How to Hire the Best Criminal Defense Attorney
Retaining a Qualified Las Vegas Defense Firm
Getting charged with a crime at the very least can be a terrifying experience.
For many persons, it is the worst experience of their life. It is a time
of incredible anxiety and stress. On top of all the negative emotions
associated with the experience of being charged with a crime, a person
who finds themselves criminally charged needs to hire the right lawyer.
The foremost question quickly becomes, who is the
best criminal defense attorney to defend me against my charges? To incorrectly answer this question,
one risks everything. Standing in the community, employment, family relationships
and freedom to remain at liberty all hang in the balance. To choose the
wrong lawyer is to risk all of these hugely important privileges. The
stakes associated with this decision are unbelievably high. A person who
is facing the power and resources of the government who chooses incorrectly
will be punished severely. Pick the wrong lawyer, and you risk losing
Begin discussing your case with our lawyers during a
free evaluation today.
What to Look for When Seeking the Best Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case
First and foremost, do your research. Many lawyers hold themselves out
as top criminal defense lawyers without the credentials and history of
actual wins to back up their bogus claims. Obviously, simply asserting
that you’re the best, does not translate to the actual reality of
being the best. The process of finding the best criminal defense lawyer
for your case will entail research. To begin your research it is important
that you are aware of a few commonly stated assertions which criminal
defense attorneys use in advertising their services which can be quite
A Few Red Flags to Be Aware Of
“I only practice criminal defense.” Do not be sold on the fact that someone holds themselves out as only practicing
criminal defense. So what? Plenty of lawyers practice a single area of
law poorly. In fact many persons seek criminal defense lawyers with superior
trial skills to handle civil cases with high dollar values. There are
many fine lawyers who practice only criminal defense, but also many who
also handle civil work which requires the ability to perform under pressure
in court in front of juries. The fact that some criminal defense lawyers
have extensive expertise in both areas does not make them inferior in
any way to someone who chooses for whatever reason to restrict their practice.
Many of the greatest trial lawyers in the nation practice both civil and
criminal trial work. Just because someone either makes the completely
valid personal decision not to practice in more than one area, or worse,
does not extend their practice beyond criminal defense because they simply
cannot handle the intricacies and demands of civil practice, certainly
should not operate to their benefit. This should not a factor to take
into account when deciding which lawyer will be best for your case.
“I was a former prosecutor.” Again, this is another red herring worthy of another “so what?”
Some former prosecutors become fantastic criminal defense lawyers; while
on the other hand, some are never able to shed their authoritarian, prosecutorial,
mindset. The latter type frequently find themselves unable to see defenses,
continuously conclude that the police must be telling the truth (even
though facts and circumstances glaringly indicate the contrary), and attempt
to get their clients to cooperate and or plead guilty without taking adequate
precautions to confirm that such actions are in their client’s best
interests. Do not be impressed by this fact. More often than not, former
prosecutors do not approach defense work with the same zeal and energy
with which they prosecuted individuals.
“I am a one man show.” This red herring is perhaps also the most indicative of possible future
problems. Many solo-practitioners argue that because they work on their
own that somehow that translates into a better result for their clients.
They proudly proclaim that they will be available to you at all times,
carefully guiding your case from start to finish. On top of that they
promise extensive contact when you have a question. Beware of these enticements.
A firm composed of top rate trial lawyers, with appropriate levels of
staff support is in a far better position to secure for you the best possible
outcome for your case. Many of these solo-practitioners are so overwhelmed
that you will be fortunate to even get a single return phone call after
the initial meeting where you retain their services. Spend a morning in
Justice Court in Las Vegas and listen to how many clients tell the Judge
that they cannot get ahold of their lawyer. An overwhelming number of
these unhappy people have retained overwhelmed, understaffed, solo-practitioners.
Of course there are some notable exceptions to this generalization, however
the reality is that firms with more resources are in a position to do
a better job on your case and also return your calls and address your
concerns. Do not join the ranks of unfortunate clients whose lawyers either
refuse, or cannot, communicate with them and assist them through the process.
Do not let this faulty assertion– which the vast majority of the
time is a major liability – become a selling point in hiring a criminal
defense lawyer. One of the guarantees at Oronoz, Ericsson & Gaffney
LLC is that all clients will have their calls returned and questions answered
with 24 hours, if not sooner. Do not accept anything less. Again, a firm
composed of top flight lawyers and staff is in a far better position to
help you achieve the best outcome.
