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  • Writer's pictureShayan Shaffie

The Best Toronto Criminal Lawyer for Your Case: A Guide to Hiring the Right Counsel.

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

Canadians facing criminal charges have an extremely important decision to make in the early phases of their case. Hiring the right criminal lawyer can mean the difference between an experience that “flows” and one that feels like pulling teeth. Clients are expected to invest, not only their time and money, but a profound trust in their criminal lawyer. That trust is a “golden thread” at the core of the best laywer-client relationships. It is totally absent in the ones that never should have started in the first place.

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I don’t envy the position new clients are in. At the end of a first consultation, most are left with a common expression on their face: a mix of fear, consternation and hope. They are eager to start the long road with a lawyer they instinctively trust - but they they are simultaneously haunted by the usual doubts.

What if I can get a better price?”

“What about that other lawyer who promised results?”

“Maybe I can do this myself?”

“How can I know for sure he’s the right choice?”

Clients looking to hire a criminal lawyer can hardly be blamed for this confusion. The criminal justice system is intimidating and complex. It is enough to frustrate even the most savvy defendants. Hiring the right criminal lawyer can feel like a “bang or bust” decision: one that can clarify the road ahead and inspired confidence, or present a whole new world of anxiety.

First offenders are in an especially tough position. Without prior experience or a reliable referral, it is next to impossible for them to gauge the quality or future dependability of the criminal lawyer across the table. Lacking knowledge of the basic steps involved in mounting a criminal defence, they are equally unable to judge the price of the services on offered. Low retainers, high retainers – what, exactly, are they paying for?

Helping New Clients Understand the Lawyer Hiring Process

As with any major hiring or purchasing decision, a client’s intellectual deficit is the biggest hurdle to empowerment in the criminal lawyer hiring process. This deficit is the natural result of not understanding the “terrain” – that is, the language, the process, the services, the qualifications - at the same level as the criminal lawyer who is offering their professional skill.

What is unique about the criminal law context, however, is the extreme vulnerability of client. Like a doctor and their patient, most criminal law clients are afraid and anxious about the road ahead. They not only want comfort, but a sense of confidence that the person they are hiring knows exactly what they are doing.

Most criminal lawyers offer a free initial consultation. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss their services, assess their hard costs and soft assets as I’ve termed them, and to make an informed decision about who to hire.

Given these challenges, the first and most important step to empowering clients in the hiring process is by educating them, thereby minimizing this deficit as much as possible. This education equips clients with a basic lexicon (or language) with which they can engage in meaningful conversation with their lawyer of choice. They can gage the value of the specific criminal lawyer and the services being offered, as well as develop a sense of their own needs during the course of a case.

The result of this conversation is an element I think is crucial to a properly functioning lawyer-client relationship: trust.

Part One: the Specific Legal Services You are Paying For

Let’s start by examining the precise legal services you’re paying for when you hire a criminal lawyer. I refer to these as “hard costs", or the fees clients pay for the specific legal services a criminal lawyer must deliver for the purpose of answering to the charges. This includes things like reviewing the case, interviewing the client, strategizing, negotiating with the Crown, and appearing in court.

Be extremely cautious when dealing with a criminal lawyer who “guarantees” a specific outcome - especially before they've reviewed the evidence. A good surgeon always ensures that her patient understands the risks involved in a procedure, even if it is routine. There is, in other words, no such thing as a surgery without risk. Similarly, there is no such thing as a criminal charge without an intelligent opposition.

“Hard costs,” or legal services exclude the premium clients can expect to pay for the critical but non-essential features in representation – things like the lawyer’s intelligence, experience, or customer service. Unlike “hard costs,” these assets are difficult to quantify because they do not translate into a specific action. They do, however, almost always impact on the actual case. More on these later.

Although there may be variances in “hard costs” from case to case, following specific legal services are generally required in every file. During the process of hiring your criminal lawyer, you can and should ask about them.

The “hard costs” associated with every criminal case can be divided into pre-trial and trial services.

i. Pre-Trial Legal Services

These are the services you can expect your criminal lawyer to perform during the first phase of your criminal case. During this “pre-trial” phase, the focus is on obtaining the best possible outcome without the need of scheduling a trial. These outcomes are arrived at after careful review of the case, consultation with the client, the development and implementation of an effective defence strategy, and ongoing negotiations with the prosecution.

Here is a snapshot of the major components of pre-trial legal representation.

