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How Do You Hire a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney?

When you’re facing a criminal investigation or you’ve been indicted in federal court, you know it’s time to find a federal criminal defense lawyer. The hard part is finding a lawyer that (a) has the experience you need to face an uphill battle, and (b) you can work well with. It’s not as simple as hiring the first attorney to call you back. So, what is the best way to hire a criminal defense attorney? Here are a few helpful tips.

Step 1. Talk to Trusted Family or Friends

Facing criminal charges is not something you want to do alone. Letting friends and family know what’s going on can open up resources for you that you might not have known you had. In addition to moral support, you may even get some solid recommendations for potential criminal defense attorneys. One word of caution though – avoid disclosing too much about the facts surrounding your case, as anyone you talk to may be called as a witness. Simply let your closest friends and family know that you are having legal difficulties and that you could use any support they can offer.

Step 2. Do Your Research

If you’ve gotten some names from friends or family of attorneys they recommend, that’s great. Now is the time to do your research. Look them up online with these questions in mind:

  • Do they have a website?
  • Do they seem to have knowledge about the crimes you are being investigated/charged with?
  • How long have they been practicing?
  • How many trials have they won?
  • Do they have testimonials from satisfied clients?
  • Do they have any complaints lodged against them with their State Bar Association?

Step 3. Meet With Them

Once you find a few that you feel comfortable with – call them. Most criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations. Take them up on the offer so that you can both feel each other out. A federal criminal trial can be a lengthy process, so you want an attorney that you feel comfortable with and who will communicate with you in a timely manner. While this should go without saying, you want to hire the right type of attorney for the job. This means hiring a federal criminal defense attorney, not a personal injury attorney or divorce attorney that dabbles in criminal defense.

Step 4. Talk Money

Most criminal defense attorneys charge by the hour. Many require money up front in the form of a retainer. This money goes into a client escrow account that the attorney draws from as they do work on your behalf. When the account reaches a certain amount, they will ask for another retainer. Criminal trials can be expensive, so be up front with your attorney about your financial situation and see how the two of you can make a relationship work.

Once you have found a criminal defense attorney you wish to hire, it’s in your best interest to be honest with them and help in any way you can. Their job is to help you, but they will need your help to do so.

If you have been charged with a federal crime or are under investigation, contact the New York federal criminal defense attorneys at Sacco Tyner if you are facing federal criminal charges.


Posted in: Federal Criminal Defense