When considering an attorney to defend you in a criminal case, it is important that you evaluate them under four different factors: Budget, background, experience, and jurisdiction.
Budget: Not all attorneys bill the same amount or rate. It is important that you are upfront with your budget. Once you identify your range, you can consider the other factors to determine which attorney of the selected group is best for you.
Background: This considers the attorney’s educational background. An attorney’s educational background is not just about where they went to law school but also what they did after they graduated. A lot of attorneys spend time in apprenticeships that give them the opportunity to learn about how specific parts of the law are practiced. Apprenticeships do not usually pay well, meaning that those who go through them are usually deeply and intellectually interested in the topics, as well as passionate.
Experience: Trial experience should be considered apart from the rest of an attorney’s background. Working with attorneys with good trial experience can help you get better outcomes not just in trials but also in negotiations. The attorney should not have a reputation for providing a weak defense or taking bad deals.
Jurisdiction: The jurisdiction in which you face charges is also an important factor that influences the choice of an attorney. Many state and federal courts exist in Florida, and there are always differences in how they handle criminal cases. The volume of cases each jurisdiction needs to process plays a big part; for example, courts and caseloads in Broward County simply cannot process things the same way as they might in Citrus or Levy County. There is no right or wrong way, but it is important that an attorney understands the differences. A prepared attorney will be able to guide you through the circumstances you can expect to face.