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Factors to Consider When Hiring a Washington Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a crime in Washington, you will want to find the best attorney to represent you as quickly as you can. There are many factors to consider when hiring a Washington defense lawyer.
The stakes can be very high in criminal prosecutions. The right lawyer will guide you through the criminal process in Washington State, using his knowledge, wisdom and guidance to get you the best possible outcome. Your lawyer will understand how to work with prosecutors and give you advice on whether to accept any potential plea bargains or whether to go to trial.
If time allows, you should try to meet with more than one Washington criminal defense attorney before you choose a lawyer to hire.
What to Think About When Hiring a Washington Defense Lawyer
You will want a lawyer who has experience with criminal defense and has represented clients in situations similar to yours. You need someone who understands the legal issues you face, knows the court where you will appear and is familiar with the judge and prosecutor involved with your case. Be sure to ask every attorney you meet with about his experience, how many similar cases he has handled and whether he has successfully tried those cases or managed plea bargains.
You also need to find out about the fees each lawyer charges. In a criminal defense case, a Washington defense lawyer will probably expect to be paid on an hourly basis, rather than on a flat-fee basis. Be sure that you understand how much each attorney will charge to defend your case. Your defense will cost more than just your lawyer’s time, so be sure to ask about estimates for court fees and other expenses. It’s important to remember that lawyers with more experience will charge more than less-experienced attorneys, but that extra cost may well be worth it if a more experienced lawyer can get you the best results.
Talk to different lawyers about all the potential outcomes you could face, and what each of those would mean to you. You need to be in agreement with your lawyer about how to handle your case and what strategies to take. You are paying your lawyer for expertise you don’t have, but you need to feel your lawyer understands you, your situation and your goals.
You also need to have a good gut feeling about your lawyer. You will be working with this person closely for a long time, so you need to have a comfortable relationship. You don’t want a lawyer who rushes through your conversations or who seems impatient with you. While recommendations are important, you need to find the lawyer who is right for you and your case.
After you have talked to several Washington defense lawyers, it's time to hire the one who will represent you. Consider all the information you’ve gathered and how you feel about each lawyer you talked to. If you still aren’t sure, follow up and be sure to talk to references. Then, you can choose the best lawyer for you and your legal matter.