Things To Consider When Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of a crime, hiring a lawyer is an important decision. A criminal accusation can affect your career, your family or your future. We understand the stress of having to show up to court to answer before a judge. The court system can feel overwhelming. Having an attorney in your corner is essential to protecting your rights.
Carefully selecting your lawyer can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad outcome in your case. You want to make sure that your attorney is knowledgeable, skilled and experienced. Here are some questions to consider when selecting an attorney.
Do you specialize in criminal law?
You want to make sure that your lawyer actively practices in the area of law you are hiring him/her for. It is wiser to hire an attorney that exclusively focuses on criminal defense, rather than a jack-of-all-trades lawyer. A lawyer who only dabbles in criminal defense among other legal areas, such as family law or business law, does not have the same in-depth experience that a full-time criminal defense attorney does.
Our office practices 100% criminal defense. We are well-versed in the rules of criminal law and criminal procedure. We take the time to understand your side of the story. We meticulously scrutinize police reports. We understand the interplay between the courts, the probation department, and the Department of Licensing.
We take the time to keep up to date with the active changes in the law. We regularly attend trainings and seminars to stay on top of legal developments. Our office appears in court on a near-daily basis. We are skilled in all types of court hearings ranging from the initial arraignment, pretrial review hearings, trials, probation matters and more. You want to make sure that your lawyer knows exactly what to do in any situation. We pride ourselves on providing skilled and aggressive representation.
How heavy is your caseload? Can you dedicate enough time to my case?
When hiring an attorney, make sure that your lawyer will have enough time to thoroughly represent you. We make sure to keep our caseload small enough so that we can dedicate the time and individual attention your case requires. We maintain active communication with our clients and hand tailor our defense strategy to the specific facts of your case.
We take the time to thoroughly investigate your case. Tom Carley and his team work hard to ensure that your case resolves favorably. We appear together with you and represent you at all court hearings, interview witnesses involved in your case, review through police reports, argue your case to the prosecutor and judge, and most importantly keep you informed every step of the way.
How long have you been doing this?
Ever hear the phrase “there is no substitute for experience”? Never has this been truer than in hiring a lawyer. Having an experienced lawyer in your corner can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one. An experienced criminal defense lawyer should be able to answer all of your questions in a clear and concise manner. An experienced lawyer should be able to completely understand the legal issues relevant to your case, and understand how the law applies to your situation. Your case is important. Don’t place your trust in just any attorney.
Tom Carley has several years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer. Our office has represented thousands of clients on criminal charges such as Driving Under the Influence, Assault, Domestic Violence accusations, Felony drug charges, Reckless Driving, Weapons offenses, and more. We have literally seen it all. We understand the finer intricacies of criminal law and know exactly how to handle each step of your case. We have secured countless dismissals and reduced charges for our clients and have won scores of jury trials.
We also assist in expunging or vacating criminal records. A criminal conviction does not need to stay on your record forever. We can assist in getting your record cleaned up. Additionally, if your right to possess firearms has been restricted, we can help you in legally restoring your gun rights.
Tom Carley defends clients in Vancouver, Longview, Kelso, Battle Ground, Camas, Skamania and all throughout Southwest Washington.
What is your fee structure?
When hiring a lawyer, it is important to know how your lawyer bills you. You want your attorney to be transparent with their pricing. Your lawyer should communicate to you whether there will be any unforeseen expenses such as investigator fees or expert witness fees. If a payment plan is entered into, your lawyer should clearly explain to you the terms of the payment plan. Ultimately, you want your lawyer to be able to effectively work your case from start to finish, so having a good understanding of the financial aspects of a case is essential.
At Carley Legal Services, we do not bill by the hour. Instead, we offer a competitive flat-fee for our services. If you are not able to pay the full retainer up front, we can offer you a flexible payment plan. Call today to see how we can help you. We accept card, check or cash.
At the end of the day, your life is important. Hiring the right lawyer is an important decision. Our office has several years of experience providing a skilled legal defense to our clients. We keep you informed every step of the way, and we offer a free consultation to discuss your case. Call or email us to set up an appointment.