How to Hire a Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer
With pending charges against you or after a recent arrest, you are about to face the criminal justice system, and by no means should you do that without a Detroit criminal defense lawyer at your side. But if you’ve never hired an attorney before, you may not know how to go about it. This article can help.
You need a lawyer whether you can afford one or not. The U.S. and Michigan State constitutions guarantee that even poor people must have access to an attorney. At your first court appearance, the judge will ask you if you want a public defender.
It is up to the judge in your case to determine whether your financial situation qualifies you for a public defender. If you do, you must accept the lawyer assigned to you. You do not have a say in which public defender represents you.
If your income does not qualify, you need to find a private Detroit criminal defense attorney, and you don’t have much time to spare. Here’s how to find one.
Finding a Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer
You have several avenues to finding a Detroit criminal defense attorney. Considering asking people you know, such as your friends, family members and business colleagues, to see if they have ever hired a criminal lawyer.
First-hand recommendations can be helpful. If you know someone who has hired a criminal lawyer, you’ll want to find out what they thought of the experience and whether they would recommend their attorney.
If you’d rather not divulge your legal problems to people you know, you have another resource right in front of you. Attorneys.com offers a service that can connect you to a criminal defense attorney near you, whether you are in Highland Park or Rosedale Park or any other part of Detroit.
To use Attorneys.com, call us at 1-877-913-7222 or fill out the short form on this site. We’ll ask you a few questions and then forward to you the contact information of a Detroit criminal defense attorney near you. You may contact the lawyer directly or you will hear from him within two business days.
Preparing to Meet with a Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, getting the name of a Detroit criminal attorney or two is just the start. You should meet with the attorneys you are considering. Most criminal lawyers in Detroit are willing to talk with you briefly at a meeting called an initial consultation. These meetings will help you learn:
- If the attorney has experience handling your kind of case
- What your legal options are
- Whether this is the lawyer you want to hire
Most Detroit criminal defense lawyers offer their time at an initial consultation free of charge, but double check that this is true of the attorneys you want to meet when you call to make the appointment.
The attorneys will find it very helpful If you bring some items along with you, such as:
- 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
Consider some questions you would like to ask, write them down and bring them with you to your initial consultations. Make sure you have some paper and pen or pencil to write down the answers and any notes you want to take.
Meeting with a Detroit Criminal Attorney
You may find at your initial consultations that the attorneys have many questions for you. Let them take the lead, as they need to understand clearly the charges you are facing and the evidence against you.
Do not be afraid to answer the lawyers’ questions honestly and completely. All criminal defense lawyers in Detroit are bound by strict confidentiality rules. Even if you don’t end up hiring someone you meet at an initial consultation, he will not divulge anything you said.
Make sure you ask about the lawyers’ fees and when and how they expect payment.
After Meeting with Detroit Criminal Defense Attorneys
After you have met with one or more Detroit criminal defense attorneys, it’s time to select one to represent you. Think back to your initial consultations and ask yourself:
- Which lawyer had the most experience handling cases like your own?
- Which one offered a strategy you believe is best for your situation?
- Whose legal fees seemed fair?
- Which one was patient with your questions and is someone you can trust?
If you have two or more solid candidates, ask for the names and contact information for some former clients. Call them and find out what it was like working with them. Were they happy with the results? Did the lawyer have good advice? Would you recommend the lawyer to someone they love?
This first-hand input should help you determine which Detroit criminal defense attorney is best for you. When you have hired him or her, you can face your prosecution with the experienced advice of an attorney.