How To Select The Right Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A conviction of any criminal charge in Tennessee will have negative consequences. Too often, individuals' lives are disrupted after an arrest because they do not hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to minimize the impact of a criminal charge.

No lawyer can promise a specific outcome, an you should think twice about hiring a criminal defense lawyer who does so. You can increase your chances of obtaining the best possible result by reviewing each attorney's qualifications carefully before hiring one. Here are some tips on what to look for when hiring a defense attorney:

  • A focus on criminal law — An attorney who bounces between multiple practice areas may not be current with state and local laws, alternative sentencing options, and other important aspects of the criminal justice system. I focus entirely on criminal defense matters.
  • Responsive and available — One of the most common reasons a person leaves an attorney who is representing them is lack of communication. I emphasize clear communication and regular updates on where each case stands, as well as a full review of options going forward. My clients are assured of working with me from the initial consultation through the resolution of their case.
  • Trial experience — Well over half of all criminal cases in Memphis are resolved without litigation, but you still want be sure your lawyer has enough confidence to go to trial when it makes sense. I have produced successful outcomes in local, state, federal and appellate courts since 2003.
  • Clarity about the fee — Your attorney should be able to provide a clear explanation of how fees are structured and what services they include. It may be possible to provide a reasonably close estimate of the total cost to defend you against the charges you face.
  • Includes you in the decision-making process — It's your future on the line, so your lawyer should include you in the decisions that will be made. A good defense attorney can tell you what plea bargains will likely be offered or the potential penalty if you are found guilty in court. Often, the best decision is to plead guilty to a lesser offense to lessen the penalty. However, you should be consulted on every decision and told about every offer from prosecutors.

Know What Questions To Ask

A good lawyer will ask you a lot of questions at an initial meeting to begin framing a legal strategy. It's a good idea to ask an attorney you are considering hiring questions of your own, and he or she should be comfortable answering them. Here are some things you want to know:

  • Have you handled cases like mine before? What sort of outcomes did you produce?
  • Will I work directly with you or someone else in your office?
  • How many jury trials have you handled?
  • What are your attorney fees? How are they calculated?

Find An Attorney Who Is A Good Fit For You

You want a lawyer you can afford, but you also want to work with one who you feel comfortable with, one who has a good track record and one who will keep you informed at every step. I emphasize all of these with each of my clients. Call Vicki M. Carriker Attorney at Law at 901-881-8913 or complete my online contact form to schedule a free consultation.