  • An initial consultation. This marks your first meeting with the criminal lawyer in the hiring process. At a consultation the lawyer will seek to learn about the client’s background, expectations, and obtain a general overview of the case. The lawyer may also provide a summary of the services they can provide, and the costs associated with them.

  • Reviewing disclosure. Disclosure is the evidence in your criminal case. It is provided by the Crown on a rolling basis – first as “initial”, then as “further” disclosure. Disclosure comprises officer notes, witness statements (written, audio or video), surveillance tapes, judicial orders, and a host of other items. Disclosure is often hundreds or thousands of pages in length, and typically requires many hours to fully review and digest.

  • Identifying and obtaining additional disclosure. A skilled criminal defence lawyer will vet disclosure thoroughly in order to determine what is missing. The Crown seldom discloses everything that can or should be in a criminal case – in large part because they depend on the police to initiate the process. At a certain juncture in your case, your lawyer will request these items by identifying and itemizing them in writing. The implementation of this skillset varies broadly amongst criminal lawyers. When treated and deployed effectively, it can lay the basis for an exceptional outcome in a case.

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  • Making appearances in court. Criminal cases involve routine court appearances. The majority of these are “set date” appearances where a client’s vital interests are not usually at stake. Assigning the responsibility for these court appearances can be the subject of some negotiation between a lawyer and their client. In some cases, the client will agree to make their own appearances to save money. In others, the lawyer will agree to execute a Designation of Counsel – a legal document that relieves the client from making all but the most important appearances. This is a premium service that, naturally, places more responsibility on the criminal lawyer. Regardless of who makes the majority of appearances in criminal court, the lawyer must properly prepare for and schedule each. During the hiring process, ask the criminal lawyer who will be responsible for court appearances.

  • Developing a defence strategy. This is the crux of a criminal lawyer’s work. It intersects largely with the lawyer’s “soft” skills – in other words, his intelligence, skill and knowledge of the law and the case. The development of a defence strategy is always responsive to the client and the specific allegations. It may involve proceeding straight to trial; carefully gathering evidence and negotiating with the prosecution for the withdrawal of the charges; obtaining a plea deal; “damage control”; a carefully choreographed strategic defence; or any combination of these. The development of a defence strategy – especially in complex or high-stakes cases – is often a process that unfolds over time. During the hiring process, you should feel free to ask the lawyer what their general approach might be. Although it will likely be far too early to commit to any one pathway, this question can lay the foundation for a dialogue that empowers the client in the hiring process.

  • Empowering the client and keeping them informed. The best criminal lawyers empower their clients by informing them about important developments in their case. To the best of their ability, these lawyers lay out the legal pathways that are available to the client, and advise them on the specific outcomes that could occur on pursuing each. “We can do X – but that will mean forfeiting Y. In my opinion, this is a good option because…” This is how we operate at Shaffie Law: letting clients navigate the ship while we clear the path. Naturally, this aspect of a criminal lawyer’s services can be extremely time intensive.

  • Negotiating with the Crown. Throughout your criminal case your lawyer will hold one or more “Crown pre-trials” in person or over the phone. These are negotiation sessions with the prosecutor assigned to your case. These important meetings are designed to achieve a variety of results, depending on the case: to narrow down issues for trial; to get the charges dropped; to reach a plea bargain. At each juncture, your criminal lawyer will deploy his knowledge of you, the evidence, and the specific defence strategy you’ve developed to maximize the opportunity these pre-trials present. At Shaffie Law, we rely on clearly worded Retainer Agreements that spell out how many times we will negotiate with the Crown to obtain a specific result. As you seek to hire a criminal lawyer, feel free to ask about the lawyer’s practise in conducting Crown negotiations.

  • Participating in One or More Judicial Pre-Trials. A judicial pre-trial is like a Crown pre-trial, but involves the presence of a judge. Like Crown pre-trials, judicial pre-trials can present an opportunity to achieve a variety of results: to narrow down trial issues; to hear a judge’s feedback on a proposed resolution or contentious point of law; to obtain “feedback” on a proposed pathway to dealing with a case. Judges can be instrumental in moving criminal cases forward. In appropriate cases they will approve the parameters of a plea bargain, or even pressure one or more parties to resolve by highlighting strengths or weaknesses in a case. To use a judicial pre-trial effectively, your criminal lawyer will prepare a narrative – or possibly even a brief of materials – to submit for the judge’s review. During the criminal lawyer hiring process, ask the lawyer how many judicial pre-trials he or she is willing to conduct in the course of their pre-trial legal services.

