When you are facing charges for a crime, it is crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. You know that your freedom is at stake which is why the team of criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone emphasizes that having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney by your side can make the difference between a dismissal or a reduced plea bargain and a jail sentence.
Benefits of a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with any type of crime is serious. You risk stiff penalties and other consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. You may have difficulty finding or keeping a job, qualifying for housing, losing important personal relationships, and more.
Look for a criminal defense attorney with experience in cases similar to yours. One who is familiar with interviewing witnesses and police, and has knowledge of sketches, polygraphs, and more. You also want an attorney that knows the local rules of court and any laws particular to your state. Once you find the right lawyer, they will help:
- Reduce the criminal charges to a lesser offense. They may succeed at reducing a felony to a misdemeanor.
- Decrease the severity of the punishment you receive.
- Eliminate or reduce jail time by getting you probation, for example.
- Develop a strong defense strategy for your defense should the case end up in court.
Searching for the Right Criminal Defense Attorney
When you look for an attorney to represent you, you may start by asking for referrals from family members, colleagues, or friends who have had success in their own defenses. However, you may not want to make your situation public among your social circle and may have to rely on an internet search to find the attorney you seek.
Once you have a couple of names that sound promising, schedule a consultation with each. During that time, make sure to get all your doubts, concerns, and questions answered. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Have you worked with cases similar to mine?
- What has been the result?
- How much of my case will you handle personally?
- Who will be working with you?
- How many jury trials have you litigated and what success rate have you had?
- Do you usually work out a plea agreement?
- Do you ask for lesser charges?
- Have you gotten some cases dismissed?
- May I reach out to previous clients you have helped to get a reference?
- What are your fees and how do you calculate them?
- Would it be possible for me to pay you in installments?
You will find out that most criminal defense lawyers bill by the hour while some work on a flat fee. You may be asked to provide an upfront retainer fee before the lawyer will start to work on your case. If the fees you are asked to pay are too steep for you, you may be able to have a state or government lawyer appointed to you.