1. Local Presence
When looking for a criminal defense attorney it is very important to retain a lawyer who is connected to the local judiciary and understands the local district court rules.
As a defense attorney, being familiar with habits, trends, and past opinions of the judge, as well as the views of state’s attorney or prosecutor, is priceless.
For example, Local Lawyer Bob understands the importance of scheduling his client’s Driving while Impaired case to be heard in front Judge Kim, who was a former criminal defense attorney, and sometimes openly questions the practices of the community’s local law enforcement.
A qualified local criminal defense attorney will be familiar with this information and utilize his insights to his client’s advantage.
Frankly, you want the judge who is most likely to rule in your favor.
2. Respect of the Local Community
Before scheduling a consultation, it would be beneficial to ask local citizens which attorney they prefer or recommend. It’s important to pick an attorney who truly cares about your concerns and will fight zealously for you.
Generally, local citizens will be candid about how they feel about the local attorneys through their personal experiences or from referrals from their circle of influence.
If Neighbor Judy was found not guilty of her Larceny charge because of Lawyer Paul’s efforts, she will surely sing his praises.
Likewise, if Sam Sneed felt he was overcharged and Lawyer Charles did not take the time to understand Sam’s interest, Sam will surely give you the bad report.
3. Specialized Knowledge, Experienced, and Trial Savvy
In an initial consultation with a potential attorney, it is perfectly acceptable to inquire about the lawyer’s experience in your particular area of interest.
For example, Driving while Impaired is a very specialized area of North Carolina criminal law that involves expertise in constitutional criminal procedure, specialized field sobriety test knowledge, and trial procedure. If charged with Driving while Impaired, it is very important that your criminal defense attorney is competent in all these areas.
Further, if Lawyer Sharon declares she has practiced law for twenty years, you may want to inquire which area of law she has practiced for twenty years. If her area of expertise is family law, it would be wise to look elsewhere for help with your felony probation violation.
If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense in North Carolina, please feel free to contact me. If your case is out of my coverage area, I’ll help you find a qualified criminal defense attorney.