If you've been falsely accused of a crime, it's likely you don't think any price is too high to pay for your freedom. But, when money does matter, it's important not to sacrifice the quality of your criminal attorney just to meet a budget.
If you are truly innocent, it's very likely a good criminal attorney can get you off. Going for a discount rate wouldn't be wise, but there are ways to keep costs at a minimum or even recoup them after a win in court. As long as you insist on finding a criminal attorney that displays some basic, but very important, traits, you should be okay with your hire even if his or her rates are less than others.
Should money be an issue in hiring a criminal attorney, consider these things:
* Stay clear of the 'best of the best' if you can't afford them. Instead, settle for a criminal attorney that displays the traits of a good criminal defense lawyer. This means someone with years of experience in the law, a person who has perhaps also been a prosecutor and maybe even someone with a minimal (but existent) track record in trial courts. Newer criminal attorneys are likely to cost less, but that doesn't mean they'll be awful. Trial experience and former prosecution work are vital traits in that they ensure the criminal attorney you're thinking of hiring knows his or her way around a criminal case.
* Consider going with the attorney provided you by the courts if: that attorney has a good track record, shows a genuine concern about you and your case, really seems to believe your side of the story. If these three things are not present, you might want to try and hire a criminal attorney on your own if it's at all possible. Public defenders can be fantastic lawyers, but that doesn't mean all of them are - just like private criminal attorneys.
* Find a lawyer with a good background who is willing to wait on payments until the case's outcome is decided or is at least willing to work with you. Some lawyers will work on a retainer that's fair and wait to recover costs for false arrest at a later date.
* Plan to recover costs if you clearly are not guilty of the crime you've been accused of.
As you look for a criminal lawyer, remember there are certain traits to look for. You want a criminal lawyer who:
* Has experience in the field.
* Understands how the prosecution works.
* Is versed in trial law, as well.
* Is open with the lines of communication and clearly listens to you and your input on the case.
* Treats you like a person and not a 'criminal.'
* Keeps you apprised of the case as it progresses.
* Fights for your side without prejudice.
Finding a good criminal lawyer can be a costly venture, but there are ways to keep it more affordable without sacrificing quality. If you make sure experience and communication are present with your criminal lawyer, you should be okay even if you haven't been able to hire the 'best of the best.'