When it comes to retaining a criminal law attorney, you want to choose the best representation in Tampa. The consequences of a conviction, whether felony or misdemeanor, can change your life, and not for the better. For your best chance, you need a legal professional who knows what to do. There is too much at stake. A conviction, even if it is minor, will follow you around for the rest of your life. If you are facing a legal battle, read on to discover what you should look for in a lawyer.
What to Look For In a Criminal Law Attorney
Selecting the right criminal law attorney in Tampa is the key to a successful experience. While there is no guarantee when it comes to the outcome of the case, having a lawyer with experience, education, affiliations, and trustworthiness is important.
Experience is one of the most valuable assets any criminal law attorney can have. All the books in the world cannot teach the same lessons as participating and taking an active role in actual jury trials. Sure, education and knowledge certainly affect the outcome, but the combination of education and experience is what makes a lawyer successful. When consulting with different firms in Tampa, ask about practical experience.
The professional requirements for becoming a lawyer are quite extensive. One must first attend school to obtain their Bachelor’s Degree. Then, they must take and pass the LSAT and attend law school. Once they have graduated from law school, they must then take and pass the state bar exam. If they pass, then they are subjected to a character and fitness examination that measures their morals and integrity. Finally, they must take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and other laws, and then they can receive their bar membership. It is important that you do your research to see if the lawyer in question has an upstanding record according to the bar directory. Even better, you will be able to see any unique board certifications they hold, the requirements for which go above and beyond the standard admission.
Affiliations and Awards
Accolades speak volumes for a firm and the abilities of a criminal law attorney. Networks are influential in the field of law, and understanding the affiliations and awards a firm has earned can be quite revealing. For example, Martindale-Hubbell® releases their thorough Peer Review Ratings™ and directories on a regular basis that outline trustworthy, excellent firms. These guides give consumers a better idea of which firms and lawyers are truly outstanding in their field.
Although information like years of experience and education can tell a lot about a lawyer, they do not reveal the entire picture. When you are consulting with a criminal law attorney, you should listen to your gut. You have to be able to place total trust and confidence in your lawyer. Also, pay attention to their tone and conversational presence. Do they explain everything to you in a way that makes you understand without feeling as though you are being talked down to? Do they come across as put together and confident? Everyone has off days, but ultimately, you should feel like you can trust your criminal law attorney with your future.
Questions You Should Ask at a Consultation
When you meet with a criminal law attorney in Tampa to discuss taking on your case, you should be prepared for a transparent, two-way conversation. They will ask you questions, but you should have queries of your own. To get a better grasp of the lawyer, their history, and their skills consider asking questions such as:
- Have you handled cases like mine recently? What was the outcome?
- How much of your practice involves you appearing in court?
- What is your policy on communication between attorney and client?
- Are you familiar with the State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County? What about Pinellas County?
- What are my legal options?
You should not hesitate to ask any questions you have. Your lawyer should be upfront and open with you regarding not only their services but also your case. It is also wise to bring certain items along with you to your consultation in Tampa. If you have a copy of police reports related to your charges, documents from the court, bail papers, and any other relevant information, bring it along. Not only will these help your criminal law attorney understand your case better, but they may also be able to use the information for your defense.
About McDermott Law Firm, P.A.
Established in 1961, McDermott Law Firm, P.A. represents Tampa Bay residents for their criminal and injury law needs. When you work with a criminal law attorney at our firm, we can help you with charges relating to drug possession and sale, drug trafficking, and crimes against persons and/or property.
We help clients with many things, including:
- Personal Injury
- White Collar Crimes
- DUI and BUI
- Homicide and DUI Manslaughter
- Wrongful Death
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Crimes
- Juvenile Delinquency
It is our goal that you feel supported and confident in our abilities throughout the entirety of your case. We know how important this decision is, and we take every client seriously. Having earned both the Highest Firm Rating (AV®) and the Highest Attorney Rating (AV®) from Martindale-Hubbell®, we are certain of our competence and professionalism. To learn more about our firm, or to schedule a consultation in Tampa, give us a call today at 727-367-1080.