The right to legal counsel is so important to the American legal system that it is one of only two rights that police are required to notify people of when they are arrested or detained for questioning. The other is the right not to self-incriminate, or as you have heard it said a million times in movies and TV shows, “You have the right to remain silent.”

If you have been arrested or detained by the police in Macon, Georgia, you should exercise both rights immediately. Failure to remain silent and rely on legal counsel to help you navigate the stressful and often confusing time following arrest or detention can result in significantly worse outcomes in your upcoming trial.

When you are choosing a criminal defense attorney, there are a few questions you should ask before you make your final selection. Your Macon criminal lawyer will be largely responsible for the success or failure of your defense. Therefore, you need to make sure that your chosen legal counsel will be able to handle your case correctly and will work diligently to get you the best possible outcome.

This month, we will look at five questions you should ask your Macon criminal lawyer and explain why the answers are crucial for helping you select the right legal counsel.

1: How Long Have You Been a Macon Criminal Lawyer?

This question is at the top of the list for a couple of reasons. You want to know how long your criminal defense attorney has been practicing law, and you want to know how long they have been practicing in Macon, Georgia.

Lawyers learn a lot in law school, but they learn even more through experience. When your future freedom depends on a vigorous and thorough defense, you want to know that your attorney has had ample experience navigating cases like yours. They should have a good understanding of not only the laws involved in your case but also the case law and precedents.

In addition to wanting an attorney with a deep background in criminal law, you want an attorney who has experience arguing cases in the court where you will be tried. Every court and every judge has their own way of working. An attorney who has already presented cases to the Macon, Georgia, court that hears your case will have a better understanding of any specific processes or procedures.

2: How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Tried?

While no two criminal cases are identical, an attorney who has tried other cases similar to yours in the past will:

  • Have a good understanding of the types of arguments that prosecutors make in similar situations.
  • Know the best ways to prepare an argument to counter the prosecution’s claims.
  • Understand the potential weaknesses in the evidence that could lead to a favorable outcome.

No matter how serious the charges against you are, choosing a Macon criminal lawyer who has argued cases like yours in the past will provide you with a far better chance of a dismissal, acquittal, or favorable plea agreement.

3: How Many Cases Have You Argued Before a Jury?

If your case ends up in court before a jury of your peers, you want to know that the attorney handling your case has argued several cases before a jury. Presenting an argument to a jury requires a very different skill set than negotiating with a prosecutor or judge. Attorneys who arrange plea deals for all of their cases may not have the unique talents required to convince a jury of a defendant’s innocence.

In a jury trial, your attorney must develop a rapport with the jurors. They must do an exceptional job explaining your side of the case to a group of 12 people who are not experts in law or criminology. Above all, they must be able to remain composed and help you retain your calm even if things are not going your way. Those skills, like most other skills in life, come with experience.

4: Have You Ever Served as a Prosecutor?

You may be surprised to see this question on the list, as most people would not ordinarily think to ask. Many of the most successful criminal lawyers are former prosecutors. Criminal defense attorneys who have worked on the other side of the courtroom have an existing, in-depth understanding of the myriad ways prosecutors work to build a case against a defendant. They are able to use that understanding to build a more robust defense that effectively presents your argument to the judge or jury.

5: Will You Be Handling My Case?

If the answers to the rest of the questions you have asked are favorable, you also want to know that the attorney you are talking to will be the one handling your defense. If they are handing your case over to a different lawyer in their firm, you should make sure to have the other attorney answer these questions, as well.

While there is nothing wrong with your case being handed off to a different lawyer at the same firm, it is vital that you know the background and experience level of the person who will be doing the lion’s share of the work on your defense. If the firm is handing your case over to an attorney without the expertise and practical knowledge your defense requires, you should consider selecting a different Macon criminal lawyer.

Were you arrested in Macon, Georgia? Call Bushway Law Firm: 478-621-4995.

Gregory Bushway is a former prosecutor who has successfully served as a criminal defense attorney in Macon, Georgia, since 2013. He knows the state and federal court systems and has helped hundreds of defendants reach successful outcomes for their cases. Tell us about your case today: 478-621-4995

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