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Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

There are a number of situations in life when you have to decide whether to hire a lawyer. For instance, if you’re purchasing a house or having trouble paying your bills, hiring a lawyer may not be a necessity, but it’s a good idea nonetheless. However, if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, assault, or some other crime, hiring a criminal lawyer is mandatory. You’ll want to make sure that your legal rights are protected throughout the entire judicial process.   

But where do you begin when you’re hoping to hire a qualified criminal lawyer? One of the best ways to find an effective attorney is to consult with your family and friends. There is nothing better than a personal recommendation, especially one that comes from someone who is close to you. However, there are times when it might be difficult to obtain a personal referral. In those situations, you might consider consulting the local Bar Association or an Internet site such as lawyers.com.

The Internet, in fact, can provide a wealth of information about individual lawyers. For instance, you can find out about a lawyer’s level of expertise in criminal law, biographical information, whether the lawyer is in good standing with the bar, and other pertinent facts.

In addition, online archives of your local  newspaper might include articles about cases that a particular lawyer has tried. You’ll want to hire a lawyer with plenty of experience in the area of criminal law involved in your case, whether it be traffic offenses, drug crimes, or white collar crimes. 

The next step is contacting the lawyer’s office. If an attorney cannot meet with you on short notice, don’t count the lawyer out. Effective lawyers are quite busy, so, if a lawyer is short on time, that may actually be a positive sign. Pay close attention to how your call is handled by the lawyer’s staff.

The staff should be courteous and be willing to answer all of your questions.  You should be aware of the fact that criminal defense lawyers tend to charge by the hour. As an alternative, they may charge a flat fee up front. Generally speaking, rules of professional conduct bar a lawyer from charging a contingency fee for a criminal case.

Since legal fees can vary, you might want to engage in some comparison shopping.


However, be advised that the better lawyers tend to charge more for their services. Since your freedom and reputation are at stake, you should invest in the best lawyer you can afford.

Given the fact that criminal cases are often settle through plea agreements with a district attorney’s office, it can be important for a criminal lawyer to be on good terms with the D.A. Certainly, good relations between the two can only enhance your case. Therefore, you’ll want a lawyer who has fairly regular contact with the prosecuting attorney in the county in which your case resides. Also, it’s a good idea if you hire a lawyer who is affiliated with a group such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Such an association shows that your lawyer wants to keep abreast of new developments in the area of criminal law.  Prior to hiring a criminal lawyer, be sure to ask for references. You’ll want to know how clients view the attorney’s expertise. You should also obtain a copy of the law firm’s brochure, so you have a clear understanding of the outfit you’re dealing with.

It is also vitally important that you obtain a copy of the lawyer’s retainer agreement so that you’re aware of any up-front costs involved in obtaining legal representation.

In the end, you’ll want to select a lawyer that you’re comfortable with, one that truly understands your case and can work well on your behalf. You’ll find that an effective criminal attorney is well worth his or her fee.

Legal Help Info

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Lawyer

Anyone seeking for free legal help may be wondering how they can avail of such excellent legal option. Before anything else, you need to know if you’re entitled for such services.

According to the constitution, anyone who has a criminal case and can’t afford to pay for legal help is entitled to get a free attorney or lawyer. For instance, a person who is charged with a certain crime which can be imprisoned can get a free attorney; on the first court appearance, you can already request for your free attorney or lawyer. The court will determine if you’re an indigent. To be classified as an indigent, an individual should have a few assets but no funds for hiring a lawyer. The court will hire a lawyer for you and the fees will be taken out from the county funds. The attorney can be a public or a private defender, depending on the availability.

For civil cases, you will not be entitled to get a lawyer. You can turn to pro bono and legal aid programs offered in your state. Only those whose income is 125% less than the established poverty level can obtain these services. If the income is slightly higher, you may still be considered for the program.

Aside from the income requirements, individuals who are disabled, elderly, and military enlisted, and domestic violence victims are also entitled to the programs. You must also remember that since the programs have limited funds, not everyone is entertained. The programs choose only the top priority cases and turn down other requests or cases.

