What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

Understanding what you need from your Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer will start you on a path forward towards a positive resolution of your case.

An Urgent but Crucial Choice

If you or a loved one has been arrested, charged with a crime, or thrown behind bars in Colorado Springs, you need to find a defense lawyer and you need to find one fast. Your rights need to be protected, your release from jail needs to be secured, and your defense needs to start immediately.

With so much on the line – your freedom, your family, and your future – you want to make the best choice of a criminal defense attorney. Few decisions are more important than your selection of the person who will hold your fate in their hands. You’ve seen ads for criminal lawyers on TV or on billboards, and when you search for Colorado Springs defense attorneys online, there are hundreds of names and websites and thousands of pages of information for you to sift through.

How are you supposed to pick a lawyer you can trust when you’re overwhelmed with information? How can you make such a crucial decision when you have to act so quickly?

First, you need to know what to look for in a criminal defense law firm or lawyer.

Experience and Success

Your lawyer needs to know Colorado criminal law but he or she also needs to understand the realities of the criminal justice process that aren’t necessarily found in books. Every jurisdiction has its own rules and procedures, every prosecutor’s office has its own way of pursuing convictions, and every judge approaches criminal cases in their own way. Being able to turn those nuances into an advantage is something that only comes from experience.

You want a lawyer with experience and success defending cases like yours. Ideally, you also want a defense attorney who has actually prosecuted cases like yours. Many of the most prominent and successful defense lawyers were formerly prosecutors. There’s a reason for that. The insights gained when pursuing convictions in a prosecutor’s office can be invaluable when defending criminal cases. Knowing the likely approaches and strategies of prosecutors can help in the preparation of the strongest possible defense. It can also be extremely useful in formulating strategies for negotiations and plea agreements that minimize the potential consequences of a conviction.

If you are considering a potential lawyer, find out what their record is defending against the charges you or your loved one are facing. How many trials have they had? What were the outcomes? A strong track record of success as a criminal defense attorney, while no guarantee of a future outcome, is a strong indicator of the lawyer’s skills and abilities.

Tenacity, Passion, and Commitment

You are prepared to fight for your future; you want a lawyer who’s ready to do the same. Someone who is prepared to take the time and give you the attention that you need and deserve. An attorney who will spare no effort, leave no stone unturned, and attack the prosecution’s case at every step.

You don’t want a lawyer who treats you like a file to be handled instead of a person to be protected. You are not just a case. A passion for defending the rights of the accused is a quality the best defense attorneys possess. A commitment to justice and the well-being of their clients are attributes that anyone facing criminal charges will want to see in their lawyer.

When you meet with criminal lawyers, try to get a sense of their tenacity and commitment. Are they taking the time to answer your questions? Are they giving you a sense that they are all in? Do they make you feel a sense of confidence and comfort? Do you trust them with your future?

Additionally, you want to choose a criminal attorney who demonstrates the following qualities:

  • Availability and responsiveness
  • Ability to explain the law, your options, and next steps in plain language
  • A willingness to challenge prosecutors
  • Empathy, concern, and compassion for the ordeal you are facing and the fears that come with it.
  • Problem solving skills
  • Clear explanation of their fee structure and the potential costs of your defense and a willingness to work with you to reach a fair arrangement.

Ask Questions

Do not hesitate to ask attorneys questions to get the information you need to make a thoughtful choice. Consider asking the following:

  • How long have you practiced criminal defense law in Colorado Springs?
  • Do you practice criminal defense exclusively?
  • How many people have you defended against charges like mine?
  • What have been the outcomes in cases like mine have you have handled?
  • Will you personally be defending me or will someone else in your office be in charge of my case?
  • How much will you charge to represent me?
  • How long does it usually take to resolve or defend a case like this one?

Armed with the right information about the qualities you need in your Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer, you can make a strong choice that will start you on a path forward towards a positive resolution of your case.

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