Having to hire a criminal lawyer might be one of the most difficult things you will have to do. On top of being sad or upset because your teenager has been arrested and charged with a crime, you keep wondering if you will be able to find the right criminal lawyer to represent them.
Here are a few tips to help you find the criminal lawyer you and your teenager need during this difficult period.
1. Search for a criminal lawyer working in your area
Of course, the first thing you should do is search for a criminal lawyer who works in your area. This is important, because you want to be certain your teenager’s lawyer will have a deep knowledge of the criminal law and court proceedings in your province.
Go online to search for criminal lawyers, or ask a local organization for help and advice. You should be able to make a short list of potential criminal lawyers.
2. Search for a criminal lawyer who specializes in representing young offenders
Not all criminal lawyers are used to representing young offenders. Search for a criminal lawyer who has a deep knowledge of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, as well as a lot of experience with representing teenagers who have been charged with a crime.
Find at least two or three criminal lawyers who are used to working with young offenders before you learn more about them, their practice and their experience.
3. Meet with at least two criminal lawyers
Many lawyers offer a free initial consultation for their clients, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity to get to know them better. Schedule a consultation with at least two different criminal lawyers so you can compare them and make the right choice.
When you meet with a lawyer, tell them about the case of your teenager, but don’t hesitate to ask them a lot of questions about their qualifications, their experience, and their work representing young offenders on similar cases.
4. Honesty is primordial
One of the most important qualities you should look for in a criminal lawyer is honesty. Of course, you wish the charges against your teenager could be dropped and that this whole story could be just a misunderstanding. However, you need a lawyer who will tell you the truth, no matter what the truth is.
Your teenager’s criminal lawyer should tell you what is going on with the case at all times, without making any false promises.
5. Expect clear communication
You also need a criminal lawyer who will return your calls or emails quickly, and will be great at explaining you what is going on with the case and providing you with clear advice.
If the criminal lawyer you meet with doesn’t seem interested in your teenager’s case, or if you have a hard time understanding the advice they are giving you, you should look for another lawyer. Clear and prompt communication can make a difference in the way your teenager’s case will be handled.
6. Cost is an important factor to consider
We all tend to assume that the lawyer asking for the lowest price is not a very good lawyer, and that the one asking for the highest price will be the best one. This is not necessarily the case.
When you meet with a potential criminal lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask them about their fees. Compare this information with their experience with similar cases and with the way you were treated during this initial consultation. You should be able to make the best choice for your teenager.