No two attorneys are exactly alike. Each attorney brings their education, background, experience, and personality that is unique. For that reason, there are many factors to consider when hiring a criminal defense attorney. When you’re researching how to hire a criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis, it can become overwhelming. Know that your choice is important, as your legal counsel could play a pivotal role in your acquittal or conviction. If you are unsure how to hire a defense attorney, it is helpful to remember that most firms offer a free consultation.
It is vital that you identify the attorney that will put you in the best position to obtain a favorable outcome in your case. In some instances, your attorney could negotiate a dismissal of the charges against you or win an acquittal at trial. The right attorney could maximize your chances of getting the favorable outcome you deserve. Contact a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer at Gerald Miller right away to learn more.
Seek Out an Experienced Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney
One of the first things to look for in hiring a criminal defense attorney should be experienced. However, not all experience is created equally. A long track record of practicing law is nice, only in when that experience involves criminal cases similar to yours. After all, an attorney who has only practiced estate planning law during their career may not have much to offer your defense—even if they have been actively practicing law for decades.
Criminal experience is important, but experience with cases similar to yours should be a priority. Many attorneys largely focus on a specific area of criminal law. It is helpful to know if your prospective attorney has defended the charge you are currently facing or not. If they have handled a similar case before, you can ask them about their approach during your initial consultation.
Read Online Reviews and Case Results
While online reviews should be taken in context, they could provide insight into the satisfaction that clients have with your prospective attorney. After all, the views of a previous client could be invaluable in many cases. Some online reviews—like those collected by Google—often provide a trove of insight into the way your attorney practices law.
Another good option for determining how to hire a defense attorney is to review the case results on a prospective attorney’s website. Many law firms now provide detailed breakdowns of their successes online. This information could not only show you that the firm is successful, but also that they have experience handling cases similar to yours. The more experience a firm has with cases that have similar fact patterns to your own, the more likely you are to benefit from that experience.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller are proud of our track record of success. In fact, you can review the outcome of some of our recent cases on our website. Our case results page outline the county where the case was filed, the charge our clients faced, and the disposition of that case. You could learn about how we resolve cases that are similar to yours, which could include everything from securing a dismissal to obtaining an acquittal at trial.
Review a Firm’s Awards and Recognitions
If you are wondering how to hire a defense attorney, it is also helpful to know what the community at large thinks of a defense law firm outside of their previous clients. Some attorneys are active in the community, providing legal advice or building relationships with their neighbors. Other attorneys receive awards from state or national groups based on their excellence in advocating for the accused. While awards and recognitions should not be your sole basis for hiring an attorney, they are a helpful look into how others view the work your prospective attorney has done.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller are proud of our accomplishments and the recognition our work has brought us. Our firm has secured a number of awards over the years, including:
- ASLA Top 100 Lawyers (2015)
- Minnesota Law and Politics – Who’s Who in Criminal Defense
- Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
- NAFDD – Superior Rating
- NACD – Nation’s Top 100 Attorneys
- MPLS St Paul – State’s Top Attorneys (2014)
- National Trial Lawyers Top 100
- BirdEye – Best Business 2019
- Member – American Institute of Defense Attorneys
- Member – American Bar Association
While we are proud of the recognition we have received, we believe our results speak for themselves. If you are ready to learn how the attorneys of Gerald Miller could provide you with the strongest possible defense, contact us right away.
Value Local Minneapolis and Minnesota Knowledge
It is also helpful to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in your jurisdiction. Every court is different. In fact, some courts only a few miles apart could have dramatically different procedures, likely outcomes, and unwritten rules.
Having an attorney that has had success in the court where your charges lie can benefit you tremendously. They could help you understand what to expect from a judge during sentencing or help you weigh a settlement offer. This type of knowledge is invaluable to anyone facing a criminal charge.
Key In On Communication
When you hire an attorney to defend you against a criminal charge, it is understandable if you have a lot of questions. Not only do you deserve an attorney that will advocate on your behalf, you also deserve one that will keep you up to date on your case. For that reason, finding an attorney that is a strong communicator can benefit you.
Communication goes beyond just returning your call in a reasonable amount of time. You also deserve to know if you will have direct contact with the attorney you hired. In some cases, you may never talk to the attorney you met with during your consultation again if they hand off the case to an associate.
Find an Attorney You Mesh With in Minneapolis
Criminal cases can take months to resolve. During that time, you can expect to be in close proximity to your attorney. For that reason, it is helpful if you get along with your legal counsel on a personal level. Personality conflicts could take the focus off of your defense and hinder your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
Your initial impression of an attorney is often the right one. While skill and experience are vital, it is also important to trust your instincts about whether you can work closely with an attorney for an extended period of time.
You could get a feel for an attorney during the course of an initial consultation. In many cases, you could determine in short order whether a prospective attorney is a good fit or if they rub you the wrong way. You need every advantage you can get when facing criminal charges, and having an attorney you trust and get along with is helpful.
Discuss Legal Fees Upfront
One of the ways an otherwise-strong relationship between an attorney and a client could break down is a disagreement over legal fees. When the expectations of the attorney and the client differ, conflicts can quickly arise. It is possible to avoid these conflicts by setting out the terms of legal representation upfront.
The best time to discuss an attorney’s fees is before you hire them. This will set expectations for the attorney and client alike and help eliminate the risk of a misunderstanding down the line.
Our legal fees are just one of the important issues you could discuss with the attorneys of Gerald Miller during your free case evaluation. We could not only answer your questions about our fee structure but also discuss the specifics of your case as well. The initial consultation with our firm is always free and there is no obligation once the case evaluation comes to an end.
Talk to a Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney at Gerald Miller
Many of the factors in your criminal case will be out of your control Researching how to hire a criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis is one of the most important factors within your control. The state will determine who prosecutes your offense, and you will have no say in your judge either. Your choice of an attorney is one area where you have the final decision.
By carefully choosing your criminal defense attorney, you could ensure that you maximize your odds of a favorable outcome at trial. Reach out to the attorneys of Gerald Miller right away to schedule your free consultation.
Originally published February 12, 2021 and updated October 30, 2021.