Published On: Sun, Oct 21st, 2018

Top Qualities to Look for in a Criminal Lawyer in Clearwater Florida

Maybe you’ve been falsely accused of a crime. Perhaps you made the mistake of a lifetime, and now, you have no idea where to turn. Either way, you’re going to need a good Florida criminal lawyer to help you get your life back on track. 

Choosing a Criminal Lawyer: Where Do You Begin?

Most people don’t have the number of a law firm programmed into their phone for emergencies. If you do, it’s probably a firm that helped you settle a deceased relative’s estate or assisted in a personal-injury case years ago. There are many types of attorneys, and you can’t rely on someone who specializes in another area to help you with a criminal case. 

Image/David Benbennick

  1. Start Local

Choosing a local firm is a must. While it’s always possible to use an attorney from another part of Florida, a Clearwater local will have the advantage of having handled cases at the nearby courthouse and interacted with judges, district attorneys and police officers who could be relevant to your case. This level of experience can give a local lawyer an edge when it comes to planning your defense. 

  1. Check for the Right Types of Experience

Along with experience that relates to the local community, your attorney should also have plenty of experience with similar charges. If you’re being falsely accused of a murder, you don’t want to choose an attorney who has mostly handled drunk-driving cases. The more serious the charges, the more important it is to choose someone who has a long work history involving many wins in court. 

  1. Check That They’ve Handled Trials

Along with checking for general experience, you want to make sure your lawyer has experience going to trial. So many cases end with a plea bargain that it’s easy to come across lawyers who’ve been practicing law for a while without actually going to trial very often. Be sure to inquire about this. There are many aspects to law, and not every lawyer has the confidence and charisma to shine during a trial. 

  1. Ask Them About the Team

One person can’t take care of everything, so make sure your lawyer has a good team of people surrounding them. This includes personal assistants, paralegals, other attorneys and general administrative staff. Look for an attorney that has a functioning and professional office. Lawyers are human too, which means they can potentially suffer from illness or any other problem. If anything were to go wrong during your case, having a professional team in your corner will ensure that the situation gets handled properly and that you aren’t left high and dry. 

  1. Feel Good About Your Choice

If you’re facing serious charges, your gut has to play a role in your decision. Sometimes, a lawyer can look right on paper, but something just feels off. If you don’t feel like your lawyer truly cares about fighting for your freedom, you might want to make a different choice. Depending on where you live, there may not be a huge variety of people to choose from, but if you have more than one option, you should probably pick the person you feel best about. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer is going to be one of the most important people in your world for quite some time, and you want to make sure that you feel represented by someone who will fight for you. 

If you’re in need of a good Florida criminal lawyer, contact William Hanlon Criminal Lawyer in Clearwater, today.

Author: Kamlesh Kumar

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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