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 everything.

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 misleading.

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 a deal.”

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 Consultation

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.

In fact, 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!

Oronoz, Ericsson & Gaffney LLC

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