CHOOSING THE RIGHT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Many people consult with more than one attorney prior to hiring someone and often ask the question about which attorney is the correct one for them. I want to point out some things to consider when making this important decision.
There are many attorneys out there who have become very savvy with their website and marketing campaigns. This does not always mean that they are the best attorney for your needs.
Questions I would ask:
- How long have you been practicing? What is your experience?
- Will you be my attorney in court or will you be sending someone else?
- If someone else, how long have they practiced? What is their experience?
- Do you specialize in Criminal Defense? (There are many attorneys out there who attempt to practice in all areas of law. In my opinion, this is similar to going to a podiatrist for a heart problem, you want a specialist)
- Will I have direct contact with you? If you pay for an attorney, you should expect to speak directly to the attorney.
- Do you have trial experience? How many trials have you done?
- Are you familiar with the court in my particular case? Do you know the prosecutor in my particular case? What can you tell me about them?
- Do they give a free consultation? This consultation should be with the attorney, not their assistant or non-attorney. You should have an actual face to face with the attorney who will be handling your case.
- An Attorney should not sound or act desperate for your case. They should be honest and up front with you. They should not employ scare tactics. If they seem desperate for your money, I would consider looking elsewhere.
- An Attorney should never make promises to you about the outcome of your case. However, there are certain instances where an Attorney can easily forecast what your offer will be based on their experience in a particular court.
- An Attorney should be honest with you about whether a Public Defender is in your best interest. You do not want to pay an inexperienced attorney because you cannot afford the correct private attorney. You are much better off getting a public defender in this case.
My personal answer to these questions:
- I have been a criminal defense attorney for 12 years. I was a prosecutor for 7 years and have done defense work for 5 years.
- I do all of my own attorney work to include appearing in court with you.
- I have specialized in criminal defense for 12 years. I am not interested in any other aspect of the law and I would not feel comfortable representing someone in any other area of the law.
- My clients all have direct contact with me. They are free to call or text me as they wish.
- I have extensive trial experience. I have gone to trial on more than 30 felony cases and many more misdemeanor cases. I am qualified to handle Death Penalty cases (this requires specific qualifications).
- I practice throughout Utah and have appeared in every District Court in the State. I have also appeared in many of the Justice and Juvenile Courts. I practice in Federal Court as well. I am honest with potential clients if I do not know the Judge or prosecutor well. If this is the case, I do my homework before appearing in Court.
- Yes, I provide a free consultation. Potential clients will meet with me and I will give an assessment of their case.
Cara Tangaro, Utah Criminal Defense Attorney