Guide to Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney
Hiring the right criminal defense attorney can be one of the most important decisions you make after an arrest. You need top-quality legal representation from a lawyer familiar with the most effective strategies to protect your rights, reputation, and future. A skilled attorney will have the knowledge and resources to prepare a tailored legal plan to minimize the consequences of an arrest or conviction.
When you need a Dallas criminal defense lawyer, turn to Broden & Mickelsen, LLP. Our trial attorneys are board-certified in criminal law and criminal appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a designation only given to a small percentage of all Texas criminal lawyers. Our firm has over 60 years of combined experience handling complex cases in both state and federal courts. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Understanding the Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney
A criminal defense attorney’s job is to protect your rights and interests for the duration of your criminal case. Throughout the legal process, your attorney should explain the nature of your charges, potential and likely outcomes, and what you can expect during the prosecution.
A criminal defense attorney should also be your fiercest advocate, working to thoroughly investigate your charges and identify available evidence in your case — including evidence the police and prosecution may not have found. Your attorney should also ensure that police or prosecutors obtained evidence legally and did not violate your rights.
A top criminal defense attorney will also provide an honest assessment of the strength of the prosecution’s case and advise on your prospects at trial and the pros and cons of a plea agreement. Your attorney can vigorously advocate for you during plea negotiations or if you choose to contest your charges at trial.
Essential Qualities to Look for in a Defense Lawyer
Wondering how to choose a criminal defense lawyer? Texas is home to thousands of criminal defense attorneys, so making a selection during such a stressful time can feel overwhelming. A good starting point is to familiarize yourself with the essential qualities of an effective defense attorney.
Look for a lawyer with:
- Experience – You want a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in criminal law. Some law firms are general practices, representing clients in criminal cases but also in family law, personal injury, or estate planning matters. Working with a lawyer with an exclusive focus on criminal cases can provide peace of mind that you’re hiring someone with extensive knowledge of local prosecutors and can anticipate how the state will prepare a case against you. Ask your prospective attorney if they have handled cases similar to yours and what the outcomes were for those clients.
- Qualifications – Be sure to look for a criminal defense attorney with specific qualifications that reflect considerable experience in criminal defense law. For example, does an attorney have board certification or have they received awards from organizations that honor excellence in criminal defense representation? Does the attorney participate or hold leadership positions in bar associations or professional organizations focused on criminal law? These accolades and activities can indicate the attorney’s experience, results, and dedication to the profession.
- Availability – You need a criminal defense attorney who can devote time and energy to your case. An overloaded attorney may be unable to build the best defense for you.
- Creativity and strategic thinking – Every criminal case is unique, so a criminal defense attorney should not have a one-size-fits-all strategy to represent clients. Find a lawyer who demonstrates the thoughtful and critical thinking skills needed to build a customized case tailored to address your charges and the facts of your case.
- Working relationship – Only hire a criminal defense attorney that makes you feel entirely comfortable. Your attorney will need complete honesty from you to prepare a solid defense. You should also feel like you can trust the answers and advice they give you. You may have a less effective defense if you cannot share everything with your criminal defense lawyer.
Tips for Evaluating and Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
Here are some critical tips to help you figure out how to get a criminal defense attorney:
- After identifying prospective criminal defense attorneys, look up their credentials. Most attorneys will list them on their website. Also, remember to look up reviews for each attorney on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, or Avvo.
- When you contact a potential attorney or meet for an initial consultation, ask for referrals to any clients willing to speak about their experience working with them. Some online review sites let you contact users who have left testimonials.
- Take advantage of the first consultation to ask questions that will give you the information you need to decide. Remember to ask about the attorney’s experience, awards and certifications, track record, availability to handle your case, and communication policy. This is your chance to learn whether you will have a productive working relationship with them.
Why Broden & Mickelsen Stand Out in Dallas
You have many criminal defense lawyers to choose from in Dallas. At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, we believe our attorneys stand out from the pack because:
- Our legal team includes board-certified specialists in criminal law and criminal appellate law recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
- We have over six decades of combined legal experience representing individuals and businesses facing criminal prosecution.
- Our firm can fight for you in trials and appellate courts at the state and federal levels.
- We will not rest in our fight for your freedom and future. Our attorneys have an extensive record of success in post-conviction proceedings to secure release or new trials or sentencing hearings for our clients.
Still wondering how to find a criminal defense lawyer in Dallas? Get answers by contacting Broden & Mickelsen, LLP today for a free consultation with a Texas criminal defense attorney.