5 Important Questions to Ask A Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Before You Hire Them

A criminal defense attorney can be the biggest asset to your case if chosen well and correctly. To ensure that your attorney is the right fit for you, there are a few factors that must be considered.The Rickman Law Firm prides itself on the caliber of its attorneys and understands that each case is unique and has varying needs from one another. That is why you should hire a Tampa federal criminal defense attorney accordingly. Your attorney should make you feel comfortable and confident with the details of your case. For your confidence, here are some important questions to ask any criminal defense attorney before you choose to hire them.

What Is Your Experience With Handling Cases Such as Mine?

The first question that you must ask a federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa should be concerning their experience and background with your case type. To ensure that your case is being handled and supported properly, your attorney should know how to navigate your specific case type well. If you are facing a sex crime charge on the count of sexual assault, then you should be working with a lawyer who has high rates of successful experience, both in and out of court, with cases similar to yours.

When choosing to hire a lawyer with a specialization, you should ensure that they have ample experience in cases that are relevant and similar to yours. In addition, hiring an attorney who has successful trial experience will provide more security, in the case that your case may go to court. When initially consulting with your attorney, some of the first questions that should be asked include:

  • What is your specialty?
  • How many years have you been practicing law?
  • How many cases have you taken to court? 
  • What is your experience with handling my type of case?
  • How comfortable are you with handling cases like mine, especially if it goes to court?
  • What is your success rate for cases not on trial and trial?

What Are Your Fees? How Is Payment Determined?

Another vital factor to consider when consulting with a Tampa federal criminal defense lawyer is cost, as well as how payment is determined. You should be completely aware of how much your lawyer will charge for their services, what the payment plan is, and whether there is an upfront fee or only payment if your case is won. Some attorneys will charge a flat fee, while others may charge by the hour for their services. You must hire an attorney who is completely transparent about their fees and payment plans with you before being hired. When interviewing an attorney, ensure that they are being upfront about any potential costs, as well as how their legal fees are structured. Will there be witness costs, investigation costs, or any other costs along the way? 

If your attorney charges a flat fee, then you should ask about everything that that fee includes, and whether the fee needs to be paid upfront, after your case is successful, or if there is an installed payment ability. If your attorney charges an hourly fee, then you must ask if there will be a need to pay a retainer. You can ask to be provided with an estimate of what their fees would be, as well as any additional expenses, regarding your case. You can also shop around with different lawyers to compare estimates before choosing to hire a specific attorney.

What Will Our Communication Be Like?

When working with an attorney, communication is one of the most important factors. You should consider hiring an attorney who is easy to communicate with, as well as someone who will be proactive in keeping you informed about the progress of your case. Will they be available to answer any questions and concerns you may have throughout the case? What are their communication rules, goals, and boundaries?

In lawyer-client partnerships, your attorney serves as your representative and your voice throughout the entire legal process. Clear lines of communication are imperative when choosing to hire your criminal defense lawyer. You should be able to have an expectation of the frequency and forms of communication that you will have with the attorney representing and defending you throughout the criminal defense legal process.

What Will This Process Be Like? Is My Case Strong?

Another vital question that can often be forgotten is what your own case’s legal process would be like, and if your case can be strongly supported. You are allowed to ask for the attorney’s initial thoughts during the consultation, especially as they would have the specific legal, case-type experience, and knowledge to be able to provide you with. In addition, you may want to ask about alternative options that can be taken to avoid going to trial, including an option of working out a fair plea bargain, along with any general potential strategies that the attorney may have.

You should have a clear understanding of what the trial process looks like, including any possible steps, and what is to be expected of both you and your attorney. While your criminal defense attorney might have some insight about how your case proceedings may go, no reputable lawyer will promise certainty of complete case success and an easy trial. Whoever you hire should be open and direct, and help prepare you with a high degree of realism of possible expectations and any mitigating circumstances.

What Is Your Strategy Regarding Approaching My Case?

Another question to ask a criminal defense attorney is what their strategy for approaching your case could be. This includes how they would plan to defend you and the steps that they will take to achieve the best possible outcome. In addition, you should be specific in asking about options to avoid going to jail and lessen any potential consequences.

Asking this question will also provide insight into how experienced the attorney is with your type of case. It is vital that your attorney can be familiar enough with your type of case that they can have some strategies and actions after familiarizing themself with your claim and accusation.

Ensure That You Are In the Hands of An Experienced and Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

Hiring a criminal defense attorney is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. Asking the right questions before hiring an attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. By asking about their experience and expertise, fees and payment plans, communication, trial experience, and strategy and approach, you can make an informed decision and choose the right attorney for your case.

For your free consultation with a Tampa federal criminal defense lawyer, fill out our consultation form or call The Rickman Law Firm any time today at 813-999-0502.


Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


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