When facing criminal charges, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is your best shot at receiving a favorable outcome. But you can't just hire any lawyer. You deserve a lawyer that is the right match for you and your individual case. At Touma Law Group, we pride ourselves on our dedication to our clients, protecting their rights, and helping them navigate this stressful process. Here are some essential questions to ask a Columbia criminal defense lawyer before hiring them.
How Long Have They Been Practicing Law?
When considering hiring a criminal defense attorney, you should always ask about their experience. Understanding how long they have been practicing will help you build trust. You want someone who has years of experience in the legal process and who has a notable record of success. It's also important that your potential attorney is still driven and passionate and is not burned out by too much time in the system.
Have They Handled Cases Similar to Yours?
The type of cases a potential lawyer has handled is just as important as the number. During your initial consultation, you should always ask the lawyer if they have handled a case like yours. What was the outcome of that case? If the case(s) received a successful outcome, ask them about the strategy they used. If the case was unfavorable, ask them what they learned and what would they do differently with yours. You can also ask to verify their track record or ask to see testimonials from cases similar to yours.
Possible Outcomes For Your Case
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the threat of jail time, fines, and a criminal record. An experienced attorney can explain the type of legal outcome you could be facing. They can also teach you about other possible outcomes. Perhaps a prevention or education program could be a possibility or maybe community service. They will work to build a strong defense strategy to negotiate lesser charges, arrange a plea deal, or get your case dismissed. No matter the possibilities, a good attorney will give you a straight answer about your potential legal outcome.
How Long Will the Process Take?
The criminal justice system is a complex structure with a wide range of processes. There is no definite answer to the exact length of time because it depends largely on the type of criminal charges you are facing. Whether you are charged with drug crimes, theft crimes, sex crimes, or violent crimes, a criminal defense attorney will be able to give you an estimate on the time frame for your specific case. Some factors that could affect the length of a legal process are:
- Time to review your case including all evidence and the police report
- Types of hearings and court filings
- The negotiation process with the prosecutor's legal team
- Pre-trial intervention programs
- Fees and fines
- Criminal Trial
- Appeal Process
Strategies They Can Use For Your Defense
It is your right to know what strategies a criminal lawyer would use for your case. An experienced defense attorney may be able to reference prior cases to give you an initial plan. Strategies could include plea bargains, rehabilitation or prevention programs, seeking lesser charges, or in some cases a jury trial. But in order to develop a strong defense, the lawyer must know the plans of the prosecutor, your side of the events, the evidence against you, and how the case was handled by law enforcement prior to and during your arrest.
Review Your Case With Our Criminal Defense Lawyers
At Touma Law Group, we are committed to compassionate and diligent care of every case. We are passionate about helping people when they need it most. If you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina, contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can help your case.