Saying you face criminal charges can sound dramatic, thanks to fiction. Crime dramas suggest that breaking the law always involves hair-raising action and brilliant but far-fetched schemes.
In reality, it’s common to find oneself in need of a Michigan criminal defense attorney.
Every day, each one of us is subject to countless federal, state, and local laws that organize our society and keep us safe. With so many laws, it’s no wonder that most of us break a rule here and there—whether we know it or not.
Few people like being on the wrong side of the law, but you can’t always avoid it. That’s why it’s good to know how to find the help you need to get out of trouble, fast. Keep these things in mind when looking for a Michigan criminal defense lawyer.
1. How Experienced Is the Lawyer?
One major consideration when looking for a lawyer is experience. In general, a lawyer who’s practiced for ten years knows the ins and outs of the legal system better than one fresh out of law school. Yet, that doesn’t mean the lawyers with the most years under their belt are always the right choice.
If you’re dealing with a complicated matter with serious consequences, find a well-established attorney.
You might consider a less experienced lawyer for smaller, more casual matters. After all, senior lawyers have to build their experience somehow. They can’t without clients like you hiring budding attorneys.
A lawyer who’s been in practice for a long time may have years of knowledge on their side, but that comes at a price. More experienced and in-demand lawyers often have higher rates. If a less experienced lawyer can handle your case, you might save some money.
2. Does the Lawyer Know Michigan Laws?
One of the first things to do when you find yourself up against criminal charges is to find out what legal code you broke. In the United States, you could break a federal, state, or local law.
To practice law in Michigan, lawyers have to prove they know Michigan statutes. Yet, lawyers specialize after they start practicing. Some attorneys deal more with federal or local laws than they do with state laws.
If you’re facing Michigan-specific charges, make sure your lawyer knows the law well. Talk to them about their experience defending cases like yours during your consultation.
3. Does the Lawyer Know Local Laws?
The most boring laws are often the easiest to break. In many cases, they’re mandated by county, city, district, or even neighborhood authorities. When you face local charges, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer used to the local legal system.
For example, if you’re charged with a DUI in Detroit, you’ll be better off with a Detroit DUI lawyer. Michigan laws are the same across the state, for the most part. Yet, culture and practices vary from court to court.
Even a top-rated lawyer might not be the best choice for a big city case if they only ever argue cases in little rural courts. Make sure your attorney proves to you that they know what to expect from the court.
4. Take a Careful Look at Reviews
It might seem obvious to say that you should look at reviews when choosing a Michigan defense attorney. Something you may not have considered is that looking at reviews isn’t useful if you don’t do a careful job.
Online reviews are handy, but you’ll get a skewed picture if you don’t sort through all the entries. Use sorting options to take a look at lower ratings as well as the rave reviews. It’s common for search tools to highlight top positive comments, and valid complaints can get buried.
Make sure that reviews come from real people, too. Look for verified reviews and written testimonials that give more insight than a simple star rating.
5. Can You Work With Them?
You’re on the hunt for a Michigan criminal attorney, not for a best friend. Still, some differences in attitude and work style can’t be reconciled. When you get a legal consultation, pay attention to how well you communicate with the attorney or attorneys you talk to.
If you can’t understand one another, something they say or do bothers you a lot, or you have another major issue, you might want to keep looking. If you can’t work well with your lawyer, it’s harder for you to give them all the information they need.
While they’ll still do their job the best they can, it’s also harder for them to defend you. They might not have a helpful context if you struggle to talk to one another. Plus, their argument could be more passionate and convincing if they’re on good terms with you.
6. How Often Do They Win Cases?
It doesn’t matter how well-studied, experienced, or good at communicating a lawyer is if they aren’t any good at winning cases. Not all cases are winnable, and losing a criminal case may not have anything to do with the lawyer’s skill.
Yet, if the lawyer you’re talking to loses a large proportion of the cases they take on, you could have trouble on your hands. You might not be able to get statistics or something specific like that, but keep an eye on what people say in reviews. If you don’t see a lot of clients talking about how they won their cases, look elsewhere.
7. What About Sentencing?
Lawyers aren’t magicians, and you shouldn’t break laws and expect to go home without punishment. When winning a case isn’t an option, a good lawyer aims to get a lenient sentence for their client. They explore different options for plea deals and technicalities to reduce sentencing.
Another thing to look for when reading reviews is whether the attorney you’re looking at is good at helping people get lesser sentences. During consultations, talk to the attorney about the consequences of the charges you face. Ask them what they can do to minimize your sentence.
We Have Your Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
Now that you know what to look for, you’re prepared to find a Michigan criminal defense attorney. After you review your options, you’ll find Dailey Law Firm has the representation you need.
Get in touch with us today online or call at (866) 888-7888 for a free consultation.