How to Choose a Missouri Criminal Attorney
When you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime, you need to hire a Missouri criminal attorney. The advice and representation of a lawyer is essential in any criminal case, and the earlier you begin your defense, the better.
This article will help you understand the process of finding and hiring a Missouri defense attorney.
What to Look For in a Missouri Criminal Attorney
It’s important to hire a Missouri defense attorney soon, but it’s equally important to choose the right attorney. There are several important qualities you should look for in an attorney. A lawyer should have:
- Strong experience in criminal defense
- Familiarity with the judges, staff and prosecutors of the St. Louis County Circuit Court or the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis
- An aggressive defense strategy
- Reasonable legal fees
- Personal qualities that make you feel comfortable and confident
Keep these factors in mind as you search for and interview lawyers.
How to Find a Missouri Defense Attorney
A good place to start your search is with your friends and family. If you know someone who has used a Missouri criminal defense firm or attorney before, ask him for more information. Find out about his case, the attorney’s defense and the result, and ask if he would use the same lawyer again. Write down the name and contact information of every lawyer with a positive recommendation.
Attorneys.com can also find a Missouri criminal defense firm for you in Springfield, Columbia and anywhere in the state. Just fill out the online form or call 1-877-913-7222 and Attorneys.com will connect you with one or more lawyers near you. The attorneys will contact you within two business days, or you can call at your convenience.
Interviewing a Missouri Criminal Attorney
The next step is to schedule an initial consultation, or first meeting, with each Missouri criminal defense firm or lawyer you are considering. The consultation is your time to talk about your case, get the lawyer’s first impressions and learn about his qualifications. Consultations are usually free, but you should check in advance to be sure.
Prepare for your consultation by collecting any documents that are important to your case. Arrest reports, witness names and court correspondence all help a Missouri criminal attorney understand your case and begin to form a strategy. Bring these documents with you to each meeting.
You should also prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney. As you choose your questions, think about the important qualities you need in a lawyer. Focus your questions on those qualities, and be prepared to take note of the answers. You will need your notes later, when it’s time to review each Missouri criminal attorney and choose one.
Choosing a Missouri Defense Attorney
When you have completed all your consultations, take time and review what you know about each attorney. Consider each attorney’s professional qualifications and personal approach, and see if one attorney stands out. If so, you have found the right attorney to handle your criminal defense.
If you are having trouble making a decision, more information may help. If you have additional questions, call each attorney you are still considering and discuss your concerns. You may also ask the attorneys for client recommendations. Many Missouri criminal defense firms will put you in touch with former clients. If they do, ask the clients for their opinions on the attorney or firm, and see if they agree with your own.
When you’ve learned enough to make a confident choice, you are ready to hire an attorney and start your defense.