Defense Attorney Info and Hire Tips
[What is a Criminal Attorney]
If you need a defense attorney, read these helpful tips to find out what you can expect from an attorney, if you may qualify for a public attorney, and how to choose the right attorney for your case.
The Role of the Defense Attorney
The defense attorney will be your legal counselor, and it is the role of the attorney to provide you with legal advice, inform you of legal choices which are available and to represent you when you appear before the court. However, the attorney cannot make any legal decisions for you – the attorney can only act as your guide to show you which paths are available and provide you with all the risks, pros, cons, and possible outcomes that each path holds.
Your attorney will only be able to fulfill this role if you keep your discussions open and honest; all conversations that take place between you and your attorney are completely confidential.
Public vs. Private Defense Attorney
If you cannot afford a private attorney, a public defense attorney will be appointed to you at no charge. To qualify for a public attorney, you must prove to the court that you are unable to afford an attorney – and you may need to provide evidence such as copies of pay checks, employment history, and tax records. While you may qualify for a public attorney for a criminal hearing, in most cases, a public lawyer will not be appointed if you are attending a civil hearing.
A public attorney will do his or her best for your case – just as a private attorney would. Public and private attorneys all must meet the same education and qualifications to practice law – the only difference is the sector they choose to work in.
Choosing the Right Defense Attorney
If you are hiring a private attorney for your case, it is best to arrange an initial meeting to discuss your case; always begin your search for an attorney by looking for an attorney who specializes in the type of legal services you need. At the initial meeting, the attorney should outline steps they would take to proceed with the case, the number of individuals that will be working on your case, and fees which will be charged for their services.
You should be comfortable talking with a potential defense attorney – and the attorney should be up front with you on policies and costs. If you are uncomfortable discussing your case with an attorney, or the attorney does not explain his or her policies and costs to your satisfaction – it would be best to continue your search.
*The information in this article does not constitute legal advice. Please contact a legal professional in your local area for the best up-to-date and accurate legal advice.