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How To Choose The Best Criminal Defense Lawyer


Questions about how to choose the best criminal defense lawyer ultimately involve making a high-stakes decision. Your criminal defense attorney is someone with whom you’ll share many personal discussions. He or she may know more about you than close family members and friends. It goes without saying that your criminal defense attorney must be passionate about winning your case.

Do your research. Take the time to interview a short list of criminal defense attorneys. Since most friends and family members probably won’t have a close relationship with a criminal defense attorney, it may be necessary to search for a criminal defense attorney by his or her specialty. For instance, if a friend is enthusiastic about a real estate attorney, it’s unlikely that the attorney has the experience you need to prevail in a criminal trial.

Additional concerns involve criminal lawyer credentials, experience, and costs:

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Credentials

When possible, meet with a potential criminal defense attorney in person, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is his or her office like?
  • Does the criminal defense attorney have a busy practice?
  • Are associate attorneys or interns working with him or her?

A busy office is generally a positive sign. Ask the prospective criminal defense attorney “What percentage of my case will you handle?” You want to know if the case will be managed by someone other than the attorney with whom you’re meeting.

You also need to know how often the criminal defense attorney has handled cases similar to your own. Does the attorney handle major felonies or simple misdemeanors, or has he handled a range of New Jersey criminal defense cases over the years?

New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Costs

Cost is one of the important factors when it comes to your decision to hire a New Jersey criminal defense attorney. Less than one percent of New Jersey residents may say money is no object. However, more than 99 percent are concerned about what it will cost to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Jersey.

It’s very difficult to discern what a criminal defense attorney’s pricing schedule by visiting the website. Even if the attorney does publish rates, it’s almost impossible to estimate how much time will be necessary to manage your case.

That’s because criminal law is fact-specific. The price of your criminal defense attorney is likely to depend on the facts of your case.

How to Choose the Best Criminal Lawyer

Before you contact a criminal defense lawyer, make a clear summary of your case, including the timeline and facts of the case as best you can. When you contact a prospective lawyer, it will be easier for you to explain what happened and why. It’s also easier for the criminal attorney to make an initial case evaluation.

Take the time to discuss your decision to engage a criminal defense lawyer with family and loved ones. If you need help in engaging an experienced criminal defense attorney, get buy-in before you search for a qualified and experienced counselor.

Your best criminal lawyer will carefully listen to the facts of the case. He or she won’t make promises, ever. He or she is also willing to discuss the costs of working together.

If you’re looking for an experienced, dedicated, and committed criminal defense lawyer in New Jersey, contact Hanlin Dunn Robertson Schwartz at 800-481-9840 or via our online contact form to schedule an initial case evaluation now.


The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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