Arizona is a big state with a higher crime rate than the national average, which means two things: that there are many people searching for legal help who have been charged with crimes, and that there are many criminal defense lawyers who are available to help them. According to the American Bar Association, Arizona has nearly 24,000 licensed lawyers, making it the state with the 17th highest number of attorneys in the U.S. (not all of those are criminal lawyers, but a sizable portion are!).
If you have been arrested or accused of a crime – a violent crime, a property crime, a white-collar crime, a drug-related crime, a DUI, or something else – then you have many, many options for legal representation! However, you may be so overwhelmed by the charges and by the many options available to you that you may not even know where to start. It’s obvious that having a good lawyer is important if you want to put this behind you and get your charges reduced or dismissed, but how do you know how to find the best criminal defense lawyer when everyone’s billboard and website claims to be the best? What are you supposed to look for? How do you find an attorney who you can feel confident entrusting something so serious to (which is, really, your future)?
Here are a few tips that can help you choose the right criminal defense lawyer in Arizona:
Find someone local, with experience.
In today’s day and age, many criminal attorneys are able to practice virtually, but it’s likely going to be better for you to choose a law firm in your city or region. They will be more familiar with the local laws, court system, and judges you will be interacting with, and will be able to physically represent you if you need to make court appearances.
The lawyer you choose also needs to have extensive experience practicing law – the more, the better! Everyone has to start somewhere, but a lawyer who just recently graduated law school and only has a few years under their belt won’t have the same level of real-world knowledge and familiarity with the defense process as a lawyer who has a decade of experience, or one who has two decades of experience, and so on.
Find a criminal defense lawyer who has handled cases like yours before.
Experience is good, but not all experience is equal. It is in your best interests to find a lawyer who either specializes in the particular area of law that your case is concerned with or who generally practices criminal defense law but has successfully achieved great results for people who have been in your same shoes.
For example, if you’ve been charged with a DUI, a lawyer who solely focuses on DUIs or who has handled a substantial number of DUI cases is going to have more intimate knowledge of DUI laws and procedures – including how to look for errors with the arrest or weaknesses that could undermine the prosecution’s case – than a criminal defense lawyer who primarily focuses on violent crimes but who has handled a few DUIs.
Find a law firm with great reviews and testimonials.
Don’t just take the lawyer’s word for it about all that they can do for you, why you should choose them, or the values they offer. Find out from their past clients! While not all criminal defense lawyers will have a high number of reviews (because of privacy reasons and because people who have been accused of crimes may just want to move on without reliving their experience), a lawyer who has more reviews generally has more satisfied clients! You can read exactly what their clients think of them, and about how they helped them. If many reviews mention the same characteristics, such as good communication, that can be a sign that you can expect that from the lawyer if you retain them!
If there are any bad reviews, that can be a warning sign for you depending on what the reviews say (note that for criminal law in particular, not all bad outcomes are the lawyer’s fault, and you might have to sift through some unreasonable or disgruntled outbursts to get a sense of the truth).
Additionally, if a lawyer you are considering has won awards or has been recognized by any legal organizations, this is a green flag! Some awards are peer-reviewed, some are based on their experience and education and skill level, some are based on votes, but either way, it is a good sign if they are recommended by not only clients but by other sources as well!
Find someone who makes you feel comfortable.
The possibility of conviction is scary – it can be downright terrifying, depending on what the charges against you are. That’s why one of the things you should look for to find the right criminal defense lawyer in Arizona is someone whom you trust.
You don’t need a lawyer who is cold, unfriendly, uses legal jargon, doesn’t return your calls, and doesn’t treat you like a person. You need a lawyer who is aggressive in court but kind with you – someone who will listen to you, someone who will explain confusing laws in a manner you can easily understand, someone who can be honest with you but reassure you that they are going to do everything they can to help you. (If English is not your first language, it’s a good idea to find a lawyer who speaks your language fluently so you can be sure there aren’t any miscommunications.)
Most of the time, you will need to contact the lawyer and meet with them during a consultation to discover if you like them and the level of peace of mind they can give you. The vast majority of criminal defense lawyers in Arizona offer free, no-obligation, confidential consults to make this easier for you!
Need a lawyer to build a strong defense? Call Alatorre Law!
At Alatorre Law, we know that your choice of a criminal defense lawyer will play a major role in the outcome of your case. Because we…
- have over 17 years of experience in criminal law
- offer direct and personal attorney attention
- offer 24/7 access to ask questions and discuss concerns
- have an uncompromising work ethic and attention to detail (proven by the optimum results we have been able to achieve for clients)
- are licensed in both the U.S. and Mexico
- speak fluent Spanish
- have over 20 reviews
- and have been named as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer
…we believe that we may be one of your best options for representation if you live near Tucson or the surrounding areas! Call today to schedule a free consultation where you can discuss your charges, rights, options, and next steps.