“Look at my opulent office.” A luxurious office is wonderful, but is not indicative of ability. Do
not be fooled by appearances. Many fine lawyers have very nice offices,
and many do not. An expensively decorated and furnished office is simply
an indicator of what a lawyer chooses to spend his or her money on. Law
is a well-paid profession. A very high number of lawyers in Las Vegas
can afford opulent office space. Do not be so unsophisticated and gullible
as to assume that a nice office automatically proves that you have found
the correct lawyer to defend your freedom. You may or may not have the
correct lawyer. The only thing which you may be certain of is that you
have simply found a lawyer with a nice office. He or she may very well
be a lawyer with minimal skill who simply has a penchant for luxury and
likes to exude the appearance of grandiosity. This is a terrible basis
upon which to make a decision to hire a lawyer. If this is a major factor
in your decision making process, you might very well find yourself paying
for a lawyer with expensive overhead, who is totally ill-equipped to defend
you. Do not misunderstand this point. There are some highly talented Las
Vegas lawyers in luxurious offices, but there are arguably a greater number
who have no business representing persons who are facing incarceration.
Subtract this factor from your decision making process. It is meaningless
and if you take it into account, it will increase the chances that you
will make a bad choice.
The Most Important Factor to Look at Before Hiring a Defense Attorney
Arguably, the most important factor (and there are a number of important
factors) in hiring the best criminal defense attorney to defend your case
is verifiable, past results. It is astounding how many Las Vegas criminal
defense lawyers hold themselves out as “trial lawyers” who
“aggressively” fight for the rights of their clients. Making
those assertions is fine if one has the record to back it up. A sophisticated
and informed consumer shopping for the services of a criminal defense
attorney should start with a single question:
“How many times has a jury agreed with you and pronounced your client
not guilty on all charges?” It is shocking how many members of the criminal defense bar must truthfully
answer “zero” to that question.
The Best Criminal Defense Lawyers Win in Front of Juries
At our core, a criminal defense lawyer is a trial lawyer. At the end of
the day, all that stands between an accused person and complete loss of
liberty is a jury composed of citizens. Prosecutors realize who the sloppy,
timid, lawyers who lack trial skills are. Furthermore, they make offers
of negotiation to resolve cases with that knowledge in mind. Prosecutors,
who realize the opposing defense lawyer cannot effectively try a case
in front of a jury, often make offers of negotiation which are much more severe.
Many criminal defense lawyers are terrified of trial, or they simply do
not wish to put in the long, tedious hours of preparation which are necessary.
If you hire someone like this for most cases, you are completely at the
mercy of the prosecutor. It’s like hiring a pilot who cannot fly,
or a surgeon who cannot operate.
Do not put your liberty in the hands of a criminal lawyer who has never
convinced a jury to find in favor of his or her client. Lawyers who do not possess the trial skills to win in front of juries
have no option other than negotiating your case and talking you into “taking
Perhaps a negotiation, in light of the evidence and applicable legal issues
in your case is the best option. If so, that’s great. But do not
be forced to negotiate your case simply because your lawyer cannot effectively
present your side of the story to a jury. Prosecutors know who the weak
trial lawyers within the criminal defense bar are, and routinely take
advantage of that fact. This truth becomes an issue in virtually every
criminal case. It becomes an even larger issue in the more serious cases.
You Can Rely on Oronoz, Ericsson & Gaffney LLC – Call For a Free
While this factor should not be the sole factor to take into account, we
believe that if it is at least not the predominant factor in choosing
the best criminal defense lawyer to defend your case, you are taking a
significant, unnecessary, risk. The lawyers at
Oronoz, Ericsson & Gaffney LLC have all won life-sentence trials in front of Clark County Juries.
our firm has more Not Guilty felony verdicts than any other firm in Clark County, and we can prove it. If charged in Las Vegas, call us to discuss your
case. We routinely take cases to trial and win. Very few Las Vegas criminal
defense lawyers can say the same. If for whatever reason your case is
not a fit for our firm, you have our guarantee that we will point you
in the direction of other skilled Las Vegas lawyers who may be able to
help you. We are strongly committed to helping those accused of crimes
in Clark County. Our firm mission always has been, and will remain, to
provide the highest degree of service in criminal defense.
Call us today at
702-904-8858 for a free initial case evaluation with our Las Vegas defense firm!