  • Gathering Necessary Evidence Outside the Disclosure. The police often fail to obtain all the evidence that’s needed in a case. Important witnesses may have been ignored; surveillance may never have been sought. In other cases, the client him or herself will generate evidence in the form of banking records, counselling or therapeutic records and the like. Depending on the precise structure of your criminal lawyer’s retainer agreement, your lawyer can spend considerable time gathering, editing, and presenting this material to the necessary parties.

  • Preparing You For and Representing You In Court.There will be times when the client must attend court – for example, at a plea and sentencing hearing, to enter into a peace bond, or for a trial. Your criminal lawyer will take the time to prepare you by explaining the proceedings and, if necessary, walking through the actual case in a “mock examination”. The criminal lawyer will also prepare for major appearances by carefully preparing their submissions and, where necessary, cases and legislation supporting their position.

ii. Trial Services

If your case does not resolve in its “pre-trial” phase, it will have to proceed to trial. Unlike a pre-trial resolution – which can include anything from a withdrawal of the charges to a complex plea deal – a trial puts the case entirely in the hands of a judge or, in the case of particularly serious and appropriate matters, a jury.

[Hiring based on price alone is an] unfortunate but completely understandable enterprise [that] is the clear result of a lack of knowledge. Without knowing what they are paying for or how to go about the process, clients resort to the one thing they do understand: cost.

At a trial, the Crown calls evidence – usually in the form of live witness testimony – in order to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. The defence has an opportunity to cross-examine, or question, each Crown witness. Once the Crown has finished “calling” the evidence in its case, the defence is given an opportunity to present do the same - presenting evidence, including the testimony of the accused, in order to answer to the charges.

Trial preparation is very time intensive. It not only requires setting whole days or weeks aside for the purpose of conducting the actual trial, but calls on the lawyer to conduct the closest possible review of the disclosure, prepare witnesses, conduct legal research and, where appropriate, litigate specific issues in advance of the trial.

If you’re hiring a criminal lawyer for a trial, the fee you can expect to pay will depend on some or all of the following factors:

  • The anticipated length of the trial. A standard shoplifting trial may take two hours. On the other hand a homicide or complex fraud could occupy months of your lawyer’s time and energy on end. Between these two extremes sits all manner of DUI cases, complex domestic charges, firearms and drug trafficking trials. Most criminal lawyers assess a daily fee for actual days scheduled for trial. In addition they will charge you hourly or on a “block fee” for the time required to prepare for trial. The complexity of a given case may add or lower this fee. During the hiring process, your lawyer should be prepared to explain the reasons for his assessment as to the complexity and anticipated duration of your trial.

  • Whether your case is in superior or provincial court. Cases which proceed directly to trial in “lower court”, or the Ontario Court of Justice, incur lower fees – again, based on anticipated length and complexity. Cases which proceed in high court, or the “Ontario Superior Court of Justice” are generally litigated more methodically and intensively, and thus incur higher fees. If a client chooses to,and the criminal lawyer advises, Superior Court trials can be heard before a jury.

  • Whether you will have a preliminary inquiry. One of the benefits of proceeding to trial in Superior court is the right to a preliminary inquiry in most cases. A preliminary inquiry is an actual court hearing with live witnesses before a judge. The major distinction between a preliminary inquiry and a trial is that the former cannot result in a finding of guilt or an acquittal. Rather, preliminary inquiries are designed to test whether the Crown has sufficient evidence to “commit” you to trial. Preliminary inquiries are an invaluable opportunity for your criminal defence lawyer to “discover” the case against you, and to establish the foundations for future litigation. Whether one would be beneficial in your specific case is a matter for you and your criminal lawyer to discuss as part of litigation strategy. During a hiring interview or initial consultation, your criminal lawyer should be in a position to discuss the general pros and cons of conducting a preliminary inquiry in your case.

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  • Whether you will be bringing any additional motions or applications: Your criminal lawyer may advise you to consider additional motions, including pre-trial and trial applications. These time-intensive applications require special planning, research and execution, as well as added court time, for the purpose of obtaining a potential result. Common examples of these motions and applications include: applications to suppress or exclude evidence due to a violation of constitutional rights; applications to stay criminal cases due to delay, abuse or process, police brutality; application for relief for lost disclosure; applications for disclosure not provided by the Crown; applications for disclosure in the possession of a “third party”; applications to sever co-accused cases; applications to permit the admission of hearsay evidence; applications to cross-examine affiants, for example in search warrant cases.

