Choosing the best criminal defense attorney in Minnesota can feel overwhelming.
With so many law firms to choose from, you may struggle to find the attorney that is right for you.
Below are some tips for hiring the best Minnesota criminal defense attorney, so you get the legal counsel you need.
Choose an Attorney with Relevant Experience
Criminal defense encompasses a broad category of different legal practices.
A lawyer who specializes in one field may not have the relevant experience to provide you the best representation for your specific case.
When searching for an attorney or law firm, narrow your choices based on the type of law the attorney practices and where they practice.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of case do I have?
- What kinds of law does the attorney practice and are they related to my case?
- How much experience does the attorney have practicing that type of law?
- Does the attorney have experience taking their cases to trial?
- Where does the attorney primarily practice law?
- What were the most recent types of cases the attorney handled?
Laws vary significantly depending on each state. You should make sure your attorney has experience practicing law in Minnesota.
Attorneys who specialize in Minnesota criminal law have experience and an in-depth understanding of the relevant statutes and court decisions that will apply to your case.
Choose an Attorney Who Is Responsive and Trustworthy
The top criminal lawyers in Minneapolis understand the importance of client communication and building trust.
Your attorney should respond quickly and professionally and answer your questions in full. While searching for attorneys, you should reach out to the law firm with questions about their practice.
The firm’s responsiveness will tell you a lot about their client communication practices and what to expect if you hire them for your case.
A good attorney also strives to create an atmosphere of trust with their clients. You should feel comfortable sharing and communicating openly with your lawyer.
Attorneys that lack adequate communication skills will struggle to provide you with quality representation.
Search for Attorneys with a Strong Reputation
A criminal defense attorney’s reputation will provide you important insights into the quality of their legal practice.
A strong professional reputation shows that the lawyer has a history of success as well as the respect of their professional peers. Look for attorneys who receive special recognition from legal professional organizations.
You can search an attorney’s professional reputation through databases such as:
- Your local bar association
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, and
You can also search the law firm’s website and check if the firm’s lawyers have received any special recognition, such as a SuperLawyers designation, Attorney of the Year, or other public recognition.
In addition to professional reputation, previous client reviews can tell you a lot about an attorney and their legal practice.
Most law firm websites contain a section of testimonials from previous clients.
Review these and compare them to external review sources, such as Google and Avvo and other customer review websites.
Finally, one of the best ways to find a quality lawyer is through word-of-mouth referrals.
A recommendation from someone you know and trust can give you confidence that the attorney will give you high-quality legal advice to guide you through each step of the legal process.
Search for Attorneys with a History of Success
Reputation and experience are important to your search, but those factors alone may not tell you whether the attorney can achieve a successful outcome.
Search for attorneys with a proven history of success. Most law firms will have a section on their website listing their previous successes.
While searching, ask yourself the following questions:
- What was the attorney’s most recent case?
- What was the type of case?
- What was the outcome?
During an initial consultation, you can also ask your prospective attorney how often they settle a case or go to trial.
Choose an Attorney with a Fair Cost Structure
All private attorneys will charge fees for their legal services.
However, firms may utilize different fee structures to charge their clients. Most criminal defense attorneys will charge a flat fee to handle your case.
Under this fee structure, the attorney will charge a specific amount upfront depending on the nature of the case.
When assessing fee structures, ask the following questions:
- What type of fee structure do you use?
- How much do you charge?
- If I’m paying a flat rate, what legal services does the fee cover?
- Do you offer payment plans?
Legal fees can get expensive. Before hiring an attorney, make sure you understand and are comfortable with their fees and fee structure.
Meet with Your Top Choices and Take Notes
Once you narrow down your choices, schedule an initial consultation with your top three attorneys.
Come prepared with a list of questions and information about your case. Make sure you take good notes so you can compare each law firm.
You can learn a lot about your prospective lawyer through the initial consultation. Try to gauge their personality and demeanor, and make sure they are someone with whom you want to work.
Contact a Qualified Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you face criminal charges in Minneapolis, the lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka are ready to help.
Our criminal attorneys have combined decades of experience handling Minnesota criminal defense cases.
We care deeply about our clients and always put their interests first. Our committed staff will answer your questions and assist you every step of the way.
For a free consultation, call our office at 651-362-4551 or fill out an online form today.
Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.