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Why It’s Essential To Hire The Right Criminal Defence Lawyer For Your Case
Posted on October 21, 2020
Finding the right Calgary defence law team for your case is crucial with so many choices available in the city. Being charged with a crime is already a high-stress time. Add in having little to no knowledge about the judicial system, and it can be challenging to know where to begin your search. If you are on a time crunch, you may end up hiring a lawyer who isn’t going to benefit you. Or worse, they don’t specialize in your type of case.
When looking to retain a Calgary defence lawyer, there are key things you want to look for. One of those is reading reviews or getting firsthand insight from someone you know who has hired them. Just remember, though, that just because your uncle hired a law firm for his divorce, it doesn’t mean the same team should handle your criminal matter.
How Can They Help Me?
First ask, what can a defence lawyer do for me, and in what areas do they practice? Study their website, social media and reviews to see if their practice areas align with your case. The practice areas for a criminal defence law association may include:
- Impaired Driving
- Drug Offences
- Sexual Offences & Violent Crimes
- Fraud, Robbery, Or Theft
- Property Crime
- Youth Offences
- Internet Crime
- Firearm & Weapons Offences
If their practice areas don’t include what you’re looking for, keep looking. An experienced lawyer will have the exact specialized knowledge you need. Hiring an inexperienced lawyer or one that doesn’t practice in the area of your case may do you more harm than good. If you were having a heart transplant, you wouldn’t want a dentist performing the procedure, would you? This applies to your defence lawyer as well. The more they know and practice in the area that fits your case, the better your case will be handled.
What Questions Should I Ask My Defence Lawyer?
- How long have you practiced law? Look at their track record prior to meeting them.
- Have you worked on a case like mine before? Ask for examples, if possible. Confidentiality is key, but some cases are made public, and those details can be shared.
- How are fees handled? For example, are the fees fixed, on a contingency basis or based on an hourly rate?
- Approximately how much time is spent on this kind of case? This can be a tricky question to answer due to all the variables, but an experienced lawyer will provide an estimate.
- Is there anything I must prepare for prior to our first meeting?
What Should I Avoid?
Now that you know what to look for, here is a list of potential red flags and things to avoid in your defence lawyer.
- Lack of communication. If you are having trouble reaching them by phone or getting an explanation of the proceedings, you may want to hire a different defence lawyer.
- Hidden or surprise expenses. Before you begin working with them, always ask how fees will be handled.
- They lack care and empathy. They may be extremely busy and working on multiple cases, but that doesn’t mean you should work with a lawyer who treats you like another job and not a human being.
- Personality conflicts. Are they calm and quiet, or high energy and loud? Although this isn’t a red flag, the process will go much smoother if you find a defence lawyer who meshes well with your personality.
- Guarantees. Avoid firms that promise or guarantee they will win your case.
- Poor online ratings. If you are scrolling through countless negative client reviews, this is a clear sign to avoid this firm or lawyer.
Can't I Just Do This On My Own?
Don’t think that even a minor case means you don’t need a lawyer. Often, people believe their case is small enough to handle independently and can persuade the judge themselves.
The recognizance that you sign will put you on the line financially for your loved one. For more severe charges, the specified amount of money is quite substantial. As a surety, you’ll be responsible for paying if the accused fails to show up to court or abide by their bail conditions. You might have to put up property as collateral. If you are not overly confident in the person you’re bailing out, consider whether you’re the right choice to act as a surety.
Law is a complex process, and no matter how much crime tv you watch, it won’t help if you find yourself in a real-life courtroom. An experienced defence lawyer has spent years studying and practicing the law and will have extensive knowledge about your case that you likely don’t.
They will explain the case to you, examine relevant and important evidence, and question the evidence. The right legal team will ensure your rights are protected throughout the criminal process. They will advocate for you and explore legal options that you do not have experience or knowledge in.
When faced with something as stressful as a conviction, it is best to find the right Calgary defence lawyer who will help you every step of the way.
Do you need legal advice or a defence lawyer? Contact us today at Ross Lutz Barristers for a free consultation to see how we can help you.