Being charged with a drug crime and spending time in jail can be extremely stressful. The professional and personal consequences of the criminal charge can be worrying. While some worry is natural, a good drug crimes attorney can help restore your peace of mind by representing you and getting you the best possible outcome. But with so many attorneys available, how do you know who is right for you? Below are a few tips for choosing a reliable Houston drug crimes lawyer:
Ask the Lawyer If Their Main Focus is Criminal Defense
If you are looking for trustworthy criminal defense advice, it is suggested that you make sure the lawyer’s main focus is criminal defense. Most attorneys take on any case, but the problem with such attorneys is that they may lack expertise in a particular area of law. However, criminal defense is extremely specialized, and the lawyer you hire should have proper experience to fight for you. When speaking to a potential lawyer, ask them about their practice areas and find out what percentage of their cases are focused on criminal defense. You can also go through their website to determine their area of focus, and look at the different professional memberships they have to understand their primary practice area. For instance, attorneys focusing on criminal defense will be members of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association or the Harris or Montgomery County Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association.
Ask the Attorney How Much Trial Experience They Have
Find out about the criminal defense attorney’s trial experience before hiring them. Remember, every case may not go to trial. But your lawyer should be willing to consider taking your case to trial to get you the best possible outcome. Many criminal defense attorneys may hesitate to take cases to trial. This could be due to fear, lack of experience, or laziness. Hence, you must find out about the lawyer’s trial experience before hiring them.
Check if Your Attorney Has Been Trained in Handling Drug Crimes
Drug crimes can be complicated. An attorney trained in handling drug crimes will have an in-depth understanding of ways to defend you. Attorneys like James Alston Law have over 20 years of experience handling drug cases. They can represent you and help you get the best outcome possible.
Check if the Attorney Has Experience as a Prosecutor
Some criminal defense lawyers work at the District Attorney’s office after law school for many years. This time spent at the DA’s office gives them valuable trial experience. It also helps them understand how a prosecutor’s office works. This knowledge can add a lot of value when handling criminal defense cases. So, while it is not necessary that a criminal defense attorney should have worked as a prosecutor, it can be a bonus if you find one with the experience.
Find Out About The Attorney’s Reputation
Research the attorney online and see what their reputation is like. You can read reviews and testimonials to understand how well-known the attorney is. The reviews can also give you an idea of the lawyer’s working style, communication skills, experience, and knowledge.
Check How Good the Attorney Is at Communication
One of the most common complaints most clients have about attorneys is that they have poor communication skills. Your criminal defense lawyer having good communication skills is critical to your case. It can be frustrating if your lawyer doesn’t respond to emails or answer phone calls promptly. They must provide you with proactive updates during the case. They should tell you beforehand what to expect in court and help you understand the law, your legal rights, and other facts that can determine the final result. You can assess the attorney’s communication skills from the first conversation itself. Below are a few things to consider:
- Does the attorney share information clearly?
- Does the attorney listen to you?
- Can you ask questions and get clear answers?
Find Out How Much the Attorney Charges
Finally, you must find a criminal defense lawyer that you can afford. There is no point in speaking to an attorney and shortlisting them only to realize they don’t fit your budget. Try to find out about the attorney’s fees in the first few meetings. Ask them how they prefer to take payments. Some attorneys may charge hourly fees, while some may take payment at the end of the case. Speaking to the attorney at the beginning and understanding their fee structures can help you decide whether you can afford them.
Being charged with a drug crime can be scary and overwhelming. While finding a reliable drug crimes lawyer to represent you can feel daunting, following the tips above can help you shortlist one.