Anyone who has been charged with a criminal offense in Canada should consider hiring a private criminal lawyer to help them. Criminal lawyers usually have expertise with the Canadian legal system and are familiar with criminal statutes. This puts them in the best position to help people who have been accused of crimes.
Check Out Lawyers Online
Start your search for a Canadian lawyer by searching online directories or looking at websites for criminal lawyers who practice in your province. Pay special attention to biographical information about the lawyers you are looking at. In general, you want to find a lawyer who possesses the following qualities:
- Specialization in criminal law. Criminal law is different than other types of law. You need a lawyer who mainly practices in this area and is aware of current criminal statutes.
- Professional associations. Although membership in a professional association isn’t a guarantee that your lawyer has the expertise you need, it does suggest that he or she is an established professional.
- Familiarity with the type of crime that you have been charged with. For example, if you’re facing a drunk driving charge, a lawyer who specializes in felony cases probably won’t have the expertise you need.
Pay attention to your gut instinct to help you determine whether or not you want to investigate an attorney further. Choose three or four attorneys that you feel good about.
Next, do an Internet search for each perspective attorney’s name. If the attorney has complaints against him or her, those complaints will likely come up via an Internet search. You will also find articles the attorney has written by searching his or her name. This can help you determine whether the attorney is a good fit for you and your situation.
Interviewing Attorneys in Person
Once you have found three lawyers that may be able to handle your case, you need to interview them face-to-face in order to determine which attorney is most likely to meet your needs. The face-to-face interview allows you to evaluate the attorney’s personality and manner as well as determine whether he or she will be able to help you. It also allows you to see how the lawyer’s staff treats you. You don’t want to work with a lawyer whose staff makes you feel uncomfortable when you call.
Find out how much the lawyer will charge to talk to you in person for 20 to 30 minutes before making an appointment. Some lawyers charge by the hour, so you need to be aware of this before interviewing attorneys face-to-face. Knowing the rates also helps you compare attorneys.
At the interviews, ask the attorney questions about how long he or she has been practicing and how much experience he or she has with the type of charges you are facing. You should also make sure the attorney you talk to is the one you will be working with and meet any other attorneys who will help handle your case.
It can be frightening to get arrested and accused of a criminal charge. If you take the time to find the right private attorney, you’ll be more likely to get the outcome to your case you are looking for.