As discussed in yesterday's post, an arrest is a debilitating experience. When someone gets arrested and charged with a crime in Georgia, his or her first move should be to hire a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer. Criminal defense attorneys play an important role to ensure that a person's right to a fair trial is upheld.
But how should you go about choosing a lawyer to work with your case? I've compiled the top five attributes that I believe qualify a top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer.
1. Extensive Criminal Defense Experience in Georgia
I've ranked experience as first on my list because hiring an experienced attorney is necessary to ensure the best possible outcome. Extensive experience requires years of experience with trials, negotiation, intricacies of Georgia Criminal Law, application of Georgia Criminal Defenses, plea bargaining, strategies, and in-depth legal analysis.
2. Familiarity with the Georgia Court Systems
Each court system is subtly different throughout Georgia. Each Georgia judge runs their courtroom in his or her own way, and it's beyond helpful for your case to have a lawyer who understands these differences and is able to work with each judge according to their preferences. Most judges have preferences toward conduct in their particular courtroom and their individual instructions for cases proceeding before them including policies, practices, and procedures. Therefore, having a lawyer who is both familiar and experienced in the different Georgia court systems is highly important for your case.
3. Client Reviews
Most experienced lawyers will have reviews that are researchable on the internet. Warning: do not hire a lawyer without conducting thorough research first. Maintaining a positive reputation in the legal community should be of the utmost importance to any reputable lawyer. The most used site for lawyer reviews is Avvo, with a reported 97% of U.S. lawyers rated on their site. Richard Lawson's Avvo reviews, along with his Partner Kimberly Berry's Avvo reviews are second to none. We are the top-rated and most reviewed Georgia Criminal Defense Firm.
It is so important to take client reviews into account. Not saying that you shouldn't trust a lawyer's word, but some lawyer's strategies for selling their services include making promises that they can't keep. Read through multiple experiences with a particular lawyer before making your decision, so that you have a better idea of how they treat their clients as well as how they handle their cases. Definitely keep an eye out for the amount of client reviews that a lawyer has. This can be a tell-tale sign because if a lawyer has a high volume of clients, it usually means that this is a successful lawyer who has a good amount of referrals and an excellent reputation with his or her clients who will take the time to review their experience.
4. Personalized Service
On top of keeping up with a high volume of clients, a top-rated attorney will also understand how to balance his or her work with personalizing each experience with a client. You will need a lawyer who can answer your questions, walk you through each step, and know the “ins and outs” of your individual case. This is important because your defense should be tailored to the specific facts of your case, and your lawyer should help you to understand what's going on every step of the way.
5. In-Depth Knowledge of the Georgia Criminal Process
The moment you are arrested in Georgia you become a subject to the state's criminal justice system. The criminal process can include arraignment, trial, different hearings, bonds, etc. This is all very overwhelming and complicated to someone who does not have an in-depth knowledge of how the process works in the state of Georgia. A top-rated criminal defense attorney in Georgia should assist you wherever you are in the process from arraignment to final disposition.
Here at Lawson and Berry, we have over 50 years of combined experience and have worked all across the state of Georgia. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact our offices today.