Jail Guide offers a free community prison forum for people who have questions about prison. Join the Prison Forum

How To Find a Good Criminal Lawyer

Jail Guide has put together some information on what to look for when hiring a criminal lawyer. Been arrested or about to be indicted? Ask your legal question and have an attorney answer.

Finding a Criminal Lawyer

This paper offers information on how to find a criminal lawyer. You should hire a criminal lawyer if you are accused of a crime or about to be indicted for a crime. If you aren't versed in the law in your state, as most of us aren't, it's always a good idea to have a criminal attorney represent you if you have to go to court. Quickly finding an experienced criminal attorney should be your primary concern once you have posted bail. Your freedom, family, reputation, and job could be at stake.

Being accused of a crime is often very confusing and for those who have never been arrested and jailed before, a somewhat traumatic experience. A few things you need to keep in mind if you are arrested and/or put in jail:

  1. Reserve your right to an attorney right away.
  2. Reserve your right to remain silent - speak to no one other than your attorney about your alleged crime. Remember, cellmates are often used as witnesses. Don't brag if you did actually do something.
  3. Hire a bail bondsman to get out of jail. Don't talk about your case to the bondsmen, you don't need an additional witness for the prosecution. Besides, your bondsmen only cares that you will go to court, not if you are innocent or guilty. Here is more information on how bail bonds work

There are two types of people, those who have been arrested and are now a defendant and those who are about to be arrested. If you know you are about to be arrested for a crime it is a good idea to get secure an attorney and get proper legal advice before turning yourself in or having the police come get you. Below are some examples of crimes where you might want to find a good criminal lawyer:

  • Drug Crimes
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Theft & Fraud
  • Federal Crimes
  • Drunk Driving
  • Computer Crimes
  • Murder
  • All Felonies & Misdemeanors

Where to Find a Qualified Criminal Attorney

Finding a good criminal lawyer may not always be easy but you can look to organizations in your state that may make that finding an attorney easier. All lawyers must pass a bar exam and are almost always listed in legal associations. Some attorneys also join other organizations within their practice area.

If you don't know anyone who may have used a criminal lawyer in the past, you can always use the yellow pages, write down the names of the attorneys who you think might do a good job and also look up their legal background in the following places:

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar
  • Federal Bar Association (if a federal crime)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Keep in mind that a lawyer can be given permission to practice in a court of law, this is simply an admission to the bar. In some states attorneys must be members of a bar association in order to practice law.

Post Your Legal Question For Free to a Qualified Attorney

Justice Scales

Enter Your Zip Code To Find a Lawyer Near You:

What Does BAR Mean When Talking About Attorneys?

The bar can refer to the legal professional membership in your area and can also be the railing which separates courtroom observers from the judge, lawyers and other personnel.

A "Bar" is typically an association or a group of lawyers; and these associations often manage their members. When you hear that a lawyer has "passed the bar", this is the bar exam and may also mean that the attorney has passed form an observer in a courtroom to a participant... passing the "bar".

These are some legal terms you may hear but not know what they mean:

  • Affidavit : A sworn statement of fact or a form of evidence
  • Arraignment : You are brought before the court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty
  • Bail : Where you are released from jail by making a payment to the court/department upon promise of returning to court
  • Defendant : You. The person who is accused in a criminal case or being sued
  • Disposition : The final outcome of a criminal or civil case
  • Docket : The court's daily schedule of court cases
  • Habeas Corpus : This is a request for the court to release a person who has been unlawfully imprisoned
  • Injunction : This is a court order that tells a person not to do something
  • Plaintiff : The person or group which sues in a lawsuit
  • Remand : A postponement of criminal proceedings
  • Subpoena : A notice which tells a person to appear at court to give testimony
  • Summons : A notice which a person to appear in court
  • Warrant : A warrant is an order from the court allowing a search of your property or for your arrest
DISCLAIMER: This page and all information is based on opinion. This information is given freely and may not work for your specific situation. It is not legal advice, and we are not lawyers and certainly not your lawyer. You have to find your own attorney to get legal advice and help with your legal issue. In the spirit of full disclosure, we use affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission if you decide to use the above mentioned services.

Are you going to Jail or Prison for the first time? Don't know what to expect; who to talk to or what to bring to prison? These are questions your lawyer doesn't know how to answer or won't. Take it from a guy who's been there... Pete Maxwell answers all in his newly revised jail guide. A 144 page survive prison guide:Survive Prison Book "How To Survive In Prison and Jail" - from what to do (and not to do) on the first day to the last and to answering this #1 question from being going to prison for the first time: * Sex and Rape in Prison - how you can avoid being a victim.