1) Jury trial experience – One of the most important things in deciding on a criminal defense lawyer is whether they have jury trial experience. Jury trial experience is the single most important factor for determining a criminal defense lawyer’s competence. Let’s say that you are looking for the best plea bargain and do not want to try your case before a jury. A good lawyer who isn’t afraid to take on the system will also be the best negotiator to obtain a great deal. The reason is that the prosecutor knows that his opponent is capable and willing to conduct a jury trial if plea negotiations fall through. Criminal Defense Lawyers who regularly conduct jury trials are more respected opponents for prosecutors. Accordingly, they tend to receive better offers during the plea bargain process. Prosecutors know that if a lawyer isn’t willing to try a case, he is stuck with a deal they will offer. Therefore, it is important to ask a criminal defense lawyer when they conducted their last jury trial.
2) Experience – It is important for your criminal defense lawyer to have experience in number of years and in the county in which you are charged. You should always ask the number of years a lawyer has practiced in a particular county. It is not important that they have an office in that particular county. A lot of criminal defense lawyers practice in various surrounding counties near their office. Therefore, you should always ask the length of time that they have been practicing criminal defense as well as their respective case load in the relevant county.