  • Whether outside counsel, a private investigator or an expert are required: Your criminal lawyer may advise you to seek a private investigator or outside counsel to assist with advancing the defence narrative in your case. These can include actual investigators, accident recinstructionists or experts In a given field. An outside lawyer may also be recommended for the purpose of taking and securing statements from witnesses not interviewed by the police.

Part Two: The Non-Legal Assets You are Paying For

New clients looking to hire a criminal lawyer should not only consider the legal services being provided by the prospective lawyer, but also the lawyer’s “soft skills” or assets.

By “soft skills” I am referring to those assets, qualifications, experience and personal traits your criminal lawyer possesses that are not strictly necessary for the purpose of mounting a defence. Examples include your lawyer’s reputation in the legal community; how intelligent, qualified and experienced your criminal lawyer is; how agreeable, patient and communicative they are; their personal communication style, and whether that suits your personality; and whether your lawyer is dependable, available, and diligent in pursuing your interests.

Do not underestimate your lawyer’s “soft” assets. Qualities like patience, availability and communication not only make the experience of working with a criminal lawyer easier and more productive, but can and often do impact the actual end result of a case.

Think of it this way: it does not take an exceptional criminal lawyer to attend court, read disclosure or negotiate with the prosecution. Once a practitioner understands the basic process of a criminal case, these billable steps become routine. They are not, in and of themselves, the pathway to an exceptional result.

Exceptional results are the result of exceptional skill: in understanding the law and the client, in strategizing, in persuasion, in communication.

The criminal justice process can be a long one, and having a lawyer who is caring, available, intelligent, and willing to involve the client in their decision-making process is much more likely to produce a pleasant, and therefore productive, experience than one who is stingy, grumpy, haughty, difficult-to-reach or simply unwilling to address the client's concerns.

In my opinion, when hiring a criminal lawyer “soft assets” are just as – if not more – important than the legal services required to establish a defence. It is precisely these assets that differentiate between ordinary and remarkable outcomes – in practical terms, the difference between a finding of guilt or an early withdrawal, jail or no jail, a criminal record or no criminal record, massive immigration consequences or none at all.

Regrettably, unlike hard assets, soft ones are not always tangible, and are thus more difficult for clients looking to hire a criminal lawyer to quantify. Whether prosecutors respect or trust your lawyer; whether judges know him or her to have a sound grasp of the law and to be ethical. These “soft” assets make a real, hard difference in criminal litigation.

“Soft” features also go a long way toward making the experience of working with your criminal lawyer more agreeable, if not enjoyable. Nobody wants to have to hire a criminal lawyer, but some are surprised to learn just how close and meaningful the relationship with their lawyer can become – especially over time.

The criminal justice process can be a long one, and having a lawyer who is caring, available, intelligent, and willing to involve the client in their decision-making process is much more likely to produce a pleasant, and therefore productive, experience than one who is stingy, grumpy, haughty, difficult-to-reach or simply unwilling to address the client's concerns.

When hiring a criminal lawyer, here are some of the “soft costs” that you should consider:

  • Your criminal lawyer’s reputation in the legal community;

  • Your criminal lawyer’s apparent level of commitment to your case;

  • Your criminal lawyer’s experience, especially in the area of criminal law your charge is in;

  • Your criminal lawyer’s actual litigation skill, established in their record of successes;

  • The level of trust and confidence your criminal lawyer inspires in you; and

  • Your criminal lawyer’s willingness to communicate promptly and openly with you.

During the criminal lawyer hiring process, clients will have to resort to a number of resources in order to satisfactorily assess some or all of these criteria. Through a combination of research, reviews, discussion with referral sources, intuition (yes, more on this later) and, most importantly, time spent with the lawyer himself, clients will be better able to assess the presence or absence of these soft assets.

Part Three: the Dos and Don'ts of Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

Now that you have a clear idea what to look for in a criminal defence lawyer, let’s examine how to go about hiring one.

Let me start by saying that I think criminal lawyers perform one of the most important roles in society. It takes a special type of person to dedicate their time, energy and intellect entirely to the service of individuals charged with a crime.

