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5 Questions to Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney

Posted Monday, January 15, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

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When you are facing criminal charges a lot is at stake. It is important that you hire a criminal defense attorney who is experienced and who you feel is a good fit with you and for your case. When you meet for a consultation, ask the following questions to help you gauge whether you should hire the attorney.

1. How long have you practiced criminal law?

You want to hire a criminal defense attorney with ample experience and a successful track record. Follow ups to this question include:

• How many jury trials have you done? What were the results of those trials?

• Have you successfully defended a client against the same or similar charges that I am facing?

Lizanne Padula has 20 years criminal law experience, 15 years as a criminal defense attorney and 5 years as a prosecutor. Lizanne’s previous work as a Prosecutor gives her special insight into how the Prosecutor in your case operates. She knows the tactics the government uses when bringing criminal charges. Her experience affords her insider information that greatly benefits her ability to build a strong defense against any criminal charges you are facing.

2. How do you handle plea bargains?

The fact is that the majority of criminal cases do not go to trial and are settled through negotiating a plea bargain. Negotiating a fair plea bargain with the prosecution is an art. It requires a careful evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case, of the prosecution’s case, and a calculation of the odds of winning or losing at trial.

You want to understand how the attorney approaches plea bargain negotiations. With your attorney you will have to consider the maximum punishment you may face if you lose at trial versus the punishment you will certainly face if you accept a plea bargain.

3. What is your preliminary assessment of my case?

Do not be afraid to ask a criminal defense attorney who you’re considering hiring what their preliminary evaluation of the case against you is. If the attorney is unclear about what sentence you could be facing, you may want to consult with other attorneys. If the attorney lists the defenses that are likely available to you and highlights issues with the prosecution’s case, then you may have found the right attorney for you.

4. What can I do to help my defense?

When you’re facing criminal charges your attorney cannot do it all for you. If you take an active role in your defense, you will have a better chance at securing the best possible outcome in your case.

For example, if you are facing DUI charges you could undergo an alcohol evaluation even before the court orders it. This approach gives you the opportunity to begin following any treatment plan and shows the court and the prosecutor that you are being proactive in handling your criminal case.

5. How much will my defense cost?

It is important to understand what costs you are facing, including attorneys’ fees, investigation costs, expert witness costs, and other costs that may come up during the course of your defense.

When evaluating the cost of your defense keep in mind the severe consequences of a criminal conviction, including possible incarceration, fines, having a criminal record, etc. Once the case is behind you, you will remember if you achieved a favorable result in your case, not the amount you spent on your defense. If you can, focus on hiring an attorney who can achieve the results you need.

Contact Us - Anytime, Day or Night

If you are facing criminal charges, your life and freedom are on the line. At Padula & Associates, LLC we understand what is at stake, and we will zealously defend you against any criminal charges filed against you.

The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC can help you fight the charges that have been filed against you. We answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer free consultations. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or contact us on the web to schedule your free consultation today.

Our firm handles State and Federal criminal cases throughout Washington State, including King, Snohomish, Pierce, and Lewis Counties.