When faced by a legal proceeding, your chances of winning the case largely depend on the defense attorney that you choose. The defense lawyer will present facts and defend your innocence on the floor of the court. Therefore, you should pay attention to the defense attorney you hire to represent your case. Here are some qualities you should check when choosing a defense attorney.
1- Track Record
An attorney’s record tells you of his or her performance in court a number of years. It also shows if there are complaints filed against the attorney. Ask questions on any gray areas or places where his or her integrity seems to have been compromised. After all, good attorney will have nothing to hide. You can ask for information about similar cases that he or she has handled in court. Additionally, check information on Better Business Bureau and ABA lawyers’ directory. The ABA has set a standard for each area of practice for the lawyers for certification.
2- Knowledge and Research
You will need more than just the basic information about the case at hand to win. Therefore, the lawyer will be forced to do extensive research on the case to counter the evidence brought forth by the prosecutor. Therefore, the attorney needs to have knowledge of the subject matter and possess the ability to do independent research effectively. He should build rapport with the police; get witnesses, and get expert witnesses depending on the subject matter of the case.
3- Good Communication Skills
Communication skills are vital in two ways. First, your defense attorney needs to communicate with the prosecutor on a variety of issues including bail application to the dissemination of the evidence. The attorney also needs to communicate with you on the judicial proceedings. Moreover, he may need additional information from you from time to time. Start gauging the lawyer’s communication skills from the time you contact him or her to work on your case. In case you are dealing with a legal company, ask to speak to the lawyer who will be handling your case.
4- Negotiation Skills
A great deal of negotiation happens in courts. You need a defense attorney that can negotiate well for you to get the best deal from the court. A good lawyer can stand up against the prosecution team and not fear the judge. Ask the lawyer to explain his negotiation tactics for similar cases. The attorney should have a solid plan on ways to get you the best deal to earn your freedom or lower any possible fines.
Sometimes the lawyers take in very many cases such that they do not give adequate attention to each case. You should be keen to know how many other cases that the lawyer is handling. Moreover, ask if they are available for a conference at the time of your convenience. If the lawyer is available, they will give your case all the effort it deserves and increases the probability of winning the case.
6- Professional Demeanor
The way the attorney carries himself during the court proceedings has an impact on your success in court. A good defense lawyer should show confidence, be eloquent, show compassion and show thoughtfulness in the course of the proceedings. You will notice most of these qualities when you talk to them. You can also sit in the open court when your prospective legal counsel is defending another person. The respect that he lawyer has within the legal circles also plays a role in getting the best deal from the courts.
Sometimes the case will not go as expected. However, a determined attorney will exhaust all possible avenues to get the best judgment for his or her client. The lawyer uses every opportunity to sway the jury into giving a favorable judgment. If he does not succeed, he looks at other opportunities to appeal the case. With determination, you lawyer can have you released or get you a less harsh judgment.
A combination of experience, professional demeanor and deep knowledge in the case at hand gives the defense counsel an upper hand on the case before the court. After all, it is your case. Therefore, get the best defense attorney to increase your chances of winning the case.