On average, criminal lawyers earn significantly less than their colleagues in corporate, real estate, or personal injury law. Many rely exclusively on Legal Aid to fund their professional services. And yet, despite the personal and financial challenges involved in criminal law, the best criminal lawyers continue the hard work of legal representation for the sake of their client’s interests.

The best criminal lawyers empower their clients by informing them about important developments in their case. To the best of their ability, these lawyers lay out the legal pathways that are available to the client, and advise them on the specific outcomes that could occur on pursuing each.

With that acknowledgment aside, here are some practical tips on how to go about the process of hiring a criminal lawyer.

1. Hire promptly - but don’t rush.

It’s a good idea to hire a criminal lawyer as early in the criminal process as possible. As soon as the police become involved in your life, there are tangible benefits to having counsel by your side. Even at an early stage, these benefits could impact the end result of your case. Examples include pre-arrest dealings with the police; assisting you with bail; or helping to identify valuable evidence in your possession that should be preserved. I talk about some of these near the end of my article on what to expect at your first court appearance in Ontario.

On the other hand, your sense of fear and anxiety about a criminal prosecution should not be the driving forces in the hiring process. Assuming the initial, high-risk components of your arrest have been dealt with (bail, release, the preservation of evidence), and assuming you have not previously worked with a criminal lawyer, it is my view that you should speak to at least two criminal lawyers before hiring. You should attempt to achieve this before your first appearance if possible.

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Most criminal lawyers offer a free initial consultation. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss their services, assess their hard costs and soft assets as I’ve termed them, and to make an informed decision about who to hire. Remember: the criminal prosecution process is a lengthy one. Your decision to hire should be made on an informed basis. Once made, it can prove difficult, stressful and costly to change course.

2. Avoid criminal lawyers who guarantee results.

If criminal lawyers could guarantee results, we wouldn’t need police, prosecutors, or judges. Why keep three quarters of the justice system in place if your lawyer could call all the shots?

Be extremely cautious when dealing with a criminal lawyer who “guarantees” a specific outcome - especially before they've reviewed the evidence. A good surgeon always ensures that her patient understands the risks involved in a procedure, even if it is routine. There is, in other words, no such thing as a surgery without risk. Similarly, there is no such thing as a criminal charge without an intelligent opposition.

Clients who are looking to hire a criminal lawyer are in a vulnerable position. Many of them feel anxious or afraid about the road ahead. In my opinion, even if a result is highly likely based on criminal lawyer’s experience and skill, “guaranteed results” are often a sales tactic that should trigger suspicion in the mind of a client.

3. Avoid Criminal Lawyers Who Rely on Pressure Tactics or Fear.

A reputable criminal lawyer has no shortage of cases to occupy their time. So be weary if you receive repeated phone calls or language designed to induce panic, fear or anxiety in the course of your correspondence. This could be a sign that the lawyer is more interested in being hired than being of service to you.

Although a frank discussion about the seriousness of a case or its potential impact on your interests is completely appropriate, repeated communications resorting to fear, initiated by the lawyer, can constitute nothing more than a pressure tactic. That’s why it’s important to speak to at least two criminal lawyers before making your hire. With experience, the real meaning behind a lawyer’s approach should become clearer.

4. Ask Questions about the Specific Services the Lawyer Intends to Include.

Before attending at an interview to hire a criminal lawyer, read this guide thoroughly. Carefully consider the types of services you think your case will need. If you wish, be prepared to ask specific questions about the services the lawyer is prepared to offer, and those which the lawyer believes will become necessary in the course of your case.

If you want to ask the lawyer about a discrepancy between their fees and the fees quoted by another criminal lawyer, be prepared to show the lawyer a copy of a retainer agreement furnished by the alternate lawyer. This is the only effective way to compare services. Remember, also, that services alone do not and cannot account for a lawyer’s fees. More on pricing below.

5. Ask for a Retainer Agreement. It's in Your Interest.

At the end of an initial consultation, the criminal lawyer you are interested in hiring should be prepared to provide a retainer agreement.

A retainer agreement is a formal contract setting out the relationship between lawyer and client, including fees, the services to be rendered, and what happens in the event of a withdrawal by either the lawyer or client.

Don’t overlook the value of your peace of mind. It is, arguably, the single most important asset a criminal lawyer is hired to protect.

Although not strictly required by the rules of the Law Society, these documents set a clear and enforceable benchmark for both the lawyer and client. They protect both parties. I cannot count the number of times clients who have fired their former lawyer have complained about the difficulty recouping their unused trust funds. A clear retainer could have readily resolved this type of issue, while simultaneously laying out the exact services the client can expect the lawyer to perform.

