There are three primary types of criminal offenses; felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Criminal offense classifications are separated from each other by the seriousness of the offense and the punishment someone convicted can receive. In the U.S., every citizen charged with a criminal offense has the right to representation. But what does a criminal defense attorney do? And what should you look for in an excellent criminal defense attorney?
What Is A Criminal Defense Attorney?
There are two types of criminal defense attorneys, court-appointed attorneys, and private attorneys. The government pays court-appointed attorneys for defendants who can’t afford an attorney. Most court-appointed attorneys are public defenders or from a local panel of attorneys. Private attorneys are those hired by the convicted person or their family to represent them in court.
Is A Private Attorney Better Than A Court-Appointed Attorney?
The most significant difference between the two is that a private attorney has a higher incentive to do well because their business may suffer if they don’t. Another difference is a private attorney can keep their caseloads lower. Public defenders, who the government can give more cases regardless of their current load, usually have more cases and may rush through your case. But regardless, if you can’t afford a private attorney, it is essential to have a public criminal defense attorney to represent you in court.
What Is The Role Of A Criminal Defense Attorney?
The primary role of a criminal defense attorney is to be an advocate for the accused. Criminal defense attorneys build strong relationships with their clients. They will understand what the client’s legal needs are, provide counsel, and explain legal options.
You want a defense attorney you feel cares about protecting your interests.
Should You Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney?
You should hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your future. They can reduce charges, lessen penalties, and help you keep your job. Criminal defense attorneys can even find a way through evidence and legal rights to have a case dismissed.
What Is The Average Cost For A Criminal Defense Attorney?
Most criminal defense attorneys cost $150 to $700 an hour. Every case is different, and the number of hours it takes to build a defense and participate in court hearings varies. The average cost of all legal bills can be in the tens of thousands of dollars depending on the type of case. However, the attorneys at Philbrook Law Office offer fair flat fee rates, which ensure that legal costs remain fair and reasonable. Call our office for a free consultation.
What Should You Look For In A Criminal Defense Attorney?
It can be overwhelming to find an attorney if you’re charged with a criminal offense. Here is a quick list of the most important things to help narrow the list down.
- Experience in criminal defense. Look at the total years they have been practicing law, but also look at the number of years they have been practicing criminal defense law.
- Knowledge of the local legal system. State laws can differ from one another, so find an attorney with a wealth of knowledge about the legal system in the area you were convicted.
- Fees and payment process. It is crucial to understand how much an attorney is asking of you and learn of any other fees other than the hourly work they will do for you.
- Reviews from previous clients. Finding a personable attorney and you feel cares for your future is an essential aspect of hiring someone to advise and represent you in front of the law.
- Responsive to your inquiry. Time is of the essence when facing a criminal charge. You want an attorney that will respond quickly and not lose any time building your defense case.
Philbrook Law Office PS, Washington’s Top Attornies
It is essential to have a criminal defense attorney who is personable, compassionate, and sensitive to your financial situation. You want an attorney who knows the system and has experience getting results. At Philbrook Law Office, PS, our attorneys represent clients in several jury trials each year. We have represented clients charged with crimes from simple misdemeanors to complex felonies. Reach out to us if you would like to set up a meeting to see how we can help.
Founding Attorney Matthew Philbrook attended Clark College, Washington State University, and Gonzaga University School of Law. He is a member of the Washington State and Oregon State Bar Associations and started Philbrook Law Office in 2005. He specializes in Personal Injury, DUI and Criminal Defense cases. Learn more about Mr. Philbrook.