How to Hire a Drug Crimes Lawyer
If police have arrested you on suspicion of possessing or selling narcotics, you need to find a drug crimes lawyer, and you have no time to spare. If you have never hired an attorney before, or if you dont want to use the same you have in the past, this article can show you how to find and hire a drug crimes lawyer.
When you get to your arraignment, the judge will ask you if you have a lawyer. If you dont, the judge will want to know whether its a matter of cost. If you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you.
However, each state-and sometimes each judge-defines affordability differently. If you dont qualify, you need to find a drug crimes lawyer. You dont want to face the criminal justice system without one.
Finding a Drug Crimes Lawyer
You have several means of finding a criminal defense lawyer. You can ask your friends, family, and the people at work to see if they have ever hired an attorney. If they have, you can ask what they thought of the experience and whether they would hire the same attorney again.
If youd rather not disclose your criminal charges to people you know, you can use the Attorneys.com service to find a drug crimes attorney in your area. Simply dial 1-877-913-7222 or complete the short form on this website. After answering a few questions, well send the name and contact information for at least one criminal drugs lawyer near you.
You may contact the attorney directly, or he or she will call you within two business days.
Preparing to Meet with a Criminal Attorney
Before your first meeting, you should take a moment to consider what qualities you would want in a drug crimes attorney. You probably want one who has:
- Experience representing clients facing similar drug charges
- A strategy for handling your case you believe will get you favorable results
- Good advice and sound judgment
- A reasonable legal fee
To make the most of your first meeting, you should bring several documents with you, including:
- Any paperwork you have from the court detailing the charges against you and your next court appearance
- Your bail papers
- The police report, if you have it
- Any other paperwork the police gave you
Whether you are facing state or federal drug charges, some criminal defense lawyers may ask you to fill out a questionnaire before your first meeting. If you are asked to complete one, send it to the lawyer ahead of your meeting.
In addition, the lawyer will find it helpful if you compile a list of everyone connected to the case. Include witnesses, victims, and other defendants. The lawyer needs to verify that neither anyone from the law firm nor the lawyer has ever represented anyone involved in your case. If there is a prior relationship, the lawyer may not be able to represent you because of a conflict of interest.
And dont forget to bring your list of questions you composed. You dont want to forget a question. Its also a good idea to bring a pen and paper, so you can jot down the answers and any impressions you have.
Meeting with a Criminal Defense Attorney
When the time for the first meeting has arrived, let the lawyer lead the questioning. The lawyer will have a lot of questions about the drug charges against you. What happened? What are the police alleging? What is the evidence against you? Are you charged with a misdemeanor or a felony?
Be forthcoming with the attorney. Strict confidentiality laws prevent criminal defense lawyers-whether you hire them or not-from disclosing anything discussed at a first meeting.
Then its your turn to ask the questions. Youll want to know exactly how much experience the lawyer has representing clients with similar drug charges. You should also learn if the attorney knows the prosecuting attorney in your case and is familiar with the judge. Its to your benefit your attorney has a good reputation with the people who work in the courthouse.
Dont forget to ask about the legal fees and other expenses. You want to know how much the lawyers services are going to cost.
If you have any special requests, make them known during your first meeting. For example, maybe you need weekend appointments or communication in another language. Ask whether the lawyer can accommodate your needs.
Hiring a Drug Crimes Lawyer
After you have met with all the criminal defense attorneys on your list, its time to choose one. Think back to the list of qualities you have defined as most important to you. How do the lawyers measure up? To find out, ask yourself:
- Do the lawyers have the necessary background and experience in defending clients accused of drug crimes?
- Am I confident of their judgment and advice?
- Are the legal fees reasonable?
- Am I comfortable with them?
If you only met with one attorney and were pleased with him or her, then you have found the attorney for you. If, however, you interviewed several and one did not rise to the top, consider contacting some of their former clients. Find out what it was like working with their attorneys and whether the clients would hire them again. First-hand feedback can be invaluable.
Once you have narrowed the field to your one best choice, you are ready to hire a drug crimes lawyer.