Questions to Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney
No one wants to face criminal charges. If you’ve never faced criminal charges before, you may be entirely unfamiliar with the process, and it can understandably be a very nerve-racking time. However, when meeting with your criminal defense attorney, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and get a better understanding of your case and what you will be facing. Read below for questions to ask your criminal defense attorney in the first appointment.
- Is this your specialty? Many lawyers function as general practitioners, so they don’t necessarily defend against criminal charges regularly. Some attorneys may have never defended against the specific charges that you’ll be facing or have extremely limited experience. It’s a good idea to match the lawyer’s background and experience to the case at hand so, if at all possible, you’ll want an attorney with an extensive background in facing criminal charges and cases much like your own. This is also a good chance to ask about their previous successes and what sort of record they have with cases like yours.
- Will I be going to trial? Not all cases go to trial. It may be recommended that you plead guilty to a lesser charge but, if so, you should know what that entails for you. Additionally, not all attorneys are experienced at trial, so it’s important to ask your lawyer about how many cases they’ve had go to trial and what sort of successes they’ve had. Having an attorney on your side who isn’t afraid to go to trial and is comfortable with trial law can be very helpful for you and your case.
- What sort of expenses can I expect? Every Houston criminal defense attorney should be up front with you about the cost of your case. Some lawyers charge by the hour, while others will charge a flat fee. However, if they do charge a flat fee, you should ask about what that does and does not cover for you and your case. Litigation fees and court costs can accumulate very quickly, so it’s good to know beforehand about what expenses you’ll be looking at and have a rough estimate of your total anticipated cost.
- Will I be working with you? Law offices can be big places with lots of moving parts and active people. The initial defense attorney that you speak with might not be the only person to handle your case. Be sure to ask if anyone else will be working on your case and see if you can speak with them as well. It’s important that you be comfortable working with the people who will be involved.
This is obviously not intended to be a comprehensive list of questions, but any criminal defense attorney in Houston, TX, should be happy to answer your questions. Be sure to ask any questions that come to mind. It’s your case and your life, so you’re always the most important person involved in your case.