What Should You Look for When Seeking to Retain a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Interviewer: Let’s say I put myself into a situation where there’s been an economic crime that’s been committed, and so I have to look for a lawyer. What kind of credentials should I be looking for when interviewing attorneys to possibly represent me?
Ask for Recommendations, Not Only from Past Clients but Also the Court Personnel
Jack O’Donnell: First, you should look into the numbers of years he or she has been an attorney. Ask about the numbers of years practicing criminal defense and the volume of cases that they handle.
I wouldn’t want someone who’s only occasionally in criminal court. You can walk around the courthouse and ask bail bondsmen, ask marshals, or ask other arrested parties which attorney is they would recommend. Generally there are a handful of names in any particular courthouse of people who are considered good.
I think my name would come up in more than a few of the courthouses in Connecticut.
What Should You Look Out for When Interviewing Attorneys?
Interviewer: What are some warning signs that I should be aware of when looking for attorneys? What are some red flags?
It Is Advisable to Be Wary of an Attorney That Makes Specific Guarantees
Jack O’Donnell: I would be wary if the attorney makes definitive guarantees. If they guarantee any of the following: That they can keep you out of jail, or if they guarantee they can win the case or if they guarantee they can get you a program, you would be well advised to be very skeptical of them.
The Most Worthwhile Guarantee Is If the Attorney Promises His or Her Best Efforts for Your Defense
All I ever guarantee is my best efforts, and from there the chances are quite good that they’re going to be very happy with the end result, but you should never guarantee anything, because that’s a sign that you’re making false promises.