If you are suspected of or have been accused of a crime, choosing a good criminal defense attorney is the single most important decision you have to make.
In the age of information, there are many lawyers to choose from. However, there is only one lawyer right for you. Similar to other services, lawyers come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities. A lawyer saying they are great is different than a great lawyer.
This roadmap will assist you in finding a good criminal defense attorney able to get you the desired result.
The Texas Board of Legal Specialization was established by the State Bar of Texas and certifies in 21 select areas of law. There are over 70,000 attorneys licensed in the State of Texas, but only 7,000 are board certified. Specialization exists to acknowledge the most qualified attorneys in their respective area of practice.
Despite popular belief, just because a person graduated from law school does not mean they are qualified to represent you in a criminal case. If you broke your leg, you wouldn’t go see an optometrist. If you are charged with a crime, hire a good criminal defense attorney who spends his time in criminal courthouses. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can cripple your future. This isn’t the time to take a chance.
Many organizations exist for lawyers to stay abreast current legal trends. Organizational list serves provide insight to trending legal issues and any criminal defense lawyer serious about representing you should be a member of such groups. The National Criminal Lawyers Association, Texas Criminal Lawyers Association, and Houston County Criminal Lawyers Association are a small sampling of such organizations.
Martindale-Hubbell Rating is the leading indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standard and professional ability. An additional tool is the State Bar of Texas website listing any prior disciplinary actions taken against attorneys.
Since 1912, the Better Business Bureau has served as a benchmark for marketplace trust. A good criminal defense attorney should be endorsed and accredited by the better business bureau.
A good criminal defense attorney will have recognized accomplishments, achievements, and awards has. There are many recognized awards, look for credible ones. Super Lawyers is an example; so is U.S. News and World Report.
While exceptions exist, there is a reason a good criminal defense lawyer or good criminal defense firm has been in business for a lengthy period of time, they get favorable results for their clients. Past clients refer new clients. Attorneys in other legal fields refer cases to reputable criminal defense attorneys.
Talking a big game is easy, getting results is what matters. Ask the attorney to show you criminal defense case results, actual results, from previous cases. A good criminal defense attorney will back up his words.
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