Choosing your criminal defense attorney is one of the most important choices you will make in your life. Your life and your name are on the line. You are not clipping coupons now – you want the best you can afford.
- Cost does not determine quality. The best criminal defense attorneys share a common background – they are or were public defenders. Public defenders enter the rough and tumble field of trial lawyers and see many more criminal clients in a year than some attorneys will serve in a lifetime. In Missouri, the Public Defender is excellent (albeit underfunded) and provides outstanding training. Cost must be a factor in selecting a Missouri criminal defense attorney, but don’t let it become the deciding factor.
- Is the attorney willing to meet with you? Hey, if you can’t talk to the attorney before you hire him, how often are you going to talk to the attorney after he’s cashed your check? Look for an attorney you feel comfortable with, an attorney that is willing to talk the time to discuss your case, and an attorney that is willing to commit to returning calls within 24 hours.
- Does your prospective attorney have a good reputation? Ask around about your attorney. Does he have a reputation for success resolving cases in his client’s best interests? Does he have the respect of his peers?