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Choosing the Right Lawyer

When you are facing criminal charges, it can be one of the most stressful times in your life and the lives of your family members. If you are new to the criminal justice system, then not only are you scared, but you are completely lost regarding the process and how to go about handling the matter correctly. One of the biggest decisions you will make is deciding which attorney you should hire to represent you.

There are many things that you should consider, and I will try to cover the items that we at Bublitz Law feel are the most important.

  1. How much experience does the lawyer possess and what is his or hers work ethic? I have heard lay persons talking about how long a specific attorney has been in practice, and assuming because of that that he or she must be a better lawyer. The truth is, lawyers are no different than any other person with two legs, and the number of years doesn't coincide with the quality of workmanship. Sure, you have to have a certain level of experience, but beyond that its up to the individual to preform to his or her ability. Essentially, a talented and hard working attorney with 7-10 years experience will achieve better results for you than an average attorney who has 20 or 30 years of experience and who no longer puts effort into his or her cases.
  2. Has the attorney ever won a jury trial, and if so, how many? Would your ever hire a heart surgeon who has never had a patient survive the operating table? While choosing the right lawyer may not always be a life or death situation, it surely is one that will have life long impacts. This may come as a surprise to you, but there are numerous attorneys who practice in the area of criminal law that have never won a jury trial. Winning a jury trial is not an easy task, as it takes a certain level of skill to convince the jury that you are in fact innocent. I know, some of you are are thinking....Doesn't the State have the burden to prove my guilt? The simple answer is yes. However, the practicality of the matter is that the burden is switched and the whole system will treat you like you're guilty from the time your are arrested and charged. In most cases, it will be up to you and the sheer talent of your attorney to show your innocence or to convince the jury that the State failed to meet its burden. So ask questions, including how many trials they may have had, whether they were felonies or misdemeanors, whether they were first or second chair, and whether they would provide a list with case numbers and names.
  3. Chose a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense. I say this with some degree of caution, because there are a handful of attorneys who practice in other areas of law besides criminal who are great criminal defense attorneys. However, as a general rule, chose a lawyer whose primary area is criminal law or someone who has had prior years of extensive experience dealing with a high criminal case load and who is still familiar and up to date on current case law.
  4. Do your own independent research. It wasn't long ago when choosing an attorney that you were left to the device of word of mouth or family connections. I'm not saying that you should disregard word of mouth or family connections, but rather combine them with other sources. Nowadays, you have a plethora of information through the web to gather independent evaluations about an attorney's skills and qualifications as well as independent rating services that look at an attorney's qualifications objectively. It's no different than choosing anything, from hotels, to restaurants, to the right catering service for your daughter's wedding. As a business owner, you either perform or you go out of business. We at Bublitz Law do not perform because of the Internet, but we are thankful that it's there to assist potential clients in making the right decision on who they want to handle their criminal law matter.

If you have any questions or want to discuss your criminal case, then feel free to call us to schedule a consult. Regards, Gerald