Poor clients can turn to legal aid services or offices if they need legal help. They have experienced lawyers who can give proper advice in the different kinds of problems encountered by the less fortunate. Some of these offices are funded by the state while others are funded privately. When conducting a legal help search online, it would be best to choose among the programs or services offered within your state.

Some people turn volunteer lawyers who join pro bono programs. Bar associations usually support these programs and you might be able to find one in your state. Look for a pro bono program in your area and seek legal help there, especially if you’re a low income earner.

Online legal help resources are now becoming more and more popular. Legal questions can be asked from legal aid attorneys or lawyers. If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to find a hotline who can review letters, documents, and other legal forms; not only that, the hotline can also refer you to free legal help services.

Some cities and communities offer free legal aid to the needy through pro bono programs. Again, the individuals mentioned earlier qualify for the said programs. Try to contact legal referral services. Some individuals obtain legal information online and they handle some common legal issues on their own. You can do that if the legal issues are quite common. For severe legal issues, you must get a lawyer.

The federal government helps those with limited resources in dealing with their criminal and civil cases. It’s time that you also help yourself and seek legal help.

Case Law
Legal Girl

The Criminal Defense Lawyer Association

Each state has its own criminal defense lawyer association. This organization sees to it that anyone who is accused of a crime is given fair representation in a court of law. They also do their share in protecting and strengthening the constitution, improving the administration of justice and promoting public awareness of the function and duties of criminal defense lawyers.

One way they are doing that is by offering legal services to those who cannot afford to hire a top notch lawyer. Some call them public defenders that will do their best to protect your rights.

Aside from providing their services to clients, they also have other activities such as conduct seminars for its members, raise money and offer scholarships. Each association is governed by a board which plans the events for the year that includes publishing newsletters, formal and informal networking and continuing legal education.

The criminal defense lawyer association through its members also lobbies and obtains information about new legislation as this affects their practice whenever they have to help a client in open court.

For those who are not yet members, all they have to do is fill up a form. Law students may already apply and after paying the membership fee, they will be able to access information about legal matters that are only available to members.

Apart from state criminal lawyer associations, there is a bigger one called the National Lawyer Association. What they do here is not that different from what they do on the state level.

 

Legal Help – Lawyers

As a member, you get access to online research, virtual office opportunities, lawyer referral service, membership benefits and services as well as immediate leadership opportunities in legal sections and committees. The best part is that you don’t have to leave your state’s association to become a member in the national level.

The advantage of being a member of a criminal defense lawyer association is that anyone who wants to seek your services will no longer question your capability as a lawyer because you have already proven yourself among your colleagues.

How? By being granted membership into the organization which means they recognize you as an equal. What potential clients will likely ask now is how many cases have you won and how many times have you argued this in court.

When you talk to a client, tell them straight out they you cannot guarantee that you can win their case. What you can promise though is that you will do your best to help them get out of this mess.

So what should you do if you have a legal problem and have no idea who to call? The best thing to do will be to get the number of criminal defense lawyer association in your state so you can get the name of a lawyer who can help you out.

If you can’t find it, look for it online because most of these have an official website with a list of their current members and their contact numbers. Initial consultation is usually free and if you are satisfied, then you should hire this person immediately so your legal woes will be straightened out. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about paying for high legal fees since this organization has ways of getting the necessary funds to pay for their members.

Legal Help – Lawyers

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What do you think it feels like when the authorities serve you an arrest warrant because you’re being sued? Most individuals in this kind of situation often freak out and they don’t know what to do. You have to calm yourself if you’re in this situation and contact a personal lawyer at once. Lawyers can provide individuals with the needed legal services to overcome legal matters without any trouble or problems. If you’re already engulfed in a difficult and troublesome legal matter, let your attorney handle everything for you.

So where can you find the best attorney in town? Well, you could start searching the directory because the attorneys and lawyers and their specializations are listed there. Lawyers specialize in different issues such as consumer protection, child custody, registration, divorce, etc; you have to make sure that you hire the appropriate lawyer or attorney so that you can arrange and settle any legal matter immediately.

