How to Choose a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

How to Choose a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
florida criminal defense attorney

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming and scary. Luckily, you do not have to face them alone. Learn how to choose a criminal defense attorney in Florida who will stand up for you and your rights.

The law allows you to represent yourself against criminal charges. However, we do not advise this, even if the charges seem minor. An experienced Florida defense attorney will help ensure you have proper representation before you ever go to court.

Knowing your legal needs will help you find an attorney who can provide that representation. Some things to consider include:

  • State vs. federal charges: You want a defense attorney who is experienced in the court system you will be navigating.
  • Type of crime you are charged with: This is another area where experience and past success matter. Asking questions about past cases and the types of cases a firm handles is part of learning how to choose a criminal defense attorney.
  • Your legal history: If you have a criminal record, you will want to be extra careful about choosing an attorney who can best represent you.

Establishing what you need from an attorney is the first step toward choosing the right one. This process cements the questions you need to ask to make an informed decision.

Ask Questions During Your Consultation

To find the best criminal defense attorney in Florida, be sure to ask questions. This can be over the phone when you schedule an appointment or during your initial consultation. Asking questions helps to ensure a proper fit between you and the lawyer. Remember, you are interviewing the attorney as much as he is deciding the merits of your case.

What Types of Cases Do You Handle?

At Mike G Law, we handle many types of legal cases with experienced and compassionate representation. The following are just a few of the charges we frequently fight:

  • Sex crimes: Being accused of a sex crime in Florida carries immense personal and legal consequences. You need to have a team that not only understands the legal complexities of these cases but also the profound personal impact they can have.
  • Driving under the influence: If you are facing DUI charges, you need an attorney who will fight for you, whether you plead charges down or take your case to court.
  • Probation violations: You can face serious consequences for a probation violation. For example, the courts can adjust or rescind your conditions of release.
  • Drug charges: We will fight drug charges on your behalf or, if possible, get your case moved to Florida’s drug court.

Can You Provide Results from Prior Cases?

The importance of finding an attorney with a proven track record of success with criminal cases cannot be overstated. Be sure to ask for specific examples of charges a potential lawyer has successfully fought. Lawyers should be able and willing to share previous case results with potential clients.

What Are Your Fees?

Concerns about paying for an attorney should not stop you from hiring one. However, you do want to be prepared to talk about fees and how the law office handles them. Many offices allow payment programs or offer resources to help you find solutions to paying your legal bills. Things to consider include:

  • Amount of fees
  • When fees are due
  • Possible payment arrangements

The reality is that not having the best criminal defense attorney in Florida can cost you a lot more than if you skimp on a cheaper option. Remember, if you are in prison, you will not be making any money to pay other bills. Additionally, a criminal record can seriously affect your ability to find a good-paying job. Therefore, it is in your best interests to remain conviction-free and out of jail.

What Steps Do You Recommend for My Situation?

An attorney should be able to provide you with some basic recommendations about your next steps. This might include information about gathering evidence or required paperwork. While your initial case review is just a quick look at the overall situation, you should leave it with at least a basic idea of what your next steps are.

Because you want to have a realistic picture of what you are facing, it is imperative that you are always honest with any potential defense attorneys. You must also share all the necessary and requested details. If you are unable to do these things, no attorney, no matter how good, will be able to help you fully.

Choose an Attorney Who Will Fight for You

When learning how to find the best criminal defense attorney, keep in mind that you really want to find one who will fight for you throughout your entire case. To do this, you need to gauge your compatibility with a potential lawyer. It is also important to remember the qualities of a good attorney and seek those out. Some examples include:

  • Clear communication: Make sure you can speak freely with a potential defense attorney. You also want to work with someone who takes the time to ensure you fully understand every step of the defense process. Otherwise, confusion could develop and complicate your defense.
  • Honesty: Honesty is paramount when it comes to defending your reputation. You should never have to worry about whether your criminal defense attorney is being honest with you. Ask questions, verify information, and look to friends and family members for referrals to lawyers they have had good experiences with.
  • Flexible schedule: While you should not expect to be able to speak directly to a lawyer at any hour of the day or night, you can reasonably expect to be able to get in touch with someone on your legal team on most days. For this, you want to find an office that has a somewhat flexible schedule. This will help ensure you can speak to someone regardless of what else you have going on during the trial.
  • Transparency: Do not stay in the dark about what is going on in your case. Good defense attorneys will offer transparency so you stay informed and can respond appropriately.

Learn More About How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney

At Mike G Law, we treat every client who walks through our doors with dignity and respect. If you are ready to take the next steps in learning how to choose a criminal defense attorney, contact our office to schedule an initial consultation. We will review the charges against you and provide suggestions for your next steps.

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Effective Defense from an AV Preeminent* Rated Former Prosecutor with more than 25 Years of Experience