6. Avoid Hiring Based on Price Alone.

By far the biggest mistake I see clients make is “shopping” around with a price list in their hand.

This lawyer said $2,000 – you’re asking $4,000. By the way another said $12,000 and he would get the charges dropped.”

This unfortunate but completely understandable enterprise is the clear result of a lack of knowledge. Without knowing what they are paying for or how to go about the process, clients resort to the one thing they do understand: cost. Like any big investment that is totally foreign to them, clients in the hiring process make no shortage of unfortunate assumptions about legal costs that wind up proving false.

Here are two based on the (very common) quotation above:

  • Assumption: $2,000 is actually cheaper than $4,000. This sounds sensible, but that initial price may just be a fee to begin legal services. The solution? Ask for a retainer agreement and compare. Is the lawyer charging a higher price offering more services over a longer stretch of time? In other words, is the lawyer with a lower retainer likely to ask you for more money down the road? The answer is usually yes.

  • Assumption: $12,000 means the lawyer is very good. See my note about guaranteed results. High retainer fees can seem like an unmistakable sign of confidence. It could also mean smart business.

Clients shopping around with a price list in their hand have failed to do their homework. The majority, driven by “low” prices, end up like vacationers who booked the cheapest resort: they wind up on a beach, but are dissatisfied with the terrible food, expensive drinks and crumby accommodations. Everything costs.

Generally speaking, those who have done their homework, read reviews, spoken to at least two lawyers and asked about the legal services that will be included, are like the couple who have paid a bit more, and experienced a much better trip.

Don’t be driven by price. Understand your budget, but appreciate that the process is about far more than just money. You can't afford a shoddy defence.

7. Ask Yourself: How Valuable is Peace of Mind?

Don’t overlook the value of your peace of mind. It is, arguably, the single most important asset a criminal lawyer is hired to protect.

New clients looking to hire a criminal lawyer often get bogged down in price and, in some cases, services. Persuaded by the power of a referral, or feeling helpless because of a lack of knowledge in the area, they overlook their ownintuition and experience when they meet with the lawyer.

Forget the lawyer’s price for a moment. “Does he or she inspire trust?” “Did they return my phone call promptly?” “Do they speak in my language – respectfully and transparently?”“Together with the rest of their qualifications, is my mind set at ease with this person?”In a complicated and sometimes gruelling process that can last months or even years, answering these questions honestly can be the key to hiring the right criminal lawyer.

A “low-cost” lawyer may wind up costing you weeks or months of mental agony. Unable to reach them, dissatisfied with their apparent commitment to a case, many of these clients wind up desperately seeking a second opinion on the eve of an important court date.

On the other hand, clients who have hired a lawyer after carefully considering their options, empowering themselves through some research, and trusting their own sense of confidence in the professional usually choose once, and choose right.

8. Don’t be shy. Empower yourself.

There is nothing I like more in my criminal law firm than a client who is involved in their defence. That’s why I encourage new clients looking to hire a criminal lawyer to ask questions and shop around if they feel the need to. I want them to make the decision that feels right to them.

Although a free, initial consultation may not the right venue to field every potential question, you should feel empowered to ask the questions that are important to you before selecting your lawyer.

Wrapping Up. Hire the Right Criminal Lawyer by Knowing What to Look For.

Hiring the right criminal lawyer is a decision that will have ripple-effects throughout the lifespan of your criminal case. Because the road through a criminal proceeding is often a lengthy one and always a stressful one, empowering yourself beforemaking the decision is a crucial first step toward ensuring you make the right decision.

Although the vast majority of my clients are thrilled with the service they receive, it is not uncommon to encounter new clients who have visible doubts – even at the end of a lengthy consultation. My response to these clients is always the same: “I see you have some doubts. Your decision about which lawyer to hire is an important one, and will follow you for months, years or even a lifetime. Why don’t you take your time, speak to another criminal lawyer or two if you wish, and get back to me if you think we are the right fit?”

That fit – or trust – is the key to every successful lawyer-client relationship. It is my hope that this complete guide to hiring a criminal lawyer has been has helped you in identifying your priorities, and empowering you to make an informed choice.

As always, do not hesitate to contact Shaffie Law to discuss your criminal case. We would be pleased to hear from you.

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