Find the Right Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case in Ohio
- Criminal Defense
Here are five tips for finding the right criminal defense lawyer to handle your case in Ohio.
You have hundreds of choices when you need to consult with or hire a criminal defense attorney in Columbus. Chances are good that if you Googled “Columbus Ohio criminal defense attorney,” you will appreciate getting some guidance on how to choose among all those options.
1. Limit Your Search to Attorneys Who Have Experience Helping People in Your Situation
Ohio’s criminal code has thousands of pages. Case law, court rules, and procedural requirements placed on police and prosecutors for each alleged criminal offense are thousands more.
This means you should look for a DUI/OVI defense attorney if you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Find an assault defense attorney if you face jail time for allegedly committing assault. And so on.
Hiring a lawyer who has spent years handling your type of case gives you the best chance for having charges dismissed or reduced.
2. Expect to Have Your Call Answered or Message Returned Promptly
You need a Columbus criminal defense attorney who prioritizes you as a client. You can get a sense of whether that will happen when you first try to call. You may have to leave a message — good attorneys stay busy — but waiting more than 24 hours to hear back should raise a huge red flag.
3. Have a conversation with the Lawyer that will Actually Represent You Before Making a Hiring Decision
Never forget that you are hiring a Columbus criminal defense attorney to work on your behalf. Act as an employer and treat your first conversation as a job interview.
Explain your legal situation and the charges you face. Discuss your needs and expectations, then ask the lawyer what he or she can do for you. Ask how the lawyer works, and probe for details about strategies and outcomes in a case similar to your own.
Equally as important, pay attention to how the lawyer presents him or herself. Do you trust this person? Even if you don’t think you could be friends, will you be able to count on the lawyer to do the best possible job? Do not hire someone if you have misgivings on important nonlegal issues like these.
4. Ask About Costs and Other Details of Case Management
As the employer, you deserve to know how much your criminal defense attorney will charge you, how those charges will be calculated, and whether you will need to pay upfront, all at once at the end of the case, or in installments.
Do not shy away from pressing for specifics about hourly billing and hourly rates, about additional charges for making copies and taking care of certain court filings, and what exactly a flat fee covers. A vigorous defense should not depend on the size of your bank account, but you do not want to get into a situation where you end up paying bills you didn’t see coming.
5. Know You Can Replace Your Lawyer at Any Time
Knowing that you can name a new attorney to your case is important. If you do not see eye-to-eye with your attorney or you feel they are not doing their job, you can hire someone else to replace them. You always want legal representation when being interrogated and while appearing before a judge.
You will also want to find another lawyer if he or she starts ignoring your questions, acting against your orders, or giving you advice you know to be incorrect.
Colin Maher of the Maher Law Firm has practiced as a criminal defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio, for many years. He is consistently ranked among the best DUI/OVI lawyers, and he welcomes all types of traffic, assault, theft, drug, disorderly conduct, and all other criminal cases. Speak to him now for free by calling (614) 205-2208 or completing this online contact form.