Facing criminal charges is an incredibly stressful and frightening time. Your reputation, livelihood, freedom, and future could be on the line. Having the right lawyer by your side is critical for navigating the complex legal system and building the strongest defence to contest the allegations.
The moment you realize you are under investigation or formally charged, it’s time to consult with counsel. The earlier in the process you engage legal help, the more options they have to protect you. An experienced attorney intervenes even before charges are laid by communicating with investigators or prosecutors. Post-charge, your lawyer asserts your rights and obtains disclosure and information to start constructing your defence for upcoming court dates. Don’t wait until the last minute early representation truly pays off.
Look for relevant expertise
It’s not enough to simply hire any lawyer who handles criminal matters. Seek someone who routinely deals with cases similar to yours so they have intimate knowledge of the intricacies involved. A drug offense expert understands these unique investigation and trial standards, and an internet child exploitation lawyer knows legal defenses regarding digital evidence collection and analysis. Ask specifically what areas of criminal law the lawyer focuses on and how much experience they have with handling those charges before you entrust them with your case.
Vet their track record
A qualified brampton criminal defence lawyers should have a long trail of positive outcomes they point to to demonstrate their effectiveness. Comb through online reviews, client testimonials, case results posted on their website, and even Ontario court records detailing their “wins”. While ethical standards prohibit attorneys from guaranteeing victories or results, you deserve to know their success rate fighting cases like yours. Checking records also ensures they have enough years of practice under their belt.
Compare fees upfront
Rates and fee structures vary greatly between sole practitioners, small criminal boutique firms, and large full-service firms. Get clear costs in writing, so you accurately compare and budget accordingly. In some cases, legal aid, payment plans, or private litigation financing may be available too. Don’t immediately pick the cheapest option to weigh the value of their expertise against the legal fees charged. Quality representation to avoid devastating penalties or jail time is worth the investment. Don’t feel shy about asking lawyers under consideration for professional references. Speaking to past clients they’ve assisted reveals a lot about their abilities, bedside manner, and results. Most lawyers will have several former clients happy to provide glowing recommendations.
Trust your intuition
Weighing all professional experience, credentials, fees, and impressions discussed, at the end also listen to your gut. Beyond just technical qualifications, the intangible feeling that a criminal defence lawyer will be the right partner throughout intense legal battles does come into play. The rapport, empathy, and commitment demonstrated positively impact your trust in them and your case outlook. Go with someone who alleviates more anxiety than they provoke. Finding the best criminal defence attorney amidst legal turmoil may seem daunting initially. Focus your search now before the next court date and reduce some uncertainty during challenging times.