There are times when you have a close ‘law interaction’ and as a law-abiding citizen, you should follow everything that the law states. Some people get sacked or sued with no clear reason and if this is the case, you can hire a good lawyer to help you out. By simply surfing the internet, you can access the lawyer directories. There you can find a complete list of lawyers and their specializations. In no time at all, you will get the needed legal help from an authentic lawyer.

You have to ensure that you’re dealing with only a true lawyer. A true lawyer is equipped with the legal knowledge and theories in order to solve any legal dispute. The lawyer should advance your interests but in return, you have to pay for their services which can be rather expensive.

Simple situations like parking summons and registrations can be handled without legal help from lawyers. You can just rely on legal self help services to cut down your expenses. However, complicated situations require you to get the needed help from qualified, licensed, and experienced lawyers.

Suppose you’re in jeopardy and you want to handle the legal issues immediately. Without enough knowledge, you will find it hard to deal with all the legal matters. Check out the lawyer directories now especially if you’re in a dilemma. Try to look into the specialized directories so that you can easily find the appropriate lawyer for your case or problem. It’s quite easy to contact the lawyer once you find the right one. The contact information is already provided in the directory. Once you’ve contacted the lawyer, you can discuss about the legal issues you’re currently facing.

You can also ask your friends and relatives for referrals especially if they hired lawyer services in the past. Who knows, perhaps you can find the best lawyer in your area. Try not to rush your search so that you can compare different lawyers and their past performances. After doing some comparisons, you can make the right decision. Don’t forget to prepare a budget for the lawyer’s fees and other charges. Everything should be prepared so that the legal matters will be handled efficiently and smoothly.

Never hesitate to seek legal help from experienced and qualified lawyers.

Lawyer As Your Mentor?

Why Your Lawyer is Your Best Bet for Finding Mentors

It’s common for people who’re looking for mentors to try and look outside their own circle of influence. After all, it’s hard to believe that millionaires and successful business people could be just one connection away. Yet that’s more often than not the case. In fact, your best bet for finding mentors is usually your lawyer.

 

What You’re Really Looking for in a Lawyer

 

When you’re choosing a lawyer, you absolutely want to choose a lawyer that specializes in your industry.

If you’re starting a restaurant, pick a lawyer that specializes in restaurants, not just small businesses.

If you’re starting a solar cell research company, get a lawyer that specializes in working with the green tech industry.

 

Why?

 

In addition to getting more targeted legal advice, you also get connections.

If you’re working with a green tech lawyer, that lawyer is going to know other green tech entrepreneurs, green tech VCs and green tech angels. If the lawyer trusts you and likes your idea, they’ll often be able to put you in touch with some very high powered mentors.

 

Can Your Lawyer Help? The Best Way to Know

 

The best way to know whether or not your lawyer can help you find mentors is to ask. You can ask right upfront, even before you sign a retainer.

 

Let your lawyer know that you’re just as interested in his connections as you are in his legal advice. Ask him if he’d be able to introduce you to people who’ll move you forward in your career.

 

This will give you a good sign of whether or not that lawyer can help you out.

 

A Word on Equity Lawyers

 

In the world of startups, it’s not uncommon for lawyers to take equity. That means instead of getting paid cash, or in addition to getting paid cash, they’ll own a small portion of your company.

 

While this can be a relief for cash-strapped companies in the beginning, this can actually be a very expensive price to pay in the long run.

 

That said, you do get one thing with equity lawyers that you don’t get with other lawyers. They now have a vested interest in your success.

 

A lawyer who you’re just paying a retainer might not open their full rolodex to you. But a lawyer who owns a 3% stake in your company and believes the company will be worth many millions often will.

One Other Place to Look 

Finally, also choose your accountant in a similar manner. Try to work with accountants who’ll know potential mentors.

 

Never underestimate the power of connections. If you choose your lawyers and your accountants right, they can be your gateway to your future mentors.