If you have been charged with a crime, finding a top MN criminal defense attorney can seem just as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Since most people don’t have much experience hiring a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer, we decided to give your our top tips for finding the best MN criminal defense lawyer. Keep these tips in mind when you are interviewing lawyers about representing you, especially if you need help determining what qualifies as DUI vs DWI Minnesota.
1. Your Lawyer Should Be Responsive
A criminal matter is not something that should languish on a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer’s desk for months. If you are facing criminal charges such as DUI vs DWI Minnesota, your freedom could be at stake immediately. The police and prosecutor will be trying to suspend your license and in some cases, may even seek jail time.You need the best MN criminal defense attorney you can find. Your Criminal Defense Attorney should return your calls promptly and answer all your questions. If the lawyer seems difficult to reach, this is a red flag that he or she is not responsive enough to represent you if you have charges like DUI vs DWI Minnesota.
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2. Specializes in Minnesota Criminal Law
Look for a lawyer who spends most of their time working as a local Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney. Sometimes it’s tempting to hire someone who has helped you in another kind of case. This is how people charged DUI vs DWI Minnesota wind up attorneys who primarily practice family law, personal injury law, or probate. Your lawyer must have experience acting as a MN criminal defense lawyer. Have they ever taken a criminal case to trial? Have they handled cases for clients charged with DUI vs DWI Minnesota? Do they know what kind of defenses apply in cases involving DUI vs DWI Minnesota? If they don’t have this depth of knowledge in criminal law, you should look elsewhere for a Criminal Defense Attorney.
3. Familiar with Local Minnesota Courts and Judges
When you are facing DUI vs DWI in Minnesota, you need to find a local Minnesota criminal defense lawyer. “Local” means someone who routinely represents people charged with crimes in your county. Local police, prosecutors, and judges have their own habits that may impact your case. For example, some judges like to give people with DWI MN charges jail time, while others prefer to give people community service or diversion. Having a MN Criminal Defense Attorney who knows the local criminal justice system can help you quell that sense of anxiety that creeps in when you have a DUI vs DWI Minnesota.
4. Check Reputable Sources
If you are facing DUI vs DWI charges in Minnesota, do your research. If you do an internet search, you can get the names of some of the best MN criminal defense attorneys near you. But don’t stop your investigation there. Check with the Minnesota State Bar to find out about the Minnesota criminal lawyer’s disciplinary history. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a Criminal Defense Attorney with experience in DUI vs DWI in Minnesota. Reading reviews online may be helpful, but beware of giving too much credence to extremely negative or extremely positive reviews. A few bad reviews may not matter that much – especially since the outcome of the case is not always the lawyer’s fault. However, if you find a slew of reviews saying the lawyer doesn’t return calls, missed court dates, or didn’t answer the client’s questions, these are all red flags.
5. Ask for Referrals
Consult your personal network of personal and business contacts. Ask your friends and family if they’ve had any good experiences with criminal defense lawyers. This is especially helpful if you know someone who has been charged DUI vs DWI Minnesota. Lawyers who specialize in other areas, like estate planning or personal injury, can refer you to an excellent Minnesota criminal defense lawyer.
6. They Know the Basics Off the Top of Their Head
Your Criminal Defense Attorney should know the basic elements of criminal laws and their statutory penalties. An experienced MN criminal lawyer shouldn’t need to research the intricacies of DUI vs DWI Minnesota in order to let you know what you’re up against. Your local Minnesota criminal attorney should be able to explain how DWI cases are handled, as well as the penalties for each offense.
7. Clear Costs or Fee Structure
Minnesota Criminal Attorneys typically charge clients either a flat fee or on an hourly basis. A flat fee is one rate charged for the entire representation, such as $750. In a flat fee structure, you are billed one flat rate rather than hourly. Flat fees are helpful in cases that are more routine. Lawyers also bill by the hour. MN Criminal lawyers often request a retainer when they bill hourly. A retainer acts as a deposit and the lawyer will work against the amount you paid up front. For example, if a lawyer bills at $200 an hour, a $2,000 retainer would get you up to 10 hours of attorney time. Although you may think that choosing the cheapest lawyer makes sense, it’s unwise to make your decision based on fees alone. The lawyer’s expertise matters greatly, especially if you are facing DUI vs DWI Minnesota.
8. Enthusiastic MN Criminal Defense Attorney
One factor to consider when looking for the best MN criminal defense attorney for your case is the lawyer’s enthusiasm. A good criminal lawyer isn’t just knowledgeable and experienced: her or she should also enjoy their work. The key to being a great attorney is having an unwavering commitment to the Constitutional rights of the criminal defendant. A criminal lawyer has a duty to zealously represent their clients in all matters. A lawyer’s passion and commitment should shine through, regardless of what kind of crime their client is charged with in Minnesota.
