What Makes a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer? 

While the Sixth Amendment guarantees your right to a criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with a crime, you also have the right to select the lawyer of your choosing. This decision is critical. Your life and freedom are in the balance, so it’s vital to make the right choice.

Your criminal defense attorney will play a crucial role in your defense. They’ll investigate your case, communicate with law enforcement on your behalf, and fight to protect your rights at every turn. You also want to be able to depend on your lawyer’s straightforward advice and information about the potential consequences of a conviction. 

While researching criminal defense lawyers in Dayton to hire, look for these essential qualities: 

Knowledge of the Law and the Specific Criminal Charge

Knowledge of the Law and the Specific Criminal Charge

You need to hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable about criminal laws, as well as the specific crime you are charged with. Each type of case involves unique details and may require a different skill set. 

For example, if you are charged with a drug crime, your lawyer should have a strong understanding of illegal searches and how drugs are chemically analyzed in the lab. Federal crimes require a defense lawyer who is licensed to practice in federal court and familiar with the entirely different set of procedures that apply in this setting.

Familiarity With the Local Jurisdiction

Each court works a little differently. It often benefits defendants when they hire a local defense attorney who is familiar with local judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and procedures. Our legal team includes former prosecutors and police officers, so we know the others involved in the case, have worked with them, and can anticipate their strategies. 

Experience Handling Criminal Defense Cases

There is simply no substitute for experience. The more cases a criminal defense lawyer handles, the more skills and knowledge they develop. They can determine which legal arguments and strategies are effective and which are not. Our defense attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience we put to use in every case. 

Good Communication Skills 

Criminal defense lawyers work with many people. Their interactions with others can have a direct impact on your case. 

They will communicate with law enforcement on your behalf, sometimes able to convince them not to move forward with charges. They speak to judges when presenting legal arguments. They’ll advocate on your behalf during your trial, trying to convince the jury of your defense. 

You also want a defense lawyer who will communicate clearly with you. You should have a good understanding of the different consequences involved in your case and your likelihood of a successful outcome. This information lets you make informed decisions about how to proceed at every stage.

Attention To Detail 

The smallest detail in a criminal case can have a profound impact on the outcome. Your lawyer may be able to exploit holes in the state’s case against you. They can question the credibility of witnesses when they provide inconsistent statements. Look for someone who pays attention and remembers what you say after you interact with them.

Strong Investigation Skills

While much attention is given to a lawyer’s abilities in the courtroom, a lot of a criminal defense attorney’s work occurs before any trial. By thoroughly preparing for your case, a lawyer can better anticipate the potential challenges and outcomes. 

Your attorney’s preparation in your case may involve:

  • Interviewing witnesses and reviewing police reports 
  • Analyzing evidence and hiring expert witnesses who can provide valuable testimony on your behalf 
  • Reviewing all discovery provided by the prosecutor
  • Filing motions with the court to obtain additional evidence or suppress evidence

The more your attorney prepares for the case, the better positioned they will be to advocate for you throughout future proceedings. Based on this investigation, you may be able to resolve your case before trial by having the charges dismissed or securing a favorable plea agreement

The Power of Persuasion 

Good criminal defense attorneys are able to effectively persuade others of their position. The power of persuasion may be able to help stop the prosecutor from filing formal charges or to dismiss them after bringing them. It could also convince the prosecutor to agree to a much lighter sentence or penalty. 

If the case goes to trial, strong persuasive skills can help convince the judge or jury to find you not guilty. 

Strong Decision-Making Skills 

Criminal defense lawyers must be decisive. They must be able to form an opinion about information related to your case and advise you of the preferred direction to take. The route you want to take in your case is ultimately up to you, but it’s important that you trust your lawyer to properly advise you.

Respect For Confidentiality 

Defense attorneys speak to you in confidence. Anything you say to them is subject to attorney-client privilege and cannot be repeated without your permission. 

This is a fundamental ethical rule that is essential to defending you. It encourages legal clients to be honest with their lawyers, who can then use the information the client gives them to better prepare for the case. A good criminal defense lawyer will respect confidentiality and keep your communications private.    

Contact Our Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyers Today For a Free Consultation 

At Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers, we want you to feel comfortable with the criminal lawyer you choose for your defense. Our lawyers have been recognized by peers and legal publications for our abilities. We also have a perfect 10.0 Avvo rating, showing our unwavering commitment to client service. Contact our Dayton criminal defense attorneys at (937) 531-0435 today to learn more about how we can help and why we are a good fit for you.