A 2017 study showed that there may be as many as 19 million Americans with a felony conviction.

Behind statistics like these are countless broken families, criminal records, and damaged lives. A conviction can spell disaster for hopes and dreams, and courts can often hand them down for seemingly trivial offenses.

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, the best way to escape this fate is to hire a capable criminal lawyer.

Read on to find out about the key things you should look for when hiring a criminal defense attorney

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

No two criminal defense attorneys are the same. The law is a complicated thing, and there are many different approaches to it that can find success.

However, there are some things that a criminal defense attorney must have to compete at the highest level. We’ve looked at some of these essential qualities here.

Confidence in the Courtroom

In criminal law, a huge part of the job is the ability of the lawyer to put forward a believable case. Good courtroom attorneys can win even the least promising cases by putting on a show for the judge and jury.

Remember, to end up with a conviction, the prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. All a good defense lawyer has to do is credibly present such a doubt to the jury and you’ll walk free.

Negotiation Skills

Did you know that many criminal cases never see the inside of a courtroom? If you can negotiate a plea bargain, you may be able to walk away with a reduced sentence and avoid the stress of a trial.

However, this will largely depend on how good your lawyer is at cutting deals. Unless they have a lot of experience with these matters and know a good deal when they see one, you might be better off taking your chances in front of a judge.

Compassion

Legal acumen is hugely important; it’s the basic requirement for any lawyer. However, in criminal cases, a lawyer needs to have an appreciation for their clients’ human side.

When you stand accused of a crime, there will be moments in which you feel afraid and confused. A good criminal lawyer will work with you at these times, keeping your spirits as high as possible.

Giving Yourself a Fighting Chance

Being charged with a crime is a difficult process. You are likely to feel frightened and uncertain, and worry about what the future might hold.

However, it’s important to remember that a charge isn’t the same thing as a conviction. To give yourself the best possible chance of walking away without a conviction, you need to find a good criminal defense attorney.

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