If you or someone in your family has been arrested or charged with a crime, it’s important to hire the best criminal defense lawyer Irvine firm you can find quickly to protect your rights. This can seem like a daunting task, as not too many of us have the name of a good lawyer in our address books that we can immediately call for help. Finding a criminal defense lawyer Irvine firm to help you doesn’t have to be the hardest part of your ordeal, however. Here are a few steps to take when you need a lawyer.
Determine how much you can afford. The law affords you the right to an attorney, even if you can’t afford one. If you have few resources and cannot afford to pay a retainer, the court might be able to appoint a public defender for you. You can call the public defender’s office to see if you qualify; this is typically based on your income and assets. If you don’t qualify for a public defender, you’ll need to hire someone on your own.
Narrow down your list to criminal defense lawyer Irvine firms that focus on the area of law you need. Some may focus on specific crimes, like a DUI, which can mean that they have more experience in that area.
Make a list of what’s important to you. Sometimes it might be experience, while other times it might be the ability to spend more time on your case. In some instances price may be a key consideration, while in others it might be finding someone you feel comfortable with. After you’ve made the list, rank them in order of priority and work from there.
If you don’t mind airing your dirty laundry, ask friends if they know or have ever used a criminal defense lawyer Irvine firm that they can recommend. Finding out who worked hard and had a positive outcome for a friend can point you in the right direction. It’s important to remember, though, that each case is different. Just because your friend’s cousin won his case doesn’t automatically mean you should assume you’ll win yours.
Find out if the lawyer you’re thinking of hiring has ever worked as a prosecutor. This can be a check in the plus column, because someone who has worked on the other side of the aisle has unique knowledge of how the other side works. He may also have a good working relationship with the prosecutor on your case, which can work in your favor as well.