Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer is a very personal matter. You need to choose someone that you feel comfortable with and that you are confident will represent your best interests. While the attorney-client relationship is fundamentally professional, it will also be very personal - you will be dealing with issues that can have a tremendous impact on your personal life. As a result, it’s important to choose your criminal defense lawyer carefully.
Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Lauren Wimmer understands that choosing the right attorney may be one of the most important decisions you ever make. She works with her clients to make sure they are totally comfortable with every aspect of the representation with the goal of providing the very best service. Your future is at stake, and she works to make sure that you get the best possible outcome in your case. If you would like to speak with her about your case, contact Wimmer Criminal Defense Law at 215-712-1212 to schedule a free consultation.
The internet makes this step easy - you can search google for criminal defense attorneys in your area. Carefully read through their website, including the types of cases they handle (often listed under “practice areas”) and their blog section. You want to make sure that they have sufficient expertise in handling cases that involve the same charges as yours and practicing law in Pennsylvania’s criminal courts. You may also want to read the “about us” section, where you’ll find information regarding the attorney’s career experience. Some attorneys will post information regarding the results they’ve attained or news items regarding cases they have handled, which can also be helpful in helping you make your decision. You should also check the disciplinary record of any attorney you are considering, which you can do through the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Ask your friends and family if they know any criminal defense attorneys they would recommend you speak to. Be sure to ask plenty of questions -
It may be the case that your friends or family don’t know any criminal defense attorneys, but have a good relationship with a civil lawyer who can help you - they probably know a criminal defense lawyer that they can refer you to.
Many people think that if they take advantage of a lawyer's free consultation, they have effectively hired that lawyer. This is not the case. The free consultation is essentially an interview. It's an opportunity for you to meet the lawyer in person and get a sense of whether or not they would be a good fit. It's also an opportunity for the lawyer to get an understanding of what your case entails and whether they can help you.
Don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions during the consultation. Because criminal defense lawyers handle these kinds of cases every day, certain things may be obvious to them that are not obvious to you. In particular, don’t be shy about asking what they charge and how you will be billed for their services. The attorney should appreciate a potential client who wants to understand every facet of the representation, as it helps avoid misunderstandings later on.
You also want to try to get a sense of how much the attorney will rely on their staff to handle your case. Staff can be a benefit to your case, as their services are usually less expensive. However, you want to be sure that the attorney will always be aware of what is going on with your case, and that you can always communicate with them directly.
The best way to ensure that you choose the right lawyer is to meet with multiple attorneys (again, taking advantage of the free consultation) so that you can compare. After meeting with them, ask yourselves the following questions:
You can’t take advantage of the consultation if you’re unprepared. At best, you will get a very general sense of what the attorney can do for you. When you schedule the consultation, ask what information they will need from you and what documents you need to bring.
As a general rule, you should prepare for the consultation as follows:
Coming to the consultation prepared ensures that the meeting will be productive, which helps you choose the right attorney.
Under Pennsylvania law, a criminal conviction can have life-altering consequences. In addition to jail time and potential fines, your record will be available to the public. This means that, in addition to the embarrassment you experience, your conviction could also make it difficult to get a job. You don’t have to face your charges alone - protect your future by hiring an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Call Lauren Wimmer at 215-712-1212 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and discuss how we can help you.