Finding Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers
7 Tips for Finding the Best Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers
Tips for Finding the Best Criminal Lawyer in Sydney
One of the most important steps in criminal defence is selecting the right lawyer from a plethora of Sydney criminal defence lawyers. This selection could be the difference between paying a fine or a jail sentence.
For an aggravated assault or a fraud charge, there is a strong possibility of serving time in jail. A reputable and experienced defence lawyer is required to help secure the best legal outcome.
There are a number of factors that should be considered when evaluating Sydney criminal defence lawyers. Read on for 7 tips to utilize when selecting from amongst the best Sydney criminal defence lawyers.
1) Seek Out Referrals for Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers
One of the most important traits for a criminal defence lawyer to possess is trust. The best way to foster a trusting client-lawyer relationship is through a personal referral.
Query friends and family to see who had a positive experience with a criminal defence lawyer. Use this list of referrals as a starting point for a personal search.
Ask these friends and family members specific questions before acting on the referral. Did the legal fees meet expectations or were there any unexpected expenses? Did the lawyer secure a positive legal outcome?
2) Research Online Reviews of Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers
Relying on the advice of friends and family alone is not enough. Instead, supplement personal referrals with vigorous online research.
Online reviews provide a broad range of commentary on criminal defence lawyers. There will be plentiful information about legal fee structures, client-lawyer relationships, legal outcomes, and more.
Most importantly, a client can learn from the online community’s positive and negative experiences. One area that it can help is setting a budget. Online reviews often detail how much is spent on a lawyer for a specific charge.
3) Take Advantage of Free Consultation Offers
This step in the search process can provide answers to many questions. First off, the lawyer or firm will inform the client what type of lawyer is needed.
The type of lawyer required could come in many different forms. The situation at hand may drive the need for a civil lawyer as opposed to criminal defence.
There are many different legal specializations as well. For instance, law firms may set the client up with an expert in identity theft.
Lastly, the client is afforded the opportunity to ask a wide array of questions. These questions may be centred around fee structure, experience, sentencing, and legal risks.
Ultimately, there are no limits to the questions posed. A legal consultation will answer many questions and move the client closer to hiring a lawyer.
4) Ensure That the Lawyer Has Pertinent Court Room Experience
This is perhaps the most important evaluation factor for Sydney criminal defence lawyers. A personal referral or online review is helpful, but it may not be applicable to the charge at hand.
Asking about experience is a great question for a legal consultation. The client should inquire about specifics pertaining to the filed charge.
First, the client should ask if the assigned lawyer has courtroom experience. If the client has a complex legal situation, it is not ideal to be represented by a rookie before the judge.
Second, the lawyer should outline his or her experience specific to the charge. For example, a client charged with drink driving should retain a lawyer with courtroom experience in this area.
5) Does the Lawyer Fit Within Your Budget?
Experience and reputation do not matter if the lawyer is affordable. It is typical for the best lawyers to charge more than other less reputable options.
The free consultation is the perfect opportunity to determine whether the lawyer meets budgetary limits. The client should ask specific questions so there are no surprises down the road.
Ask the lawyer for a breakout of the rate structure. Does the lawyer charge by the hour or is there a fixed fee?
Another important question is whether there is a retainer fee. A retainer is a down payment for legal services. The lawyer will expense against the retainer fee as long as possible.
In most cases, once the retainer account is empty, the lawyer will start charging the client hourly. The balance may be due at the end of the case, but in some cases, the lawyer may collect progress payments.
Whether or not there is a retainer fee is critical for some clients. Some do not have the cash on hand to make an immediate down payment. These clients are looking for a payment plan and may need to find representation elsewhere.
In addition to a payment schedule, clients are wise to request a complete estimate. This estimate reduces the possibility of any financial surprises occurring.
6) What Are the Prospects of Success?
A client should select a lawyer who believes in the case and is confident of the best legal outcome. At the same time, the lawyer must be honest and inform the client of all legal risks.
If a negative outcome is likely, the defence lawyer should be upfront about these expectations. An honest evaluation of the client’s legal situation is important.
7) Make Sure There Is a Good Client-Lawyer Chemistry
This is another area where the consultation comes in handy. The consultation is an opportunity to see if a positive client-lawyer relationship is possible.
Chemistry should be evident during the face-to-face meeting. There are no dumb legal questions and the client should not be afraid to ask anything.
The lawyer should be open to questions and explain the law in layman’s terms so the client understands. Continued communication between client and lawyer is a must, with the lawyer having a receptive office staff and promptly returning calls.
Wrapping It Up
Selecting a lawyer is one of the few things that a client is responsible for. Once the legal team is assembled, the client hands the keys over to the lawyer.
For this reason, the importance of selecting an effective lawyer cannot be understated. There are many steps a client should take during this process from research to setting up a consultation.
At the end of the day, the selected lawyer must be reputable, experienced, and an honest broker. For more tips on evaluating Sydney criminal defence lawyers, please contact us for assistance on (02) 9533 2269.
Brigitte Simeonides & Associates – Criminal Lawyers Sydney
Call - (02) 9533 2269
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