As if being charged with a crime is not stressful enough, you are now also faced with putting your trust in the hands of a complete stranger. Most of the time, those charged with a crime do not have a Minnesota criminal defense attorney on speed dial. The vast majority of the individuals charged with a crime are first time offenders. They have never experienced criminal court nor had to consult a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer. Even though you may have been referred to a Minnesota criminal defense attorney from someone you trust, you are still most likely meeting this attorney for the first time. So, how do you know how to choose the right Minnesota criminal defense attorney for your case?
Most Minnesota criminal defense lawyers will offer a free consultation, whether over the phone or in the office. Take advantage of this. It is much easier to get a feel for someone face-to-face. It will also be easier to discuss the facts of your case in person. The Minnesota criminal defense lawyer will have several questions for you and, in my opinion, it is easier to have this conversation in person. You will also most likely have already received some paperwork from the court or the state that the lawyer will want to look at. In Minnesota, most individuals are notified of criminal charges via a Summons and Complaint. The Summons will give notice of the first court appearance and the Complaint will detail the charges that the state has filed against you. It will be helpful for the lawyer to be able to review the Complaint while talking with you.
During the consultation, ask the Minnesota criminal defense lawyer specific questions about your particular charge(s). If you are charged with Assault, ask the attorney how many assault cases he or she has handled. Ask the lawyer how he or she addresses allegations made by the victim. Ask how the attorney handles investigating and collecting witness statements. If you are charged with a drug offense, ask theMinnesota criminal defense attorney if he or she thinks you have strong search and seizure issues. There are specific issues for each type of criminal offense; make sure to ask the attorney specific questions about your specific charge.
Other issues – such as whether the Minnesota criminal defense attorney has practiced in the county you are charged in or whether the attorney knows the prosecutor or judge – are common misconceptions about the Minnesota criminal defense attorney’s ability to competently represent you. The rules of criminal procedure and rules of evidence are the same throughout the State of Minnesota and do not depend on which county you are in. Also, prosecutors are bound by their own set of ethical obligations and cannot hand out a good deal just because they happen to be buddies with a defense attorney.
It is a scary proposition putting your trust in someone you have barely had a chance to get to know. Meeting with a Minnesota criminal defense attorney face-to-face and asking the right questions can help you hire the right Minnesota criminal defense lawyer for your case.
Call us today at 651-222-6603 to schedule a free consultation with our Minnesota criminal defense attorney.