Society relies on the justice system to make reliable, consistent, and virtuous decisions on behalf of all citizens. Sometimes it works correctly, putting the right people behind bars, and sometimes it wrongfully convicts innocent people, sentencing them to time in prison they don’t deserve.


There are several types of crimes that can land someone in court, from misdemeanors to felonies to federal crimes. Depending on the severity of the accusations, you may have a lot to lose if you are wrongfully convicted. Even if everything goes right, one wrong step in the complicated legal process could be the difference between a ruling of innocent or guilty.


 That’s why, if you ever find yourself charged with a crime, hiring a lawyer is essential to proving your innocence. Lawyers are legal experts who will fight for you and help you avoid mistakes that could end up hurting you during an investigation.


But not all lawyers are created the same. It’s important to find one who puts the client first and who can represent the client fully and effectively. Look for the following criteria when searching for the right attorney.


  • Available at all times: You will want to verify any specific communication parameters with your lawyer, but after all, you are paying them to represent you. They may be available after business hours to provide updates and to advise you about actions you should and should not take.
  • Diligent communication: As your case develops, you should be touching base with your lawyer regularly. If they know something that could help you prevail in your case, you should expect to hear from them.
  • Someone who uses experts, witnesses, and researchers to the client’s advantage: Private attorneys may have access to resources that other attorneys do not. Years of experience and valuable connections in the industry go a long way in helping clients win their cases.
  • Honesty surrounding cost: Lawyers are expensive. Their counsel is valuable, but it’s beneficial to both parties to be honest about cost and budget up front before continuing with any kind of representation.Ask about retainer fees, payment plans, and anything else that is financially concerning. A reliable lawyer will be forthcoming with this information.
  • Someone who looks out for client’s best interest, warning of potential mistakes that can hurt the case: As soon as you call a lawyer about your specific case, they will likely advise you to exercise your right to remain silent and to wait for their presence before you speak to law enforcement. Throughout the case, they should provide valuable instruction about how to handle various procedures and events so that your case has the best chance of success.
  • Someone who suggests angles to your case you may not have seen: You’re hiring an expert for a reason. Years of law school and experience in the field can illuminate pathways to innocence that were otherwise dark to the untrained eye.


Keep in mind: If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, a public defender will be appointed for you. Public defenders will represent you to the best of their ability, but they often have large caseloads and are sometimes hard to reach after business hours. You also cannot choose which public defender you get.


If you do choose to hire an attorney, consider LaHood Norton Law Group for the task.


LaHood Norton Law Group is highly experienced in criminal defense law and employs former prosecutors who are familiar with both sides of the courtroom. If you believe you have a case requiring legal representation, visit LaHood Norton Law Group online or call (210) 797-7700 to schedule a free and private consultation.