Four Tips on How NOT to Hire a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
Most people have never had the need to hire a Houston criminal attorney. If you've never done something before, it can be hard to figure out the best way to do it.
If you've been accused of a crime, we'd like for you to consider hiring Stradley Law. Whether you hire us or not, here are some practical tips on how NOT to hire a criminal lawyer.
1. Bargain Shopping is Not a Bargain. It's natural to not want to overpay for anything. But looking for the cheapest criminal defense attorney may cost you in the long run. Reasons why a lawyer may be unusually inexpensive is a lack of clients, experience, credentials, personal attention to individual cases.
Hiring a lawyer that is a bad fit for you may result in additional costs: If you need to hire a second lawyer after you've already paid the first. If the inexperience results in a poor outcome that costs you your freedom and job. If the experience results in the need to hire an appellate lawyer.
Hiring an experienced, competent lawyer doesn't necessarily mean that you will get the outcome you want, but it gives you the best chance and few regrets. Just as you don't want an inexperienced plastic surgeon, you don't want an inexperienced criminal lawyer. The stakes are too high.
2. Don't Hire a Lawyer Just Over the Phone. To get into law school requires good grades and test results. It doesn't require any assessment of basic social skills or ability to get along with others.
Your criminal lawyer is your representative to others: To judges, prosecutors and juries. You need to feel comfortable communicating with your attorney in a trusting relationship. It's difficult to assess those things in just a phone call without an office visit.
In a few circumstances, an office visit with your criminal lawyer before hiring them is impractical. But if at all possible, you should visit with the lawyer that is representing you face to face.
3. Board Certification is More Important Than Lawyer Advertising. Any attorney fresh out of law school can set up a website and say that they do criminal law defense cases. The practice of law is as specialized as other professions: You don't want cardiologists doing plastic surgery or roofers doing plumbing work.
So how do you know who is actually specialized in criminal law? The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) was established to help consumers figure this out. As they note:
"Within the Texas legal community, Board Certification means an attorney has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence in that area of law."
So if you have a criminal law matter, why would you ever purposefully chose a non-board certified lawyer?
Want to learn more about the background of Texas Board of Legal Specialization? Please read "Why Choose a Texas Board Certified Lawyer."
4. Do Not Delay. It is human nature to postpone doing uncomfortable or stressful things. However, in criminal matters, delays in hiring a qualified criminal defense attorney can sometimes lead to worse results. In some matters, early intervention by a qualified lawyer at the investigation stage can prevent charges from being filed or result in a Grand Jury not indicting a case.
Please Call Stradley Law Today.
Been arrested or under investigation for a crime? Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Stradley Law today at (713) 224-5455 about your case. If your legal matter is not one that we handle, we likely know someone who does. Click here to learn more about Stradley Law's fees. We don't charge the most or the least in town, but aim to provide excellent value for the level of experience we bring to your case.