When you’re facing criminal charges, it can easily feel like the world is against you. Not only will you likely be taken to jail and have your freedom temporarily taken from you, but you’ll also have to deal with police questioning, a pending court case, and cope with questions from your friends, family members, and possibly your employer, too. To make sure you don’t have to face everything alone, it’s best to consult with an attorney.

1. Start Local

First, start your search locally. A local lawyer will always be better prepared to handle your local charges. For one, they’ll be well-versed in the local and state laws that apply in your area. For another, they’ll have experience working with others who frequently work in your local courtroom. This includes potential prosecutors, judges, and more. What’s more, they’ll be more available to meet with you and discuss your situation. It’s very rare for a lawyer to travel out of state or to a different area to represent a client.

2. Know What Type of Lawyer You Need

Criminal defense might seem like a very specific area of the law, but you’d be surprised just how broad the law really is when you start to research it. You’ll want to find a criminal defense lawyer who has experience dealing with the specific charges you’re handling. After all, having a lawyer who has handled multiple murder cases won’t help you all that much if you need help navigating international drug trafficking charges. Once you know your charges, look for a lawyer who deals specifically with those types of cases.

3. Check Past Reviews

Next, check the past reviews associated with the lawyer. Past reviews from clients can reveal potential issues like problems communicating with clients, not being effective at securing good legal outcomes, or not being personable with clients. The last thing you want is to hire a lawyer who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Avoid that by not hiring any lawyer who has a plethora of bad online reviews.

4. Schedule a Meeting

Finally, schedule a meeting with the lawyer to learn more about their personality, communication style, law firm, and availability. Some lawyers take on cases but then hand them off to other individuals in the firm. If that’s not an arrangement that works for you, then be sure to ask your lawyer about their availability and whether they’ll personally be handling the details of your case.

Are You Facing Criminal Charges?

If you’re facing criminal charges, then it’s almost always in your best interests to consult with a lawyer before you enter into a plea or make a decision on how to handle your charges. The right legal representative will be your best advocate when it comes to upholding your legal rights, helping you determine your legal options, and making good choices moving forward.

Your lawyer won’t just help you handle your charges, though. They’ll also ensure you don’t implicate yourself during the police investigation, defend you in court, and help connect you with the support you need to move forward.