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What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Texas

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer is essential for anyone facing criminal charges. It is important to research and ask the right questions to ensure you are hiring the best attorney for your case. Without the right representation, you may wind up with a much worse outcome than you would if you hired an experienced lawyer. In fact, you may even end up with a completely avoidable conviction on your record. For this reason, you should take the time to find the right lawyer for you and hire them to represent you as soon as you can.

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we know how serious a criminal conviction can be. For this reason, we are committed to providing aggressive and zealous representation to every client we represent. To schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal defense attorney serving Houston, call our office today at 281-810-9760.

Evaluate a Lawyer’s Reputation and Experience

When looking for a criminal defense lawyer, it is important to consider their reputation and experience. Research their past cases and ask colleagues or clients for reviews. Make sure the lawyer has a good track record of success representing people who are charged with similar crimes. You can check to see if your attorney has an Avvo profile and rating. Additionally, you can check to see whether an attorney has a disciplinary record on the Texas State Bar’s website.

Communication and Professionalism

It is also important to ensure the lawyer you hire is professional and communicates well. Ask questions about their approach to handling your case and how they respond to client questions and requests. Some lawyers take a hands-on approach to client communication, while some delegate phone calls and emails to their staff. Be sure you ask about how the lawyer likes to communicate and determine whether you are comfortable with their answer.

Inquire about Resources

In many cases, quality criminal defense representation requires significant resources. For example, building the strongest defense possible may require working with specialists or private investigators. Ask about whether your lawyer has a network of people they regularly work with.

Another resource to carefully consider is whether your attorney has enough time to devote to your case to get the outcome you want. Many people choose to work with private attorneys rather than public defenders because public defenders are notoriously overworked. That said, some criminal defense lawyers take on more cases than they can handle as well.

Try and get an idea of a lawyer's overall caseload before retaining them to represent you. One way to evaluate this is to observe and consider the lawyer and staff's response times. For example, do they pick up the phone when you call? How long does it take them to respond to emails? What is the condition of the office? The answers to these and other questions can help you determine whether an attorney has the time and resources required to formulate a strong defense.

Consider the Severity of Your Charges

Make no mistake – all criminal charges are a serious matter. If you are convicted of any crime, it can affect every aspect of your life and your future opportunities for years to come. That said, some criminal charges are much more serious than others. For example, a low-level marijuana offense is undeniably less serious than a murder charge.

Some criminal defense lawyers have made names for themselves for being particularly good trial attorneys or defending certain types of cases. Unsurprisingly, these lawyers tend to cost more than others. As a legal consumer, keep in mind you may not need to hire the most expensive and well-known criminal defense lawyer in your area for a traffic ticket. Similarly, it might not be a good idea to retain a newly-licensed attorney to represent you if you are accused of sexual assault.

Ask Questions

Always keep in mind that your attorney is working for you and you are free to ask questions about the legal process and what exactly it is they do. For example, if you do not understand the charges against you, ask about them. Some other questions you can ask include the following:

  • What are the potential penalties I am facing?
  • Would you feel comfortable taking my case to trial?
  • Do you think a plea bargain is an option?
  • What are my chances of avoiding a conviction?

The answer to these and other questions you ask will help you make an informed decision about how to proceed and help you get to know the lawyer better.

When Should You Retain a Lawyer?

When facing criminal charges, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal defense lawyer can provide invaluable advice and guidance throughout the legal process. They can help you understand the charges you are facing, the potential consequences and the best course of action to take. Having this information as early as possible can help obtain the best outcome in your case.

In fact, you do not even need to wait to be charged with a crime before talking to a lawyer. If you know that you are under investigation for a crime or believe that a prosecutor is considering issuing charges, it's a good idea to speak to an attorney. In some cases, the representation of a lawyer may prevent you from being charged with a crime at all.

Do You Really Need to Retain a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you are facing criminal charges, you could be wondering whether you really need to retain an attorney to represent you. The fact is, a conviction for even a misdemeanor offense can result in significant fines and even jail time and a lawyer could mitigate the consequences you are facing. Additionally, a conviction may result in serious collateral consequences, including the following:

  • Getting fired from your job and future problems getting hired
  • Disciplinary action from your school, including the loss of financial aid
  • Problems getting into college or graduate school
  • Issues with keeping or getting a professional license
  • Defamation-Which is damage to your reputation

Fortunately, in many instances, an attorney can take steps to reduce or even eliminate the consequences of a criminal charge. For example, your lawyer can attempt to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor handling your case that results in a less serious conviction or even a deferred adjudication that may allow you to avoid a conviction entirely.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of a crime, it is in your best interest to contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston as soon as you can. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we know how to protect our clients' rights and will do everything we can to bring your case to a successful resolution.

To learn more or to schedule a free case evaluation with a Texas Defense Lawyer, call our office today at 281-810-9760 or contact us online.

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