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Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer During a Free Consultation

Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer During a Free ConsultationCriminal defense law firms in the state of Arizona regularly offer free initial consults to people who are facing accusations of rape, arson, domestic violence, assault, and drug trafficking. Before you attend one of these meetings, it’s important to consider what you’re going to ask at the initial meeting.

Here are 7 questions you always need to ask when you sit down for a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer.

How Long Have You Been a Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona?

consultationWhen you first meet with a prospective defense lawyer, you should take a moment to learn more about their experience in the Arizona legal industry.

Ideally, you should try to hire a lawyer who has been practicing law in the Grand Canyon State for quite a while – since they are likely to have a more thorough understanding of local laws than a rookie attorney.

While speaking to a lawyer about their prior experience, you may also feel free to ask them where they went to law school. Doing so should give you a clear understanding of their caliber as a student of the law.

Have You Handled My Type of Criminal Case Before?

The attorney you hire to defend you against your criminal charge could be the difference between you clearing your name or spending years in state prison.

It is vital that you enlist the services of someone who has handled many cases like yours in the past. They will know what tactics to use to improve your odds of avoiding punishment.

The best way to find out if your prospective attorney has worked on cases like yours before is to ask them. If they have done so, you could follow up by requesting more information about the outcomes of those cases.

How Often Do Your Cases Go to Trial?

Just about all of the criminal cases in the state of Arizona conclude in one of the following three ways:

Many criminal defense attorneys prefer to resolve cases through the plea bargaining process since it is generally the quickest of the three methods listed above. However, settling a case in this way is not always in the best interests of their clients.

For many arrestees, the best way to achieve a favorable outcome is to go to trial and argue their case in front of a jury of their peers.

To find out whether your prospective attorney will be willing to go to court to fight for your freedom, ask them how often they go to trial. If they hardly ever try cases in front of a judge, they may not have the experience and skills required to handle your case.

How Will You Defend Me Against My Criminal Charges?

There are many ways a criminal defense attorney can assist you when you are charged with a crime in the state of Arizona.

Common services offered by legal pros include:

  • Guiding you through the confusing Arizona criminal justice system
  • Working tirelessly to secure a reasonable bond on your behalf
  • Protecting your rights as a resident or citizen of the United States
  • Putting together an effective legal strategy for your criminal case
  • Helping you understand how the Arizona justice system functions
  • Discussing the nuances of your criminal case with relevant experts
  • Conducting a thorough investigation into the allegations of the state
  • Speaking with the state’s attorney on your behalf
  • Providing you with honest answers to your complex legal questions
  • Searching for evidence that might convince a jury to acquit you
  • Negotiating a plea bargain deal with the prosecuting attorney
  • Present evidence and argue on your behalf at trial, if necessary

The only way to know for sure which of these services a potential criminal defense lawyer offers is to make a phone call or meet with them in person and ask them.

How Will We Communicate During My Case?

As your criminal case moves forward, you will have to talk to your defense lawyer on a regular basis. So, when you meet them for the first time, it is a good idea to ask them which means of communication they prefer to use.

Some criminal defense lawyers prefer to stay in touch with clients through text messages and emails. Others like to speak to clients on the phone. In some instances, legal professionals may also communicate via fax or snail mail.

When deciding whether or not you want to work with a lawyer, you should take their preferred means of communication into consideration. If you do not do so, you might become frustrated during the course of your lengthy legal battle.

How Much Do Your Legal Services Cost? How Will You Bill Me?

One of the most important questions you can ask a defense lawyer before you hire them is, “How much do you charge, and when will you bill me?”

This question is essential because the state of Arizona does not have any standardized hourly rates or flat fees for criminal defense law firms. Most attorneys can bill as much or as little as they want for their legal services.

Of course, it is also vital to know when your lawyer will expect you to pay their legal fee. Will they want you to give them a retainer upfront? Or may you pay for your legal services once your case comes to a close?

The quickest and easiest way to learn this information is to ask the lawyer when you meet with them in their office.

Can You Provide Me with a Reference List?

Before you create an attorney-client relationship, it’s a good idea to try to find out more about your prospective lawyer’s reputation. To begin your research, ask them to give you a reference sheet.

Once you have this document in hand, you can then take some time to get in contact with the individuals listed on it. Since their names were given to you by the attorney, you can expect them to highly recommend their legal services.

If anyone on the list appears hesitant to vouch for the lawyer’s skills, you may want to consider searching for alternative legal representation.

Of course, asking for a reference list is not the only way to find out about your prospective attorney’s reputation. You can also search online to find reviews from past clients and other legal professionals.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Attorney Craig Orent Today

Now that you understand what questions to ask a criminal defense lawyer during a free consultation, why not contact the Orent Law Offices, PLC, in Phoenix, to schedule a meeting with Craig Orent? We would be more than happy to provide you with the information you need to make the right hire for you.