If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Peterborough, the most important decision you need to make is selecting the right defence lawyer. Above all, you should select a lawyer who is knowledgeable, fearless, professional, and who you feel comfortable with. In doing so, here are 7 questions you should consider when meeting a prospective lawyer.
Do you mostly have a criminal law practice?
If you’re charged with a criminal offence, you need a true criminal lawyer – that is, somebody who practices in criminal law every day. Criminal law is always in a state of flux and choosing a dedicated criminal lawyer will ensure that your counsel knows the current state of the law.
What sort of training do you have in criminal law?
In addition to choosing a dedicated criminal lawyer, you might want to determine whether your prospective lawyer has any criminal-specific training. For example, many Aitken Robertson lawyers are trained on the very same Breathalyzer machines used by police and have taken numerous courses in DUI defence.
Do you belong to a professional organization devoted to criminal law?
You should consider whether your prospective lawyer belongs to the Criminal Lawyers Association (CLA). This is more than just a membership title – the CLA is a valuable resource for criminal lawyers and offers many education initiatives and continuing professional development courses.
What is your rate of success?
A lawyer is only successful where the client is pleased with the result. Ask your lawyer for testimonials or search online for client reviews to determine whether previous clients have been satisfied with the result obtained, the services provided, and the costs incurred.
What sort of support is available in the firm?
In cities like Peterborough, many criminal lawyers operate as sole practitioners. But you might want to consider hiring a firm with an established support system. For example, the AR team has a diverse team of lawyers, paralegals, editors, research students, and administrative assistants working on your case. In addition, ask your lawyer if he or she works alone or works collaboratively with other members of the firm. Who is actually going to work on the file?
What is this going to cost?
Understandably, this is paramount concern for prospective clients. Of course, you want your case resolved as economically as possible. Ask your prospective lawyer for a fee. Also, keep in mind that most lawyers bill by the hour and the time required for a given case can be difficult to estimate. That’s why AR uses predictable block fees. We charge a set amount agreed upon upfront – that way there are no surprises when your bill comes due.
Ask yourself: how comfortable do you feel when meeting with the lawyer?
This is perhaps the most important consideration. The best lawyer for you is the one who values communication and works well for you. You need to feel comfortable with your lawyer and communicate well with him or her. You need to have confidence that he or she will obtain the best result and fight tirelessly for you.