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A Guide to Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

Posted by Howard Wise | Dec 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Would you hire an inexperienced mechanic to work on your car? No! An inexperienced mechanic may cause your car to break down. But an inexperienced attorney is even worse, because working with them can jeopardize your entire life.

If you've been charged with a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorneyimmediately. A qualified criminal defense lawyer knows the ins and outs of the law and how those laws relate to your case. A knowledgeable attorney can explain your rights during all stages of the criminal process. Most importantly, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can make the difference between having the charges dropped, getting a reduced sentence, or spending time in jail.

Being charged with a crime is a very serious matter that could cost you time, money, and your freedom. With a top Chicago defense attorney, you will be able to build a powerful defense to get the best possible results for your case.

But how do you find the right attorney for you?

Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are many ways you can find a criminal defense lawyer. Many people ask friends or family members for personal referrals. But if you want to keep the details of your charge confidential, an internet search can supply you with a list of potential lawyers.

Online lawyer directories like and allow you to search by location and practice area and provide information on the lawyer's rating, background, and credentials.

However you search, you need to know what to look for. Criminal defense lawyers handle a variety of criminal cases that can include misdemeanors, felonies, and state and federal crimes. Every criminal defense attorney also has specific practice areas where their skills are best used.

When you're looking for a good criminal defense lawyer, you want to find the best one for your particular case. You don't want to hire someone who specializes in DUIs if you've been charged with drug possession. For these reasons, it's important to do a thorough search of a lawyer's background, knowledge, skill level, and expertise.

Check out your prospective lawyer's website, testimonials, review sites, and any other information you can find about the attorney and their firm. You want a lawyer who is in good standing with the Illinois State Bar Association, has a successful track record defending your crime, and will give your case the attention it needs.

What to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Before making a final decision about a defense attorney, you should meet with them. This way, you can make sure you will be comfortable working with them and confident they will handle your case appropriately. You also want to be able to speak honestly with your lawyer about all aspects of your case.

In order to choose the best defense attorney, you may want to ask them questions that could include:

  • Do you have experience defending cases like mine?
  • How often do you use plea bargains or seek a reduced charge?
  • How many jury trials have you done?
  • What costs will be involved?
  • Can you provide me with references from past clients you've helped?

The answers to these questions should help you suss out the most qualified defense attorney to handle your case. You want to be convinced that the criminal defense attorney you choose is someone you can trust to defend your case to obtain the best outcome possible.

About the Author

Howard Wise

A Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Who Understands Both Sides Few attorneys can claim the diverse experience and history of successful cases of Howard J. Wise. The dedicated and talented Chicago defense attorney began his criminal law journey more than two decades ago, when he began studying a...


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