Criminal cases in New Jersey usually have serious sentences. It is therefore important that you get the right criminal attorney. There are several questions that you should ask NJ criminal attorneys to ensure you get the right one.
What is your area of specialization? Although all attorneys are trained and licensed to practice in all fields of law, they often specialize in different fields. There are divorce attorneys, criminal attorneys, environmental attorneys, corporate attorneys, and attorneys in several other fields. Go for an attorney who specializes in criminal law. You could even dig deeper and find an attorney who specializes in exactly what you are charged with, such as an attorney specializing in sexual assault cases if that is what you are charged with.
What are your qualifications? Go for an attorney who is qualified to practice law. The best attorney is one who went to an accredited institution. The attorney should be a member of the New Jersey Bar Association and should be affiliated with local and national criminal/trial attorney professional bodies such as the Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys of New Jersey. Go for an attorney who has features in such magazines and shows as The American Attorney and 60 Minutes II. The attorney should be licensed so that you are protected in case of malpractice.
How long have you been practicing? Go for an attorney who has been practicing for several years since such an attorney will have learnt from his/her mistakes and from the mistakes and successes of others. You can consider yourself lucky if you find an attorney who has practiced as a public defender, who has been a lecturer, and/or who has or is a legal analyst since such criminal attorneys will have plenty of important exposure.
How many cases have you won? Experience is not enough when looking for criminal attorneys. A good criminal attorney is one who has won most of the cases he/she has tried. You could get a portfolio from the attorney and call past clients for tips if the attorney is credible and reliable.
Where do you practice? Go for an attorney who is based near where you live since this will give you unparalleled convenience and will save you money on transport. Consider going for an attorney who visits his/her clients. How much do you charge? Go for an attorney who offers free consultation. This is important because such an attorney will determine the merit of your case so that you can take the necessary action (such as taking a plea bargain if you have little chance of winning).
What is your current workload? You should go for NJ criminal attorneys who do not have too much on their in-trays since an attorney who is too busy would not give 100% to your case. What is the size of your practice? A good attorney is one who is a member of a law firm or who has a big practice. Law firms and big practices have the necessary resources such as paralegals, conference facilities, and libraries.