Houston has thousands of attorneys, but which one is the right lawyer for your criminal case? At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we’ve practiced criminal law for decades and understand the legal landscape better than most. Below, we highlight steps you should take to find the best Houston criminal defense attorney for your needs.
Check a Lawyer’s Website
You want some idea of whether the lawyer practices criminal law or not. Some Houston attorneys specialize only in divorce or estate planning. They probably aren’t the best pick when you are facing stiff fines and possible jail time. A lawyer who handles most criminal matters knows how the law has evolved in Texas and how to best represent clients.
Also look for recent articles which show the lawyer’s engagement with the field. This shows that they have a broad command of the relevant legal doctrine.
Ask the Lawyer if He Handles Your Type of Case
Criminal law is a big field. If you’ve been arrested for a Houston DWI, then you should hire a lawyer who’s handled many DWI cases. The same is true if you’re facing sex crime or burglary charges. You can ask the lawyer about his experience in a consultation or by looking at their website.
Dallas has many great criminal defense lawyers, but they don’t know Houston judges or the court system. The criminal justice system is a little different in each county. Judges have some leeway in how they run their courtrooms. Prosecutors have quirks when it comes to plea deals or prosecuting cases. It helps to hire a Houston criminal defense attorney who knows how a judge or prosecutor runs things.
We can’t guarantee that hiring a local lawyer means your charges get dismissed or that a judge acquits you—far from it. But a local lawyer has built up a reputation in the community which judges and prosecutors respect. This trust can pay off big time for a client.
Feel Comfortable with Fees
Private attorneys don’t work for free, so find out how a lawyer charges for his firm’s services. If money’s tight, be upfront about that fact and discuss all methods of payment—credit card, installment agreement, and so forth.
Avoid a “Big Talker”
There are no guarantees when it comes to criminal cases in Houston. An experienced attorney can analyze how he expects prosecutors and judges will view your case. But no lawyer can promise a certain result, and you should avoid anyone who talks a big game. Lawyers like that are probably trying to hide their inexperience.
Hire Someone You Trust
Your future is in your lawyer’s hands. You need to hire someone you are comfortable with. Ask yourself how easy it felt asking questions or telling the lawyer when you didn’t understand something. Ultimately, the defendant calls the shots about key issues, such as whether to testify or accept a plea deal. You can only be engaged in your case if you trust and understand your lawyer.
Contact Us to Learn More
One of our Houston criminal defense attorneys is available to meet for a confidential consultation. Call or send us an online message.