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What to Look for in a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer

January 31, 2011 - Criminal Law

New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer

No one ever wants to be in a position where they need a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, but when you have been arrested or charged, you will need the assistance of an experienced attorney.

No matter what sort of crimes you have been charged with, criminal charges are a serious matter. Even a minor disorderly persons charge (also known as a misdemeanor), like failure to pay speeding tickets, can result in license suspensions, fines and community service. A seemingly minor criminal conviction on your record can last a lifetime, interfering with your employment prospects and minimizing educational opportunities.

Selecting the right New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, therefore, could mean the difference between your freedom and prison time.

When you're selecting attorneys, concentrate on those who have experience with the kind of charges you face. For instance, many criminal defense attorneys concentrate their practice solely on DWI defense. These are not the best lawyers to go to if you have been charged with federal drug crimes or white-collar crimes.

Your lawyer must have considerable experience. This is not the time to try out a new lawyer or hire someone fresh out of law school.

Look to see if your attorney is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Our firm has three attorneys Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as Criminal Trial Attorneys. We have also been recognized by organizations such as SuperLawyers, the Best Lawyers in America, Martindale-Hubbell and Ten Leaders.  See our awards section for further information and selection criteria.

Your lawyer must have jury trial experience. This ensures that if plea bargain negotiations break down, and the case ultimately has to go to trial, your lawyer is prepared to take your case before a jury and win for you.

If you're comparing lawyers based on success rates, compare them based on the kind of crimes involved. For instance, a lawyer who has a high success rate of acquittals for disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) may not necessarily be as successful at defending you in a more serious crime (also known as a felony).

In the struggle to find the right lawyer, many people tend to go with the most aggressive attorney. An exceedingly aggressive New Jersey criminal defense lawyer is not necessarily what you need. Your lawyer should be able to negotiate to obtain favorable terms for you. Ultimately, your lawyer should focus on what helps you best.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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