Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Choosing a criminal lawyer for your charges can be a daunting task. Most people who find themselves in
search of a criminal defense attorney are not accustomed to dealing with the law and, therefore, often don’t know what to look for or what to expect from a lawyer. Many people begin their search with a negative view of defense lawyers. However, the best lawyers are honest and hardworking individuals who treat their clients as people and represent them to the best of their ability. But how does one know what to look for when choosing an attorney? There are several factors to take into account when entering the market for an attorney, including reputation and experience, but it’s also important you hire someone you trust.

First, be sure that your attorney has enough experience to represent you competently. The best indicator of a successful attorney is how much experience they have in cases similar to yours. Sometimes, a young lawyer with little or no trial experience will be less capable than one with twenty years of experience, but not always. Many people will hire less experienced lawyers because they are usually cheaper, but don’t forget that by trying to save money on a lawyer you could be making a very costly decision in the long run. Experienced attorneys are less likely to make mistakes and will be better at presenting your case – qualities that will save you money or even jail time. The amount of experience an attorney has is easy to determine and could be a huge indicator of whether you want to hire that person.

Second, be sure to determine the reputation of your attorney. There are websites where people give reviews of their legal counsel and this information can be invaluable when choosing an attorney. Also, if you know anyone in the legal business, see if they can tell you anything about the lawyers you’re considering. Attorneys with good reputations have earned their status and are likely to be what you’re looking for. Furthermore, an attorney who’s been in the business for a long time and has a good reputation will make you look good in court.

Finally, the most important tool available in choosing an attorney is a face-to-face meeting. In today’s Internet world, face-to-face meetings are often overlooked. Some people will choose to save time by calling different offices and talking to multiple lawyers without ever meeting in person with them. While this tactic is good for shopping around, phone conversations do very little to tell you about the character and reliability of your lawyer. Most criminal attorneys offer free personal consultations and will be glad to sit down and discuss your case at no charge. Hiring an attorney can be an uncomfortable and nerve-racking experience, but the right attorney should make you feel comfortable in their office – giving you confidence to move forward with your case.

Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.

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Seven Ways a Criminal Attorney Can Help You


By |2018-09-24T15:47:55+00:00January 8th, 2013|Categories: Practice Management and Fees|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

About the Author:

Stephen Gustitis has practiced criminal law exclusively since 1990. First as an assistant district attorney with Brazos County and then in private criminal defense practice. He is Texas Board Certified in criminal law.


  1. Ellen Hughes September 7, 2018 at 12:11 am - Reply

    I do agree that it’s important to conduct a face-to-face meeting with the criminal defense attorney that you’re interested in to determine if they can make you feel comfortable and confident with your case. My daughter was charged with a felony case. She said that she wanted to find a criminal defense attorney that won’t make her feel intimated when she lays out her case during a consultation.

  2. Ellen Hughes September 7, 2018 at 5:00 am - Reply

    I found it helpful when you said that there are review sites where people can leave reviews about the criminal defense attorney that they hired in the past which you can check to find a reputable criminal defense attorney. My son was charged with a felony case that he is not guilty of. I want to find a criminal defense attorney that has a long track record of happy clients in the past because of how they successfully defended their clients.

  3. Stephen Gustitis September 10, 2018 at 12:16 am - Reply

    Thank you for commenting, Ellen! I am pleased you found value in my article about choosing a criminal defense attorney. I wish your family the best of luck defending the criminal charges they are facing.

  4. Sharon Wilson-Smith October 26, 2018 at 12:04 am - Reply

    I like that you pointed out that there are websites that you can visit to find reviews about the criminal defense lawyer that you’re interested in. My husband is looking to hire a criminal defense lawyer that can help him in facing a criminal charge. He’d like to make sure that the criminal defense lawyer that he will choose has a long list of happy clients in the past because of their skills in handling criminal cases effectively. He’d like to win the case, so I’ll share your blog with him.

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