Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney Jonathan Rooker has some advice on How to Choose the Best Attorney for You!
First, you must meet with the attorney, and see if the attorney's personality is the type you can interact with. View your attorney as your hired gun, and the Attorney's job is to work for you. You are employing the Attorney to do a job. However, keep in mind that a gun needs bullets. You must have a flow of information about your case, from you, your witnesses, and the background involved to your attorney. The conversation must include a transfer of relevant information about your case, from you, to your attorney.
Don't hire an attorney for a criminal defense action that refuses to listen to what happened. Each Criminal Defense case is fact specific. Don't hire an attorney who won't let you speak, or refuses to listen.
Ask the attorney what a reasonable expectation may be. Also ask a worst case scenario. Ask what factors may play into a resolution.
Don't accept a promise. No attorney can, or should promise a result, especially at an initial meeting. It is impossible to know what a prosecutor will ask for, or offer, without talking with the prosecutor. It is also impossible to know what a judge will think of a case before they have thought about it and relayed the their thoughts to the attorney. Don't pay for a promise.
Ask how much specific education an attorney has for the type of offense. For example, some cases are science specific like DUI's and Homicides. Other cases such as drug cases may hinge on proper mass spectrometry or chromatography. Few lawyers have completed any course on a complicated science such as spectrometry and chromatography. Others have serious scientific backgrounds that can assist in science drug, homicide, and DUI cases. Ask about the educational background of the attorney rather than just the attorney's experience in law.
Don't put too much stock in the number of years of practice. Many lawyers have decades in practice, but very little recent trial experience. Trying several cases in the last few years is usually enough to remain comfortable in the court room and prepared. Just having 20 years experience taking and resolving cases isn't as valuable as recent experience or education.
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