Miami’s best criminal defense lawyers are paid handsomely to balance out bad luck, bad decisions and bad circumstances that can land anyone in a sling. When the law deals you a bad hand, your first call should always go out to a trusted legal professional.
Your rights and freedoms may depend on it. Practicing criminal law is as complex a profession as anyone could choose. You’ve perhaps heard the saying, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client?” That’s because the task of securing a not-guilty verdict, or at least a significantly reduced sentence, can be a complicated matter of knowing the finer points of the legal system’s inside workings.
The Miami criminal defense lawyer you trust to have your back when the law is against you should come from top stock. A high-level degree with a high graduating-class rank from a prestigious law school is an outstanding first sign that your potential lawyer compares favorably with Miami’s sharpest criminal defense lawyers. That isn’t the whole game, however; ask directly about how much experience your lawyer has representing cases similar or identical to yours, including how many go to trial and how many end with negotiated plea bargains.
Your initial consultation should end with an honest outlook for your case. That includes every factor that could play out in your favor and those that may limit your chances of a not-guilty verdict. Whatever the forecast, any lawyer worth his or her salt will make sure that you understand what’s at stake in every phase of your case. You deserve to know what is riding on each decision, from your arraignment and filing of motions to depositions and a possible trial.
Standard practice (pun somewhat intended) is for criminal defense lawyers to charge an hourly fee or set a flat fee. Approach this aspect of your search as you would shopping for anything for anything else: shop around, but expect to get what you pay for. The more impressive a representative’s record, the greater the expense is likely to be. An individual lawyer with a private practice may cost less, but the charges against you may merit paying more for an extensively staffed law firm. Let your circumstances dictate your choice.
Arrive prepared. Bring along any court documents that explicitly document your charges and next scheduled court date, including your bail papers, copies of the police report, paperwork detailing any searches of your property, and lists of any witnesses, victims, and additional defendants. Your Miami criminal defense lawyer must be free of any previous representation of other involved parties, even by anyone else affiliated with the same law office. Any other circumstance constitutes a conflict of interest.
If we’re all lucky, we’ll go through a full, happy life never having to find a Miami criminal defense attorney. Unfortunately, circumstances aren’t always kind. If you do have to retain defense counsel, choose the very best with great care. Your freedom may depend on it.