Teaming up with the right Virginia criminal defense lawyer is key
Teaming up with the right Virginia criminal defense lawyer is vital, says Fairfax lawyer
Teaming up with the right Virginia criminal defense lawyer is one of the most important choices you can make when accused of a Virginia DUI, misdemeanor or felony offense. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know how important this decision is and how valuable it is, early in the game, to make the time to find, interview and choose among the right lawyers for you. This endeavor is about best serving you, the Virginia criminal defendant. It is not about making your friends nor loved ones happy, impressed, nor feeling that they had a role in helping you find and choose your lawyer. You are the defendant facing risks to your liberty and reputation, not the ones around you.
Will my potential Virginia criminal lawyer be offended by my interviewing him in depth?
Teaming up with the right Virginia criminal lawyer starts with knowing if you can be a good fit together in the first place. That cannot be known without both of you finding out important information about each other and your potential chemistry together. If your potential lawyer balks at answering reasonable, relevant and probing questions from you in your initial meeting, do not expect that to change if you hire that same lawyer.
What drives your potential Virginia criminal lawyer to do this work, and how driven is s/he?
Too often I have heard lawyers, even good ones, talk about how the practice of law is all about earning money, and, insincerely, about how they are “living the dream”. Practicing criminal defense is a privilege, both to fight for the liberty and reputation of the lawyer’s client, and also to be defending the Bill of Rights along the way, including the Fourth Amendment right against unlawful searches and seizures, the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and to Due Process, and the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. Keep an eye on how passionate about these rights is the lawyer you might be teaming up with.
When you look your potential criminal defense lawyer directly in the eye, what do you see, feel and intuit?
Friends and promotions can tell you all they want about the lawyer they think you should be teaming up with. Nonetheless, an important part of choosing your lawyer is to know how well you will or will not work one-on-one, including while needing to investigate and analyze even for needles in a haystack, knowing what you as the defendant uniquely know, and poring over hundreds of pages of evidence and legal authorities. Will your lawyer fully be engaged with you and your cause and with obtaining the best possible result for you as you define that path? Do you feel comfortable with the lawyer, and does the lawyer feel comfortable with you? Does the lawyer look you directly in the eye, or look away and disengage. Can you feel grounded with your lawyer through the thick and thin of the fight for your rights?
Why do so many former prosecutors claim you need to be teaming up with a former prosecutor, when the stock in trade of so many prosecutors is often to work to detain people pretrial; to pursue convictions even countervailing evidence raises questions about the defendant’s culpability and responsibility for the alleged crime; and to advocate for harsher sentences than needed? Switching from being a prosecutor to a criminal defense lawyer is like receiving an organ transplant; transplants do not always succeed. The criminal defense lawyer who has successfully pursued that path for years has already taken to this path.
How and where do I find the right criminal defense lawyer for me?
You may wish to start at my choosing a lawyer article and free webinar for finding the right lawyer to be teaming up with. Each Virginia criminal defendant’s case is unique and calls for the right lawyer for that defense and that defendant. Beware when a lawyer you interview pressures you to hire him, badmouths colleagues, or dismisses matters that are important to you. None of that is focused on your own goals and needs. Make sure that the positive image the lawyer presents at your first meeting will be his or her consistent approach rather than a sales pitch.
After teaming up with my attorney, what can I do to help my criminal lawyer shine for my defense?
Even though you are paying for your lawyer, that does not make your teaming up with that lawyer a one-way street. Teamwork takes work by both of you. The more faith you have in your lawyer to do the right thing for you, the less your will try to micromanage your lawyer and the more you will work together for winning breakthroughs. Now go out there, find the right lawyer for you, and pursue your best possible defense together.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz believes strongly in teaming up with his clients in pursuing the best possible approach against Virginia DUI, misdemeanor and felony prosecutions. Find out the positive difference that Jon Katz can make for your defense by calling 703-383-1100 for a free in-person consultation with Jon about your court-pending case.