Whether it is a minor criminal offense or a major one, you will need to hire a competent criminal defense attorney to ensure your voice is heard clearly in the courtroom. However, finding the most suitable and experienced criminal defense lawyer is easier said than done.
According to Statista, in 2020, there were 1.33 million lawyers in the U.S. Although not all of them are criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota, you will still need to scan through dozens of prospects to find a suitable one.
So, how do you go about finding the right criminal defense attorney?
The following four tips will help you find the best criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota.
1. Get a Lawyer Specializing in Criminal Law
Most people end up hiring the first defense lawyer they find. It usually is someone who has helped them in a totally different legal matter. However, this is a huge mistake.
Just like you would see a diabetologist if you or your loved one is suffering from diabetes, you need to hire a specialist criminal defense lawyer. For example, an attorney specializing in assault charges will have in-depth knowledge of the assault law in Minnesota. In other words, a DUI lawyer will not be able to defend your case as effectively as an assault lawyer.
So, make sure to consult a criminal defense lawyer, not your family lawyer. You can, of course, ask your family lawyer to recommend a criminal defense attorney. If the recommendation doesn’t strike you as the right one, you can look elsewhere for a good defense lawyer.
2. Look for a Local Attorney
A local criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota is your best chance to get the right legal advice. A local lawyer is often aware of the way local prosecutors, police officers, court clerks, and judges work, which will most likely affect the outcome of your case.
For example, whereas a lenient judge will sentence community service for a first-time traffic rule violation, a strict judge is likely to go for more severe punishment. As the local lawyer is aware of such tendencies, they can help minimize the legal consequences of your case.
Moreover, you or your family members can effortlessly get in touch with a local attorney. You can also drop by for an in-person meeting as often as required.
3. Check out the Lawyer Thoroughly
In this digital era, most attorneys have a website, social media accounts, and presence on online marketplaces like Avvo. When looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota, you should check out their online presence thoroughly.
Most successful and experienced attorneys have a professional-looking website and decent online presence. Their website and social media profiles will have client reviews, professional achievements, and awards. Go through all this information to find out as much about your lawyer as you can.
This research will come in handy during your initial free consultation, which is a common practice in the legal industry. To make sure the customer reviews are genuine, you can ask for referrals. You can ask your friends, colleagues, and family members about the attorney in question.
You can also contact the Minnesota State Bar to find out if the lawyer has faced any disciplinary action in the past. You don’t want to end up hiring a lawyer who is late for court hearings or lacks communication etiquette.
Lastly, make sure to check out their team. Most lawyers will have a team of junior lawyers and paralegals, who are most likely to work on your case. The team members need to be as competent as their lead attorney. So, make sure to check out your lawyer thoroughly before making any decisions.
4. Go through the Fee Structure
Another crucial factor you must look for is the fee structure and its transparency. It is a common belief that the most experienced lawyer is the most expensive one. While it may be true in some cases, there can be exceptions.
Apart from experience, the amount of fee a lawyer charges will also depend on the type of criminal offense. The bottom line is, you should look for a lawyer who honestly discusses the fee structure.
Usually, a criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota will charge you a flat fee or on an hourly basis. In routine criminal cases, a flat fee is often a better choice as you have to pay the lump sum once instead of paying an hourly rate.
However, some lawyers will charge you on an hourly basis. This fee structure also involves paying a retainer. A retainer is an amount you have to pay upfront against which the lawyer will work. For example, for a $3000 retainer at a $300/hour rate, the lawyer will work for 10 hours on your case.
When you are facing criminal charges, your future is at stake. Getting the right legal help will ensure the best possible outcome in your case. That’s why you have to take your time and do thorough research to find the best criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota. These four tips should prove helpful in this regard. Good luck!
Call the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Minnesota Today!
If you or your loved one is facing criminal charges in Minnesota, we can help. As one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota, we will leave no stone unturned to get the best possible outcome for your case. When you hire Carlson & Jones, P.A., you are investing in safeguarding your or your loved one’s future. Call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know how we can help.