Houston is the largest city in Texas, said to have an estimated population of 2,304,580. Overall, Houston is safe, and most crimes occur in sketchy neighborhoods. However, if you are booked under DUI or any other criminal charge, you should immediately hire a Houston criminal defense attorney to handle your case.
There are hundreds of attorneys in Houston, and it can be difficult to choose the right one. Here are things to look for when finding a criminal attorney.
Look for an Attorney Who Specializes in Your Charges
Criminal law is a highly specialized area covering different types of crimes against a person, property, white-collar crimes, hate crimes, etc.
You need to look for a lawyer who specializes in your charges. For example, if you are charged with DUI, you need to look for a DUI defense lawyer. Selecting a lawyer specializing in your charges increases your chances of winning the case. The DUI accidents rate is relatively high in Houston.
A report mentions since 2010, Houston city has recorded more than 5000 impaired driving accidents annually.
Look for a Lawyer With Experience in Local Courts
As per recent data, the annual crime rate in Houston stands at 55.87. When you are fighting criminal charges, you need to look for a lawyer with experience in local courts. Legal experts mention local relationships and connections can go a long way when fighting a criminal charge.
Each court and the judge have their way of doing things. Knowing the ins and outs of the court where the lawyer will be defending you will help the lawyer create a winning strategy.
Check Lawyer’s Reputation
When searching for a Houston criminal defense attorney and researching prospective lawyers, don’t forget to check reputable sources. For example, you can check for the online reviews about the attorney and visit the Houston bar association website to find out about any disciplinary actions against the lawyer.
Make sure you read the reviews on social media platforms, as these platforms do not let the attorneys remove bad reviews.
Check the Fee Structure
Lawyers in Houston charge between $199 to $350 per hour, but some may charge more. Hence, it is always good to know what charges you have to pay the lawyer to defend you in court. Costs generally vary with specialization, experience, and track record.
Besides lawyer fees per hour, you may also have to pay for court fees and other documentation charges related to filing the case and collecting evidence to support your innocence.
Look at Their Courtroom Confidence
When you meet the attorney and discuss your criminal charges, the lawyer should be able to tell you about possible and likely penalties for the criminal charges against you. An expert criminal lawyer will have a certain level of comfort and familiarity with the criminal justice system and the laws about your charges.
Courtroom confidence is crucial for the lawyer, and they have few seconds to raise an objection that could impact the case outcome. So, make sure the attorney is comfortable and confident about the court hearing.
In this case, you can apply the adage – don’t judge the book by its cover. If the attorney is confident and well-spoken when meeting you, it does not mean they will behave similarly in court.
When searching for a criminal lawyer in Houston, these are five things to look.