How to Choose a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are under investigation, or you’ve been indicted already for a federal crime, you definitely need a lawyer. However, you don’t want to hire just any attorney, you need the right one. Making this decision can be stressful, but given what’s at stake, it’s not a decision to take lightly. While there are no hard and fast rules on how to choose a Fort Lauderdale federal crime attorney, you can start with these suggestions to narrow down your options.
Make Sure to Hire the Right Kind of Attorney
It’s a common misconception that any attorney can handle all types of cases. However, you wouldn’t want a divorce attorney handling your auto accident claim, would you? The same is true with criminal cases. And, cases involving federal charges require narrowing your criteria even more.
You want a criminal defense attorney, but you need one who is permitted to practice in a federal court. There are different rules and procedures in federal court versus state court. If you hire an attorney who primarily works on traffic offense misdemeanors, they likely don’t have the expertise to take on a serious federal crime.
Check the Attorney’s Background
It’s not that hard to check on an attorney’s background. There are several searches you can do that will shed more light on the attorney you are considering. You want to look at where the attorney went to school, do they have any public disciplinary actions against them, etc. You can look to see what other experience the attorney has. For example, do they speak on this area of the law? Do they write or teach on the topic?
Don’t Limit Yourself Geographically
While it would be nice to hire a criminal attorney close to your house, don’t limit your search just to who is the closest. What if you considered broadening your search to the next major city? You might end up finding out that there is the right criminal defense attorney who has over a decade of experience handling your type of case.
Ask About Rates Up Front
When you have an initial consultation, you should discuss the firm’s fees. Some attorneys charge by the hour, while others charge a flat fee. You may need to come up with a retainer as well. A reputable attorney will go over the entire fee structure with you so there are no surprises.
Don’t hold out hope of finding a flat-fee structure for federal cases. The flat-fee structure is commonly used in cases that require less work and aren’t at risk for lengthy jury trials. For example, traffic offense cases might be more likely to be billed out on a flat-fee schedule than a complex drug trafficking case involving multiple states.
Find a Good Communicator
Communication is one of the most important aspects of finding the right criminal defense attorney. You want someone you feel comfortable with and is easily reachable. If you had a hard time reaching the attorney for the initial consultation, imagine what might happen if you have questions during your case.
Contact a Federal Crimes Defense Attorney Today
Don’t delay on retaining an attorney if you believe you are under investigation for a federal crime. If you need a criminal lawyer in the Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, or Miami areas, contact Bruce L. Udolf, P.A. today to schedule a free case evaluation.