Thursday, September 27, 2012
Hire an Affordable Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney
As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I get a lot of questions about what individuals should consider when looking to hire a criminal attorney.
Among the many things you must consider, such as: do you feel comfortable with the attorney when you meet them face-to-face; is he going to spend the time necessary to understand the particulars of your case; and can he explain to you what to expect in terms of potential outcomes, and the risks involved --- you also need to look at these things.
1. EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE
There simply is no substitute for hands-on experience in a criminal courtroom. It is by far the most important consideration in choosing a criminal lawyer. Every case is different, as are the personalities of each, judge, prosecutor and law enforcement officer. Attorneys that have been around the local legal landscape for a long time tend to be more expensive, but it is often money well spent. Former prosecutors are often good bets, as assistant county attorneys have often had extensive trial and plea bargaining experience that someone who starts out on the defense side might not have.
BUT, keep this in mind: If you have a unique case, or an especially complex case, younger lawyers with moderate experience tend to be hungry. They are eager to establish their own reputations. They will have more time to research caselaw and do background investigation. They will pour blood, sweat and tears into your defense. They might be willing to try a novel legal argument much quicker than a more established attorney. A less-established attorney will also have more time to spend with you one-on-one. They will have fewer cases, and will probably be paid less for each of those cases, so each case to the less-established attorney is important.
2. AVOID ATTORNEYS WHO PROMISE OUTCOMES
Criminal attorneys are seldom assured of any particular outcome in a case. We operate in a field that is filled with uncertainty. We can, however, offer you a forecast of what to expect when your case goes to court.
3. STREET SMARTS
Common sense and how the real world works is important. We are a people-based practice area, and have to understand practical realities. A grasp of legal statutes is critical, but criminal lawyers spend far more time with real people than holed up in law libraries.
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND LISTENING
Look for an attorney that can explain the law to you in easy to understand terms. Does the attorney listen to your story without interruptions? Does he or she explain to you possible defenses you may have to a particular charge? If you come away from an initial consultation feeling befuddled or misunderstood, look for another lawyer.
5. SOMEONE WHO IS NOT AFRAID TO GO TO TRIAL
The client always controls the decision of whether to accept a plea offer or go to trial. Plea bargaining often results in the best possible outcome for a client. Good things, however, can also come from forcing the State to prove its case. Let your intuition tell you whether this is an attorney you can go into battle with.
As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I pride myself on providing the best representation possible. I'm a former prosecutor (and before that I clerked for a judge) --- if it has happened in the courtroom I've seen and done it. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call the Rolloff Law Office today: (612) 234-1165. Or, for more information, visit my website: rollofflaw.com.