6 Important Things to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

When looking for the best criminal defense attorney, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider. 

It is vital that the lawyer that you pick is licensed to practice in your state, has the right qualities, and will give your case the right amount of attention that you are looking for. 

With so many factors to take into consideration, finding a quality lawyer depends on your willingness to search for the qualities that are most vital to you. Not to mention your amount of research.

That said, we have listed down six things that you should look for in a criminal lawyer:

Area of specialization

Although a lot of criminal attorneys would take on the usual defense cases, some will specialize in a particular area of criminal defense. Most of these areas of concentration will include DUI, domestic crimes, violent crimes, theft, and technical crimes among others. 

Hence, Daniel Schellenberg of Daniel Schellenberg Criminal Lawyers Auckland advises that you find a lawyer that specializes in your specific charges. Doing so will mean that they will have more experience in a particular field of criminal defense.

Ideally, try to look for someone who has experience with a case like yours, and ask them what will be their best strategy for court. 

Consultation process

Most lawyers will offer free or low-cost consultations to know whether or not they could effectively represent you and your case. So, don’t feel obligated with the first lawyer that you speak with, especially if you feel that they’re not a great fit for your case.

While initially, you might feel that you’re wasting your precious time, taking your time to schedule consultations with as many law firms as possible will make it easier for you to find whether or not they’re a great fit. 

Reviews and testimonials

Just because you saw them on an ad doesn’t mean that they will be a great fit for you. As much as you can, ask for references, or do your own research about your preferred lawyer. 

Some lawyers are known to tackle difficult, complicated, and often high-profile cases. You could know more about a particular lawyer’s reputation by searching for testimonials, reviews, and publications. 

You can also ask your contacts and check if they have the reputation of being knowledgeable and ethical, or if they’ve burned bridges with previous clients. 

Experience in local courts

Apart from looking for a lawyer that specializes in criminal law, you should also search for someone who is experienced enough in local courts. 

While this aspect in searching for the right lawyer is often overlooked, relationships and local connections can still go a long way when fighting a criminal case. Not only every court does its own way, but every judge does their own way as well.

By working with someone who knows the ins and outs of court, it will be easier to craft a winning strategy for your case. 

Service cost

When looking for the right criminal defense attorney, and before asking them to work with you, don’t feel awkward or uncomfortable to have the service costs laid out to you as clearly as possible. 

Most lawyers will bill a flat fee, have an hourly rate, payment via retainers, or a combination of all of these.

Some of them will also charge you based on their level of experience, how complex the case is, the nature of the charges, the length of the case, the jurisdiction where the charges had to be filed, and so on. 

Thus, make sure that you understand clearly how you will be billed, as well as what each cost covers. That way, you won’t feel as if you’ve been taken advantage of since you asked the right questions. 

Specific qualities

The qualities that you’re looking for in a criminal defense attorney should be clear to you. 

It depends on whether or not you’d like to choose someone from a large or small firm, or choosing someone older and with more experience on tackling cases similar to yours, or someone who is younger and has fewer cases to focus on. 

Should they have strong credentials? Knowing which qualities are important to you will ultimately help you come up with the right decision. 


There you have it. Taking into consideration the factors listed above will help you find the right criminal defense attorney who can help you achieve favorable results.