I'm sure you will agree with me when I say that being charged with a crime can be scary.
It can feel overwhelming to try to defend yourself, as well as trying to find an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
The good news for you is that in this article we answer your most frequently asked questions about criminal defense attorneys including how much you can expect to spend and how to find the best criminal defense lawyer for your case.
So...without any further delay, keep reading to find the answers to your most frequently asked questions about criminal defense attorneys.
1. How do I find the best criminal defense attorney?
Finding the best criminal defense attorney is no different than finding the best attorney in any area of law.
The easiest way to find the best criminal defense attorney is to ask around for recommendations from friends, family and co-workers.
Now we understand that not everyone wants to “advertise” that they are shopping for a criminal defense attorney . . .
So, if you don’t feel comfortable asking friends and relatives for a recommendation do some research to create a list of possible criminal defense lawyers.
Research can include looking on the internet including popular websites like Avvo, Findlaw or even just a basic google search for “best criminal defense attorney.”
Now that you have your list of criminal defense attorneys, you will want to dig a little deeper . . .
We recommend looking at the State Bar of Nevada’s website to determine if anyone on your list has had disciplinary action taken against them.
If so…you’ll probably want to scratch that lawyer’s name off of your list.
Next . . .
You should visit the website of each attorney you are considering.
Look at their relevant experience as well as recent articles, blog posts and news and events to make sure that the lawyer you are considering is actively practicing in criminal defense.
You might also want to consider whether any of the lawyers on your list are former prosecutors.
Former prosecutors bring a unique perspective to criminal defense law and often know the ins and outs of the criminal system much better than attorneys who have never been prosecutors.
Once you have sufficiently narrowed your list, you will want to meet with a few of the criminal defense attorneys you have identified.
At your meeting, you should ask the attorney about their experience in the courtroom, how much trial experience they have, whether they believe they can provide you with a sound defense and whether they will rush to settle your case.
Finally, you will need to pick the best criminal defense lawyer for you. This will include some consideration for the fees the lawyer intends to charge as well as the information you have gathered from your research and in person meeting.
2. What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
A criminal defense attorney handles issues surrounding a criminal arrest, investigation, prosecution, sentencing, and issues that may arise after court proceedings.
For example, a criminal defense attorney is necessary for DUI cases, drug crime charges and domestic violence matters.
Another important role of a criminal defense attorney is to help clients before the prosecuting attorney files charges against them.
This can occur if a client is arrested but no charges have been filed or if a client is being investigated. If you are in this situation, you do not need to wait to hire a criminal defense attorney until charges are filed.
A criminal defense attorney will deal with the procedural issues of the crime(s)that are charged against you.
He or she will help with representation, will deal with law enforcement agencies and/or other crime investigators, perform personal investigations and present evidence in your defense.3. How much does hiring a criminal defense lawyer cost?
This is usually one of the most frequently asked questions callers ask when considering whether to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
Unfortunately…the answer depends on a variety of factors.
First and foremost, the type of criminal charges
you are facing will dictate how much the lawyer will charge.
A lawyer is going to charge more to defend you in a murder case than in a traffic violation case.
So as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay more for a felony charge than a misdemeanor.
You should also expect to pay more if you have multiple charges than if you are only charged with one count of a crime.
In addition, a more experienced criminal defense lawyer
will charge more than inexperienced lawyers.
Finally, some lawyers will charge by the hour while others will be by a flat fee.
In general, you should expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $5,000 for a misdemeanor case and over $5,000 for felony cases.4. How do I get a pro bono criminal defense attorney?
In Nevada, it is not always true that “if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you.”
To qualify for a pro bono or free criminal defense attorney
, you have to be determined to be “indigent” and it depends on the type of crime that you are charged with.
In Nevada, indigent means not having enough resources to hire private counsel.
To determine whether or not you qualify as indigent, the Court will first ask if you can afford an attorney.
If your answer is no, the Court will ask you to complete a brief financial declaration.
The judge will take into account your current financial circumstances after examining your financial assets and liabilities to determine whether or not you qualify for a free lawyer.
In addition to being indigent, the crimes you are charged with must qualify for the appointment of an attorney.
If you are accused of a felony, a gross misdemeanor or a misdemeanor for which the prosecutor is seeking jail time, you should qualify for a pro bono criminal defense lawyer.
We hope you have found this article helpful.
If so, please leave a comment below and let us know what you found the most useful. Is it how to find the best criminal defense lawyer or learning about how much you can expect to spend on your defense?
And remember...if you or someone you know needs a criminal defense lawyer, call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form
for more information.