Checklist for Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

Are you hiring a single attorney or a criminal defense team?

There is a limited amount of time a single attorney can devote to a case and occasionally one case can quickly overwhelm a lone attorney. When an attorney has a team to assist, the attorney can maximize his/her time by coordinating activities and getting tasks done while the single attorney may be stuck in court all day.

With Hammerschmidt Broughton Law Corporation, you’re getting skilled attorneys accompanied with a highly qualified and efficient team that will help deliver the best result achievable. Additionally, we often “roundtable” cases with the attorneys in our firm to gather the unique experiences and expertise of our firm. When you hire Hammerschmidt Broughton, you’re getting a dedicated team focused on getting you an exceptional outcome.

Does your attorney have knowledge and experience in both State and Federal courts?

There are many times a case can go from a State case to a Federal case without much warning. If your lawyer isn’t qualified to defend you in Federal court, you’re stuck looking for a new attorney. When you have a lawyer with knowledge of both Federal and State courts, you can be sure you’re getting a high quality of representation no matter where the case is sent.

Is your lawyer highly list on review sites?

Avvo provides attorney ratings, case listing, and client reviews. Look for a criminal defense attorney with a 10.0 Avvo rating.

SuperLawyers provides a profile for all listed attorneys as well as a resume which includes experience, honors/awards, practice areas, and victories.

A Martindale-Hubbel “AV” rated attorney means that attorney is in the top 5% nationwide, as rated by their peers.

Does your attorney focus on a practice area?

Attorneys that focus on a practice area are typically the best in that practice area. If you want a personal injury lawyer, find a lawyer that focuses in personal injury almost exclusively. If you’re looking for an excellent criminal defense lawyer, find a lawyer that practices criminal law almost exclusively.

Is your attorney willing to do the paperwork?

Paperwork is one of the often overlooked activities that can go a long way in determining whether a case makes it to trial or not, and if it does, whether the outcome is exceptional or not. With some judges, imperfect or incomplete paperwork can be a significant factor in determining the quality of the outcome.

Is your judge familiar with the judges’ personalities, likes, and dislikes?

A good attorney will have an understanding of how particular judges operate and their likes and dislikes. This is important is because some methods will work better with some judges. For example, by the time you get to a hearing, some judges are still flexible in changing their position. Other judges tend to take a firmer position which means your paperwork better be perfect or you won’t be changing anyone’s mind. Knowing the judges personalities, likes and dislikes, helps an attorney with localized experience best represent you before that judge.

Does your criminal defense attorney have exceptional written and verbal communication skills?

Documentation and paperwork are an essential piece of the legal process and having a lawyer that is capable of exceptional written communication can often be the difference between an average outcome and a superior outcome. Additionally, a lawyer that can clearly communicate and articulate case details with the client, prosecutor, and judge will have more outstanding results than a lawyer without those skills.