Many criminal defense attorneys in the state of Texas, including those at the Edgett Law Firm, offer free consultations to give potential clients the opportunity to discuss their case and learn more about the legal process. Meetings of this nature can take place via telephone or in-person.
If you plan to attend one in the not-too-distant future, you may want to ask the following questions:
Where Did You Go to Law School?
Before you hire a lawyer to help you fight back against your rape or sex crime charge, you might want to take a moment to ask them where they went to law school. If they attended a prestigious college and graduated near the top of their class, you can feel confident that they thoroughly understand the Texas Statutes.
Of course, if your prospective lawyer went to a less well-known school, it does not mean that they don’t have the knowledge and skill necessary to defend you against your criminal charges. By continuing to ask questions throughout your meeting, you should be able to determine whether or not they are the right person to handle your case.
How Long Have You Been a Criminal Defense Attorney in Texas?
When dealing with any legal issue, it is always smart to enlist the services of an attorney who has years of experience behind them. To find out how prepared your potential defense lawyer is to help you battle back against your assault or domestic violence charges, all you need to do is ask them how long they have been practicing law in the state of Texas.
The longer your chosen legal representative has been working in the Lone Star State, the more complete their knowledge of local laws is likely to be.
Have You Handled Criminal Cases Like Mine Before?
When searching for an attorney to defend you, one of the most important questions you can ask is whether or not they have handled any cases like yours in the past. Their answer will give you a much clearer understanding of their suitability for the role of your legal representative.
It is generally wise to try to work with a criminal defense lawyer who has a history of working on cases that are identical to yours. So, if the state is accusing you of committing murder, you ought to try to enlist the services of an attorney who has handled murder cases before.
If you cannot find a legal representative who has worked on your specific case in the past, you can instead opt to hire one with an extensive history of helping clients accused of similar offenses. When charged with a crime like murder, you can seek a lawyer that specializes in manslaughter cases.
While attending initial consults and asking potential attorneys about their experiences, you should also feel free to talk to them about the results of their cases. If they obtain favorable outcomes on a consistent basis, they may be the right person for you.
How Will You Defend Me Against My Criminal Charge?
When visiting various law offices to speak with prospective attorneys, you might want to take some time to ask them about the methods they plan to use to help you fight back against your criminal charges.
Every lawyer has different tactics and techniques, but most should be able to:
- Fight to secure your release from police custody
- Offer honest and straightforward answers to your legal questions
- Develop a customized legal strategy for your case
- Consult with industry experts about the details of your case
- Launch an investigation into the events that led to your arrest
- Communicate with the prosecuting attorney for you
- Guide you through the complex Texas criminal justice system
- Stand up for your constitutional rights
- Look for evidence that may help you get your charges dropped
- Work out a fair plea bargain deal with the state’s attorney
- Argue on your behalf in court, if required
Learning more about the range of services a law firm offers can help you to feel comfortable about hiring them to assist you with your case. It can also be an effective way to create an attorney-client relationship that can take on any challenge.
How Frequently Do Your Cases Go to Trial?
The vast majority of criminal cases in the state of Texas conclude in one of the following ways:
- Dropped charges
- Plea bargains
When first hired, almost every lawyer in Texas strives to have their clients’ charges dropped. However, if they cannot accomplish this objective, they must then decide whether to negotiate a plea bargain agreement with the state’s prosecutor or prepare for trial.
Many lawyers focus solely on trying to work out a plea bargain deal since doing so is usually the quickest way to conclude the case. However, these types of resolutions are not always in the best interests of their clients.
For some arrestees, the best way to obtain a favorable result in their case is to go to trial. There, they will have the opportunity to argue in front of a judge and a jury of their peers.
To find out if your lawyer of choice is willing to take your fight for freedom to court, all you have to do is ask them how often their cases go to trial. If courtroom appearances seem rare for them, they might not be the perfect person to handle your case.
How Much Do You Charge? How Will You Bill Me?
Without a doubt, one of the most important questions you should ask any attorney you talk to is, “What is your legal fee, and when will you bill me?”
This question is vital because the state of Texas does not have any rules that govern the flat fees or hourly rates a defense lawyer may charge for their service. Law firms are free to bill clients as much or as little as they want.
There are also very few laws that dictate how or when a defense lawyer may bill you. Some prefer to receive an upfront retainer, while others are happy to allow clients to pay at the conclusion of their case.
By asking the question, you can avoid any nasty surprises down the line.
How Will We Communicate Throughout My Criminal Case?
During the course of your theft or juvenile criminal case, you will need to speak to your attorney on a regular basis. As such, you would be wise to check how your prospective hires prefer to communicate before signing any documents.
Many attorneys like to use texts and emails to communicate with clients. Others prefer to get in touch with people by making a phone call.
By taking a moment to ask your potential lawyers which communication systems they like to use, you can avoid disagreements and frustrations down the road.
Set Up a Free Consultation at the Edgett Law Firm Today
Now that you understand the most important questions to ask a criminal defense lawyer during a free consultation, you might be wondering what you need to do to schedule a meeting with a member of the experienced Edgett Law Firm team. Fortunately, the answer is simple. All you need to do is give us a call or contact us online.