When you are facing criminal charges in Tennessee, you would want expertise on your side. You are up against law enforcement agencies and their top district attorneys, who would want a conviction to prove that the arrest was the right decision. In other words, the odds are stacked against you from day one. Finding the right criminal defense law firm in Knoxville, TN, is important, whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges. Below are some quick tips for selecting a criminal defense attorney.
Start with areas of expertise
A criminal defense attorney may handle a bunch of charges, but what’s their area of experience and expertise? If you are facing something like DUI charges, you don’t want an attorney who specializes in handling matters of domestic violence.
Check the reviews
If a law firm claims to be among the best in Knoxville, it must have enough clients and positive reviews. You can consider asking for references or check online for independent reviews posted by other clients. Talking to a few of their previous clients can help in knowing an attorney better.
Courtroom Experience is a must
An experienced criminal defense lawyer should have experience representing clients in court. If the matter ends up in trial, things may move fast, and your attorney will have to act immediately to defend you. When you look for attorneys, ask them specifically as to how often they go to court.
As a prospective client, you should ask relevant questions when meeting a criminal defense lawyer for the first time. Besides the experience of the attorney, ask things like –
- What are my different legal options?
- What would be your advice for my circumstances?
- Can I help with your defense strategy in any way?
- Will you work on my case directly? If not, can I meet your associate?
- Have you worked on similar cases? If yes, what were the outcomes?
Sometimes, attorneys may assign the work to some other associate working for the same law firm. As the client, you must have access to your lawyer.
Most criminal defense attorneys work at an hourly rate. If you are facing a misdemeanor, affording legal representation doesn’t have to be hard. A lot also depends on the facts and circumstances of the case, besides the attorney’s experience.
It is wise to call an attorney soon after you are charged for a criminal offense, no matter the circumstances.