What is a Criminal Attorney and How Do I Choose the Right One?

What is a Defense Attorney?
January 14, 2020
What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do?
April 22, 2020

Getting in trouble with the law can be scary, especially if you don’t have regular run-ins with law enforcement. When you find yourself in a sticky situation like this, it’s easy to feel emotional and forget something important: protecting yourself is essential to your future (and the future of your family). Putting a self-defense system in place needs to be on your priority list. It should be one of the first things you do when you’re arrested or accused of something you didn’t do. It can be overwhelming when you’re faced with choosing a criminal defense attorney. What are criminal attorneys? What do they do? And what makes someone a good criminal attorney? Let’s cover a few of those topics in this article. When you’ve finished reading, you’ll feel confident in your next steps of finding a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio.

What is a Criminal Defense Attorney? 

A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer that is on your side. When you hire one, he/she has one job: to represent you. This means that your attorney will fight for you, tell your side in terms a judge will understand, work at proving your innocence, or work at getting you the best sentence possible. This is someone that you can tell every detail to. It is someone you can trust to always be there for your legal needs.  

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do? 

When a criminal defense attorney takes on your case, you become a large part of their life. They’re invested in you and your well-being. They will work with the judge, the DA, and the prosecutors on your behalf. They will either work on getting your sentenced reduced or they’ll work on getting it expunged from your record. If you are guilty and plan on pleading guilty, they’ll work with the prosecutors on finding you a sentence that you’re comfortable with. Your attorney will meet with you and talk to you regularly about any updates on your case. They know their way around the law, and they know how to work for you.  

If you’re not a lawyer and if you don’t work in law enforcement, a lot of the legal jargon will seem confusing. Your defense attorney will help you to understand every document that comes your way. They will explain everything to you. They will also set up regular times to meet with you to go over any updates.  

A criminal defense attorney can advise you on what to say in court or to a judge in a way that people understand. He/she can advise you on any next steps regarding your case. In a sense, a criminal defense attorney is not just a lawyer – he/she is an advisor and counselor.  

How to Pick a Good Criminal Defense Attorney in San Antonio

Here are some of the things you should look for when choosing your criminal defense attorney: 

  • Credentials. 

Conduct some of your own research. Check to see how many cases with successful outcomes your attorney has accomplished. Don’t worry about whether or not they’ve lost a few cases. Look to see how many cases they’ve won. Also check to see whether or not they’ve handled cases like yours. It’s a good idea to check on how many years your attorney has been working. Is he/she new to law? Are they fresh out of law school? If so, he/she may not be the best person for a higher-profile case. Don’t let that deter you completely, though – if your crime is minor, someone who is right out of law school probably has the drive, research experience, and motivation to work with you.  

  • Experience with Your Particular Charge. 

How often has your criminal defense attorney taken on your type of case? For example, if you’re accused of child neglect, does your attorney have experience in working with families? Has he/she worked on child abandonment charges before? Or has he/she only worked on other aspects of the law? If custody of your child is at stake, find a lawyer that knows their way around family court.  

  • Attitude During Your Interview/Consultation — Is He/She comfortable with you asking questions? 

During the course of your case, you are going to want to ask a lot of questions. You need to have an attorney that is patient with you. Someone who can answer your questions (with a high level of knowledge) and willingly. While you’re interviewing your attorney for possible hire, ask him/her as many questions as you feel necessary. If the attorney is patient with you and has answers that satisfy you, it’s a good sign. If they have solutions right off the bat for you, that’s also a good sign.  

  • Professional Relationships. 

How are your attorney’s professional relationships? Does he/she get along with the opposing attorneys, prosecutors, judge? This is vital to the professionalism in your case. They don’t have to like each other, but they do need to get along. There shouldn’t be any kind of disdain in the air. Your attorney should have a good attitude. This will ensure that your case has no residue of grudges or prejudice.  

  • Speed. 

You need a lawyer that is going to jump on your case quickly. The incarceration process is quick, so your lawyer needs to be quick. You also don’t want to spend weeks waiting on your lawyer to call you back. You want to move forward with your case so that you can put it behind you and move on with your life. Your lawyer should respond to all emails and phone calls in a timely manner. This is also a good indication of whether or not your lawyer is going to meet deadlines – another crucial factor in how quickly you can move past this.  

Find a Great Criminal Defense Attorney in San Antonio, Texas

One of the best things you can do for your defense is to hire the right lawyer. Not just any lawyer – the one that’s right for you and the one that fits the needs of your case. Thankfully, there are great criminal lawyers out there that you can count on and put your trust in. Find a great criminal defense attorney in San Antonio at the Law Office of Bell and White.

For questions or a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, contact the Law Office of Bell and White. San Antonio, TX: (210-374-6292) Del Rio: (830-212-7382) 


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