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Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer? Here’s What to Look For

For one reason or another, you find yourself in a situation where you believe you need a criminal defense lawyer. Most of the time, this situation comes up because of a recent arrest. Other times, you may be in a position where you haven’t been arrested, but you are concerned about future criminal liability. I want to help you make the best decision in your search for a criminal defense lawyer, so here are some things to look for.

Does This Lawyer Only Practice Criminal Defense?

A good number of criminal lawyers in Miami practice criminal defense and only criminal defense. And then some lawyers do a mix – a little criminal defense, some real estate, maybe immigration, and a divorce here and there. I’m never impressed by the lawyers that are a jack of all trade. When it comes to their criminal practice, they don’t seem to be up to date on the latest developments, and frankly, their hearts aren’t into it. Criminal defense work is an all-consuming career. If you are doing it correctly, there isn’t time to practice other areas of law. Frequently, I am hired by clients who were previously represented by a lawyer that tried to practice multiple fields of law, and I am brought in to fix their mistakes. Usually, it is not that the lawyer before me didn’t care; it’s that they didn’t even know what they were doing wrong in the first place. If you want to hire a criminal lawyer, hire someone who only practices criminal law. My first question to a prospective lawyer would be, what other fields of law do you practice? If they say anything other than “only criminal defense,” move on.

Don’t Hesitate to Speak With a Few Criminal Lawyers

Sometimes I meet prospective clients, and they apologize for wanting to speak with a few criminal lawyers before deciding on one. There is nothing wrong with this strategy. Having done this type of work for many years, there is nothing offensive about a prospective client wanting a second or third opinion. I’m very confident in the advice I give and my abilities as a criminal defense lawyer, so I know that what I’ve told you will likely be reaffirmed by my colleagues in the community. I’ve also found that other criminal lawyers who lack the same ethical standards will only make it more likely that a prospective client comes back and signs up. I frequently hear horror stories from prospective clients about their experiences with other criminal lawyers in consults. At the end of the day, if you are the right fit for your client, they will know it and so will you. 

Pricing is Important – Not Too High, Not Too Low

Lastly, we need to discuss pricing. I will never forget the time a potential client came into my office with a pending criminal allegation after just being told by a fellow criminal lawyer in the community that the fee would be sixty thousand ($60,000), and he should mortgage his home to come up with the money. I disagreed greatly with the other criminal lawyer. I told the potential client this should be a five thousand dollar case and not a penny more. The client was nervous the fee was so much lower and that he didn’t want to sell his future short. I assured him five thousand was all that it would take. Within two months, the case was dismissed, and the client never had to mortgage his house. 

When it comes to criminal defense, you need to be careful when the price is too high, and when the price is too low. This is why you should consult with a few lawyers, so that you can get a feel for the range of prices.This has been a very casual discussion about hiring a criminal defense lawyer, but I hope you have found value in my frankness. Don’t rush into anything, speak with a few criminal lawyers, and don’t let yourself be bullied into signing up by a criminal lawyer. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact my office at (305) 615-1285 or www.strolenylaw.com.


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