How do I hire a lawyer in a criminal case?
I would approach hiring a lawyer in a criminal case—or any lawyer for that matter—the same way you approach hiring a carpenter, a plumber, a contractor. You’re going to look for someone who has experience doing what you need them to do. So first of all, does that criminal lawyer, has he been around awhile, and has he been in criminal law for awhile? Or is he just fresh out of law school? Is he a jack-of-all-trades; does he do criminal law, divorce, personal injury, contracts, business law? Certainly, you want a lawyer who focuses on no more than two or maybe three areas of the law. So experience—they’ve been around for awhile. They focus on one, two, or three specific areas of law. And look for board certification; that’s a good objective way to know that this person has experience because they’ve proven that to get their certification. The last thing that I would certainly look for, if possible, is find a lawyer who has either been a prior public defender or a prior prosecutor. The reason for that is, when you’re in that job, you receive so much experience (in-courtroom experience) that you just can’t get in law school, and you can’t get in private practice because in that position, you’re in court every day, all day. You just can’t get that experience anywhere else. That’s what I would look for in looking for a criminal lawyer.