The Top Criminal Defense Attorneys Have Similar Characteristics.
All lawyers are not the same, and different attorneys can achieve different results. The top retained criminal defense lawyers will have a reputation for achieving extraordinary results.
What Makes a Highly Respected, Great Criminal Defense Lawyer?
A defense lawyer’s role is to protect their client’s legal interests and advise and counsel a client during a pending case. This role encompasses all aspects of a client’s interests. A defense lawyer must step in between the government and the client, ensure the government acts appropriately, follows the rules, and not trample on a defendant’s rights. A defense lawyer should never shrink from a fight with the government and must have the guts to go to bat for a client who is virtually helpless against the government without a lawyer. The government has almost unlimited resources, and without a fearless lawyer by their side, the government would easily overwhelm a defendant. In short, the defense lawyer’s job is to obtain the best possible result for the client, including getting all charges dismissed if possible and doing whatever is necessary to help the client avoid jail or prison. If you face criminal charges and you’re wondering, “Is it worth hiring a criminal defense lawyer?” the answer is “definitely yes.”
“I’m Accused of Doing Something Pretty Bad. Will my Lawyer Still Do Their Best?”
It is natural and human for a defense attorney sometimes to have an aversion to the alleged crime committed by a client. But the best lawyers know how to put that aside and do their best, even for a client that may have done something wrong. In fact, putting aside personal feelings comes naturally to the best lawyers, who really don’t even have to think about it. Everyone has heard the familiar question put to attorneys: How can you defend someone like that? The answer of an experienced, reputable, and top-rated attorney is: “That’s my job, and I have no problem with it.” The best attorneys never internalize the alleged crime or harbor resentment against a client.
A seasoned defense attorney has seen clients who have made a terrible mistake. On the other hand, an experienced defense lawyer knows that prosecutors frequently try to gain an unfair advantage in court, police officers often exaggerate evidence or hide favorable facts, and judges frequently take sentences to the extreme and ignore mitigating facts. In any case, a great lawyer can find a way to fight for and protect every client, regardless of the allegations.
Why Are Lawyers Called Attorneys and Counselors?
Attorneys are more than people who fill out forms and file documents with the court. Of course, this is part of it, but as the title indicates, attorneys should also be the most trusted counselors and advisors a defendant can have. The best attorneys give moral support and comfort to people in perhaps the most challenging time of their lives, possibly facing jail and a loss of their reputation and employment, maybe more. Doing an excellent job in court and fending off the government is what the public sees. What is unseen are the after-hours telephone calls and the conversations giving comfort, hope, and advice on a personal level before and after the time in court. The attorney may communicate with the client’s family when the client can not communicate, and the attorney affirms the client’s humanity when the client feels the entire world is against them. When deciding whether hiring a criminal defense lawyer is worthwhile, you should determine if the lawyer is willing to talk with you, answer your questions, and work with you to develop a winning strategy.
Are Court-Appointed Attorneys as Good as Retained Criminal Defense Lawyers?
Many good attorneys take court-appointed cases. The question is whether they will spend the time and effort needed to do everything possible to defend a client in court and to counsel a client outside of court to the extent the client needs it. The answer is, very often, “no.” The attorney handling a court-appointed case has diminished resources compared to a retained attorney. They typically are not paid for many efforts they should be taking, such as doing thorough research on issues in the case, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining expert witnesses when they are needed, to name a few. Failure to do everything necessary is a recipe for a bad result in court. Faced with a lack of funds and not being paid to do many critical tasks, a court-appointed attorney will naturally be tempted to arrange a plea bargain and wrap up the case quickly. This is not to say a court-appointed attorney will always “sell you down the river,” but they will indeed be tempted to try to end the case as quickly as possible. This can never be in the client’s best interest. One thing is clear; the only way to choose the best lawyer for you is to hire someone privately.
You might be trying to decide if it is worth spending the money and hiring a criminal defense lawyer. The best way to determine the answer is to talk with a retained defense lawyer and see what they say. You will want to ask about their reputation, track record, experience, methodology of defending clients, and attorney fees.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Criminal Defense Attorneys
What is the ultimate goal of a criminal defense attorney?
The ultimate goal of a criminal defense attorney is to protect their client’s rights. To protect their rights, the attorney must zealously defend them in and out of court, challenge the government’s evidence, and provide their client with clear, transparent, and honest advice and counsel.
Who is a defense lawyer’s loyalty to?
First and foremost, a defense lawyer owes a duty to their client. Under Michigan’s ethical rules, a defense attorney also has a duty to the Court and society.
What are the three major categories of defense attorneys?
The three main categories of criminal defense attorneys are:
- Retained – Privately hired by the accused to provide the highest-possible caliber of criminal defense.
- Court-Appointed – Appointed by a court or judge to defend an indigent defendant.
- Contract System or Public Defender’s Office – Some jurisdictions contract with defense attorneys to defend indigent defendants for a flat fee or set hourly rate.
Why do defense attorneys defend guilty clients?
The U.S. Constitution assures every citizen due process and the right to legal counsel. Lawyers are bound to deliver this legal right to their clients regardless of their culpability. Without zealous and fearless criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors and police officers would have little incentive to protect a defendant’s rights. Also, people are often over-charged or falsely charged. The fair administration of justice is guaranteed because of the dedication and commitment of criminal defense attorneys.
Is it worth hiring a criminal defense lawyer?
Someone accused of a crime is at significant risk and needs the protection of a loyal, tenacious criminal defense attorney. A criminal conviction’s direct and collateral consequences can be dire and life-changing. The only way to guarantee a lawyer of the defendant’s choosing is to hire a criminal defense attorney. Furthermore, someone accused of a crime has no right to an appointed attorney until they are charged in court. If hired early enough, a retained attorney can often stop charges before they are filed in a court of law.
Should you tell your defense attorney the truth?
To ensure your attorney can properly evaluate your situation based on the law, providing them with all relevant information is crucial.
Can a defense attorney defend someone they know is guilty?
A criminal lawyer can defend someone they know is guilty as long as they do not lie or knowingly mislead the court. Most people who face felony or misdemeanor criminal charges do not want to fight a case through a trial. Usually, a defense attorney’s mission is to negotiate the best possible plea bargain (including seeking dismissed charges) and ensure their client gets a lenient sentence.
If you decide it is worth hiring a criminal defense attorney, how do you choose the right one?
When facing a legal case, choosing the right criminal defense attorney is a crucial decision that can significantly affect the outcome. It’s vital to consider the attorney’s experience and expertise in the specific area of criminal law relevant to your case. Meeting with potential attorneys for a consultation can give you an idea of their communication style, approach, and understanding of your unique situation. Additionally, researching their reputation, success rate, and client feedback can be helpful. It’s also important to discuss and understand their fee structures and affordability. Selecting an attorney you feel comfortable and confident with and who clearly commits to your case is essential in navigating the legal process and achieving the best possible outcome.
The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys and Counselors
The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties, and throughout Southeastern Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client. If achieving the best possible outcome, including the possibility of a dismissal of charges and avoiding jail, is essential, there is no doubt that it is worth hiring a great criminal defense lawyer.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.