Are you in Virginia and inexperienced with hiring a criminal defense attorney and need some advice?
Facing charges from the state government can change life in significant ways. A guilty verdict can mean having trouble finding employment, housing, and other necessities. Even the lowest felony conviction can land you in prison for at least a year.
Determining how to find the right Alexandria criminal attorney for your situation could not be more consequential. After reading this guide today, you will have some time-tested criteria to give you confidence in your final decision.
Knowledge of the Local Courts
Assessing your odds of dealing with charges is significantly enhanced by local knowledge. You will want your Alexandria criminal attorney to have intimate familiarity with the parties involved. After all, each local judge or prosecutor will have different philosophies for enforcing the laws on the books.
For example, consider a case that involves an individual charged with a second DUI in Virginia. The penalties are a minimum $500 fine, license revocation for three years, and up to one year in prison. Even with an otherwise clean criminal record, a judge may have a history of including incarceration in their sentencing.
Experience With the Criminal Charges
A criminal defense lawyer often has a specialty that they work with day-to-day. For example, they may spend most of their time practicing traffic law. But, when you or a relative face unrelated charges, it is your right to seek out someone more familiar with them.
The American Bar Association enforces a rule that attorneys must remain mindful of their professional obligations. They have to recognize whether they are too busy or less qualified than a colleague. The only way to ensure a zealous defense is to ask whether or not they feel prepared to provide it.
Becoming a Virginia criminal defense attorney has its fair share of unfair stereotypes. People may ask, “How could you defend someone you know is guilty?” But, the truly terrifying experience involves defending someone you know is innocent. The rest of that person’s life can depend on how well a lawyer practices their craft.
Start your evaluation by searching the directory provided by the Virginia State Bar. This database will tell you about any disciplinary actions against criminal defense lawyers in Virginia. Additionally, consider looking at some review sites to see what others think. Even more importantly, you can see how the firm responds to negative feedback.
The truth is that many criminal cases do not go to a trial because the odds are often too high. When you leave the final decision to a jury, you have chosen to roll the dice. No period of time spent crafting a defense or conducting mock juries can guarantee the outcome.
However, when push comes to shove, you will want an Alexandria criminal defense attorney with trial experience. In contrast to the images we see in TV or movies, lawyers spend most of their time outside court. If there is a chance you will face a jury, you want an individual with confidence presenting your case.
Work With an Experienced Alexandria Criminal Attorney
Do you feel prepared to start asking questions? An experienced Alexandria, VA lawyer in our referral network can provide answers and offer a legally-sound path forward.
We can even help you connect with an attorney across state lines! Submit a request through our website or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get going!