney been doing criminal law?
• Your life and/or freedom for you or your loved one is hanging in the attorney you hire hands’. It is very important that you hire an experienced criminal attorney.
2. Was the attorney a former prosecutor?
• You need to know how the State thinks and the ins and outs of the State Attorney’s office. A former prosecutor has this knowledge and can use it to help you or your loved one fight the case.
3. Has the attorney handled a case like yours?
• Just because an attorney practices criminal law does not mean they have actual experience with the particular crime you or your loved one is charged with. Here are some questions to see if they are familiar with the crime:
-What is the maximum penalty?
-What is the minimum penalty?
-Is there a statutory required fine?
-Some trafficking fines can have fines up to $50,000
-Is there a Driver’s license suspension with a conviction?
-Does the attorney know the lead detective?
-How is the relationship with the prosecutor?
4. How many trials has the attorney done?
• When was the last trial?
• Has the attorney ever taken a similar or same type of crime to trial?
5. Has the attorney ever helped a client get into rehab?
6. Is the attorney familiar with drug court?
• Is your charge eligible to get into drug court?
• What are the benefits to drug court compared to regular criminal court?
7. Has the attorney read the police report or arrest warrant for your drug or trafficking drug charge?
• The attorney should be able to read the police report or arrest warrant and be able to give you an overview of your case.
-Is there a confidential informant?
-Is there an undercover detective?
-Was there an ongoing undercover operation?
-Do the facts of the report fit with the crime that you or your loved one was arrested for?
8. Will the attorney give you a free consultation?
• This is more than just about money, it shows you that the Attorney respects that this is the most important decision that you have to make and it is important to get know the attorney before you potentially pay them thousands of dollars.
• Will the Attorney go see your loved one in Jail?
-This is an important decision and the Attorney should be willing to go visit you or your loved one in jail before you decide to hire them or not.
9. Does the attorney offer payment plans?
• Is the attorney willing to work with you?
• Expensive is not always better.
10. Will your attorney meet you after hours or on the weekend?
• You are potentially paying someone thousands of dollars and should be able to contact during non-banking hours.
• Your attorney should be available to you after reasonable notice. Your are paying for our time and you should get your money’s worth.