When you’re facing criminal charges, it can feel like your whole world is upside down. This is a very serious and stressful time for any individual. During this time, you might be feeling numerous emotions such as fear and loneliness, unable to predict what comes next. When it comes to fighting for your freedom and proving your innocence, you need a skilled and reputable criminal defense attorney on your side. But hiring a lawyer can be an overwhelming process, especially if you don’t know where to start or what to look for. You may not realize it, but there are important factors to consider when choosing a lawyer. Choosing the right attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you choose wisely and avoid common mistakes.

1. Experience Level

For an individual being accused of a crime, finding the right lawyer to defend them is critical. A criminal defense case can have serious consequences, including jail time and loss of freedom. Choosing an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure positive results in an individual’s case. People need a skilled criminal defense lawyer on their side who knows what they’re doing. An experienced lawyer with a proven track record of success in these types of cases can make all the difference.

How many years of experience do they have?

Years of experience matter when hiring an attorney. An experienced lawyer knows the ins and outs of the law and will be able to guide their client(s) through the legal process, protecting their rights every step of the way.

Have they handled cases like yours before? If so, how many?

Hiring an attorney with experience handling cases similar to the one their client is facing is also important because they will have a better understanding of how to approach their client’s case and will know what strategies could lead to a favorable outcome for them.

Do they have experience navigating local courts?

Attorneys who have experience navigating local courts will have established connections and will be familiar with other local attorneys and judges in their client’s case, which is a huge advantage.

Asking and finding the answers to these questions will ensure an individual chooses a skilled attorney in Vancouver, WA, to defend their case.

2. Asking for Referrals and Checking for References

Checking for references and asking for referrals are two key ways for individuals to ensure that they’re hiring the best possible attorney for their needs. References can give individuals an idea of how an attorney performs in a real-world setting, while referrals can help them connect with attorneys who have a good reputation.

When researching criminal defense attorneys, a good place to start is by reading their online reviews. Individuals can also ask for referrals from friends, family, or co-workers who have had a good experience with a criminal defense attorney. It’s important for people to always check for references before hiring an attorney. References are a great way to get honest feedback about attorneys’ abilities and performance.

3. Researching Reputation

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an attorney, and one of the most important is reputation. But what does reputation mean when it comes to attorneys?

A lawyer’s reputation is a synthesis of demonstrated ability, effort, and integrity, as well as the results achieved in court. There is no better measure of a professional’s reputation than peer review. Martindale-Hubbell is a  firm that has conducted surveys for over a century, asking lawyers to rate each other on a scale of “A,” “B,” “C,” or “no rating,” factoring both a professional’s legal ability and integrity. If a lawyer has an “AV” rating, it means that he or she has a reputation for excellence. Steve Thayer has been “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell for over 20 years.

There are good lawyers, and then there are exceptional lawyers. Exceptional lawyers are easily identified by the success they have achieved in defending their cases and the recognition they have received from their peers. For example, Washington Law And Politics Magazine conduct an annual pole called Super Lawyers. The lawyers in the state of Washington vote for the very best of the best. Those who receive this recognition are voted “Super Lawyers.” Steve Thayer is not only “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, but has been voted by his peers as a Super Lawyer for many, many years. This recognition ensures that you are not only hiring a good lawyer but one who is exceptional.

Call Criminal Defense Attorney, Steven W. Thayer, P.S.

For 46+ years, Steve Thayer has practiced as a criminal defense lawyer and DUI attorney in Vancouver, Washington. He has dedicated his career to protecting people who have been persecuted by the police and prosecuted by the government in Clark County and throughout the state of Washington. Call the office today for a free initial consultation, and learn how Steve and Jacy Thayer can help you.