10 Important Questions to Ask a Florida Criminal Lawyer Before Hiring

Feb 11, 2019

The latest statistics from the Florida Courts say there were 755,291 criminal filings from 2016 to 2017. Do you or someone you know have a pending criminal charge?

Have you hired your criminal attorney? If not, you should get on it as soon as possible to get the best outcome in the case.

Are you searching for a Florida criminal defense attorney but don’t know how to hire the right one for your case?

We’ve got you covered. We’ll tell you how to know if the criminal attorney is right for your case.

Here are 10 questions you must ask your Florida Criminal Lawyer before hiring them for your case.

1. Do You Offer a Free Initial Consultation?

Some attorneys want to start charging you from the get-go. Yet, why should you pay them without receiving any services? When you contact their offices for the first time, you should ask if they offer a free initial consultation.

The right criminal defense lawyer will offer a free consultation and take the time to listen to you. During your first meeting with the attorney, you should discuss your case and ask them any questions you have about the process.

2. How Many Years Have You Been Practicing Criminal Law?

When you hire a criminal defense attorney, you should consider someone with experience in criminal law. Sometimes lawyers may advertise themselves as criminal law experts when they don’t work criminal cases on a daily basis.

It’s important to ask the attorney how many years they have been practicing criminal law. Their experience and track record will help them achieve the best outcome in your case.

3. What Is Your Area of Expertise?

Even if the attorney practices criminal law, it doesn’t mean they are the right criminal lawyer for your case. You should ask them what types of criminal cases do they usually work.

Felony crimes, fraud, and misdemeanor crimes are some of the typical practice areas in criminal law. You should consider hiring a law firm that works your type of case.

4. How Will You Approach the Case?

It’s important to ask the attorney how they will approach your case. Two defendants may go to trial for the same type of charges but, that doesn’t mean the attorney will use the same approach.

You should ask your attorney about their approach in your case so you can learn what to expect. Also, you can compare their approach to your prior cases or other legal advice.

5. Will You Be the Attorney Handling the Case?

Believe it or not, the attorney you meet during your free consultation might not handle your case. While this practice is more common in large law firms, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s important to ask this question during your consultation to make sure you’re meeting the lawyer who will represent you in your case. If the lawyer informs you that another attorney will be in charge of your case, you should request to meet with the other lawyer.

6. How Much Will You Charge for the Criminal Defense?

Before hiring your attorney, you must know how much they will charge for defending your case. Your criminal attorney may charge you an hourly rate or flat fee.

Your lawyer should provide an idea of how much your criminal defense may cost you. If they can’t provide a range during your consultation, you should consider requesting an estimate that includes any potential charges.

7. Have You Handled Similar Cases in the Past?

Every case is different. It’s important to ask if they’ve handled similar cases in the past and the outcomes they obtained for their clients. Has the attorney gotten similar charges dropped?

What plea deals have they negotiated in similar cases? This information can provide you an idea of your options.

8. How Much Time Do You Think the Case Will Take?

Criminal cases may take months and even years depending on the situation. It’s important to ask your attorney how much time they expect your case to last. Time spent on your case depends on factors such as your charges, evidence, prior criminal record, trial, among others.

Your attorney’s experience in your state courts can help them provide an estimate. Keep in mind that your case may take longer or less time than your criminal attorney may expect.

9. What Are the Potential Outcomes in the Case?

An experienced attorney can provide an idea of your options and potential outcomes in your case. It’s important that you provide a complete detailed account of your case and related events.

If you don’t, your attorney won’t be able to provide real potential outcomes in your case. It’s recommended that you bring to your consultation all information and documents related to your case. This documentation will help your attorney understand your case better and provide accurate potential outcomes.

10. How Can You Reach The Lawyer Before and During the Case?

Communication is key to a successful criminal defense. Attorneys must keep their clients informed about their case at all times. Yet, some lawyers don’t prioritize or have a tough time keeping their clients updated about their progress.

Ask if you can reach them by phone, email or even contact their legal assistant. As a client, you need to know how you can reach your attorney to stay updated about your case.

The Bottom Line About Hiring a Florida Criminal Lawyer

While the outcome in your criminal case depends on many factors out of your control. Hiring the right Florida criminal lawyer is a must to get the best outcome in your case. It all starts with your initial consultation.

Before meeting with the attorney, you should gather all the documents related to your case and write down any questions you have. The right lawyer will take their time learning as most as they can about your case.

You must ask the attorney the right questions to learn if they’re the best lawyer for your case. We’re confident that if you ask our must-ask questions, you will hire the right criminal lawyer for your case. 

Do you have a pending criminal charge? We can represent you. Contact us today to schedule your initial free consultation and learn how we can help.