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When do I need a lawyer for a Criminal Case?

When should you call a lawyer?  In short, anything involving handcuffs.  If you have suffered bodily harm, been in an accident or caused one, you need to call an attorney.

Any time you are involved in an incident of driving under the influence or domestic violence; accusations of any kind of criminal behavior – including white collar crime or tax fraud – are reasons to contact a lawyer right away.  If you do not have a lawyer, then your first call should be to someone you trust to help you find one.

Before calling a lawyer, there are a few things you should know:

  • Have your documents ready.
  • Research the elements of your case.
  • Do not call if you just have a question.
  • You may not speak to a lawyer right away.
  • Do not provide too much information right away.
  • Answer the lawyer’s specific questions.
  • Do not ask the legal support staff for advice.

Choosing the right lawyer is a very important decision – where you were in a car accident, have a medical malpractice claim, or find yourself the target of a criminal investigation.  Referrals from friends or co-workers can be great, but you need to do your homework to make sure you have the right attorney for the job.  Here are some basic questions you should ask potential counsel before choosing legal representation.

Experience – Ask about the lawyer’s practice and familiarity with cases like yours.
Have they handled this type of case?
Do they practice in the courthouse where your case is (or will be)?
Have they ever been sanctioned for, or accused of, attorney misconduct?
Do you have any conflicts of interest?

Case Evaluation – Ask a few questions about the lawyer’s view of your case or situation.
What are the likely outcomes in my case?
What will the fees and expenses be?
What strategy do you propose?
Are there alternatives to a trial?

Case Management – Find out how the office will hand your case.
How long will this case take?
How will we communicate?
What is my role in case preparation?
Who will be doing the work?

These questions are the base essentials.  Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you will inevitably think of many others.  Ask them!

If a lawyer rushes you or makes you feel that your questions are naïve, you may need to keep looking.  Taking the time to ask questions at the beginning will give you a much better chance of having a solid and successful attorney-client relationship.

If you find yourself in a position of needed a criminal defense, KNOW WHAT TO DO, Call Tad today for a free consultation.  417-865-4400

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