9. Confidence is Key for Top Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you’ve been charged with a DUI vs DWI in Minnesota, you should have high expectations about your lawyer’s performance. Your Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney should not only be a good writer, they should be able to confidently tell prosecutors and judges your side of the story. When you are facing DUI vs DWI in Minnesota, you are already nervous enough without having to worry that your attorney is timid. You need a MN criminal lawyer who understands criminal law and can argue with the best in the business.
10. Takes Direction From You
Although many people look to their criminal lawyer to tell them what to do in the event of a DUI v DWI Minnesota, keep in mind that the lawyer works for you. Your Minnesota criminal defense lawyer needs to listen to what your priorities are – are you most worried about costs, or do you want to go to trial? Do you want the case to be over as efficiently as possible, or are there things you would prefer to challenge? A good client-attorney relationship relies on trust and communication.
11. Read the Reviews
Although you can’t completely judge a MN criminal defense lawyer by online reviews alone, you shouldn’t meet with a lawyer without doing some research. Trust review sites where the criminal lawyer doesn’t have the option of hiding bad reviews, like Google + and Facebook. Look for the red flags listed above. Also make sure that reviews indicate the lawyer is knowledgeable about criminal law, especially DUI vs DWI in Minnesota.
What does a criminal defense lawyer do?
A Criminal Defense Attorney represents defendants charged with crimes in the criminal justice system. Every criminal defendant has the right to legal representation. If you can’t afford a private lawyer, the court can appoint one for you. However, in many instances, it is well worth the money to hire a private MN criminal defense lawyer. This is especially true if you have a record or history of DWI and are facing DUI vs DWI in Minnesota.
Signs of a Bad Criminal Lawyer
Everyone wants to hire the best MN criminal defense lawyer for their kind of case. Now that we’ve considered what makes a great criminal lawyer, let’s talk about the signs the lawyer isn’t quite up to the task. The number one problem clients encounter is a lawyer who won’t call them back. A lawyer has to be willing to communicate with their client. Another common problem is lack of a clear fee structure. Nobody wants to get a legal bill that is higher than they thought it would be. Another common sign of a bad criminal defense lawyer is when he or she doesn’t seem to have the respect of their peers in the courtroom. If local law enforcement, prosecutors, or judges lack respect for your criminal defense attorney, this is a sign they aren’t taken seriously. Nobody who is facing DUI vs DWI in Minnesota wants to be in this situation.
Is it important to find a MN criminal defense attorney near me?
Yes. You should always look for a MN criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable about Minnesota criminal law and local customs. The consequences of a conviction for DUI vs DWI in Minnesota can be quite serious, so you can’t trust a lawyer who is outside of your local area.
Criminal Defense Lawyers With Payment Plans
Criminal defense lawyers only get paid from their clients, rather than being paid a percentage of a verdict as they do in civil cases. Some of the best MN criminal defense lawyers offer payment plans. If the lawyer asks for a flat fee, they sometimes agree to accept monthly payments. When the criminal defense lawyer bills hourly, they are less likely to offer a payment plan, but it’s up to the individual attorney. If you’ve been charged with DUI vs DWI Minnesota, your criminal defense lawyer should be up front with you about your payment plan options.
Defense Attorney vs Prosecutor
A prosecutor’s job is to prosecute cases. This includes evaluating the evidence, deciding if there is enough evidence to pursue the case, deciding what level of charges to pursue, and determining whether to offer a plea agreement. A criminal defense lawyer is the prosecutor’s opponent. The MN Criminal Defense Attorney represents only the interests of the criminal defendant. The lawyer’s job is to advise their client about the nature of the charges, advise them about the best possible defenses, and follow the client’s instructions. If your DUI vs DWI in Minnesota goes to trial, the lawyer will present your case in court.
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Low Cost Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with any crime, including DUI vs DWI in Minnesota, is a scary proposition. Still, you may be wondering whether you should look for the least-expensive Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney. Although controlling costs is important, other factors are more important than cheap representation. Hiring the best MN criminal defense lawyer protects your future and can save you money in the long run. If a criminal defense lawyer gets your charges dismissed or reduced or lessens your penalties and fines, it will help you for the rest of your life. This is especially true if you are looking at DUI vs DWI in Minnesota. If you lose your driver’s license, you could also lose your job or be on the hook for thousands of dollars in fines. You could even do jail time. Focus on hiring the best MN criminal defense attorney for DUI vs DWI in Minnesota, rather than how cheap the services are.
Leverson Budke Can Help
If you’ve been charged with a crime, Leverson Budke can help you put it all behind you. Our lawyers are experts in criminal defense, especially in defending DUI vs DWI in Minnesota. We have empathy for our clients and know how devastating it is for one mistake to define your life. If you have questions about DUI vs DWI in Minnesota, we have the answers. Get in touch with us today and regain your peace of mind.