When you find yourself in serious legal trouble, your best move is to hire an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be assigned to your case, but you should allow that to happen only as a last resort. Public defenders are too often overloaded with cases, leaving them unable to give you the time and attention that you need. When searching for your own criminal lawyer, practice due diligence before hiring anyone.
If you have no personal knowledge of a criminal defense attorney, you can contact professional organizations for referrals or for lists of possible candidates. There are both national and state organizations that can help you with your search. If you wish, you can visit local courtrooms to see criminal attorneys in action. This method will allow you a preview of the type of defense a particular attorney can offer you. If you like what you see, contact the lawyer's office
Not all defense attorneys are created equal. If you are charged with breaking a federal law, you will need to find someone used to dealing with the United States Attorney's office, a formidable organization that has the time and resources to devote to making a strong case against you. Also, if you have been charged with a violent crime, find an attorney who specializes in those cases. Choose your attorney the way you would a doctor. If you have cancer, you need to find an oncologist and not a general practitioner.
A good criminal defense attorney will cost you a significant amount of money. You may be charged an hourly rate or a flat fee, depending on your case and the attorney's personal preference. Most require a retainer before they will even take you on as a client. If money is a problem for you, ask if the attorney will offer you a payment plan. You do not want to choose your attorney only because they are affordable, but the reality is that some lawyers will probably be out of your price range.
Being charged with a serious crime is a truly frightening experience. A good outcome for you largely depends on the quality of attorney you hire (like those at Devine Law PC). Referrals work well in many instances but make certain to hire someone well versed in your type of case. Also, if money is an issue, look for someone who is flexible about payments.