If you need the assistance or representation of a solicitor, it is advisable to find one as quickly as possible. The sooner a solicitor starts representing you, the more information and details they will likely be able to generate on your behalf. Having more time should allow a solicitor to present as full a case as possible so it makes sense to act quickly in finding the solicitor that is ideal for your needs.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should just take the first solicitor that you find or come across. There are a number of questions that you should look to ask a solicitor early on in the process and doing so will help you to find the solicitor that is likely to be of most benefit to you.
Do you have experience of this type of case?
This should be one of the first questions you ask a solicitor because if a solicitor doesn’t have experience in the line of law your case is in, you are better off choosing another lawyer. While many lawyers have a general level of knowledge, the law is such a vast area that lawyers specialise in certain areas. A road traffic lawyer may be the best in the local area but if you are facing drug charges, they are unlikely to be of much use to you.
This is why you should be looking to find a solicitor that has represented clients on similar charges to the ones you face and who can indicate that they know this area of the law.
Of course, when it comes to experience, the age and amount of service a solicitor can call upon will likely be of interest. While there can be many reasons to choose a recently qualified lawyer, it may be that you will feel more comfortable calling on the services of an experienced solicitor. You need to think about your budget, who is available and your own thoughts relating to solicitors but you’ll find that many people in this situation will likely look to hire a solicitor who can call on considerable experience.
Do you have experience in the court where my case is likely to be held?
Something which is important to many people is whether a solicitor has experience of dealings in the courthouse you are heading to for your case. If your solicitor is comfortable with the surroundings, knows their way about and maybe has prior relationships with judges, you may find that things run more smoothly for you.
There is a lot to be said for working with a professional who is confident in their surroundings. There is also a lot to be said for calling on the services of a solicitor who has awareness of local prosecutors. A solicitor who has a working relationship with local prosecutors may be in a better position to reach agreement or put forward your defence in an effective manner.
Are there any conflicts of interest that may impact on the representation you offer?
If your solicitor holds a conflict of interest in representing you, they have an ethical duty to state this to you. There is never any harm in asking the question though and it may be that asking a question will force the solicitor to question whether they do have any issue in representing you. It may be that they have other cases which may provide a time conflict in representing you.
It could be that your actions have impacted on an area, group or people, that they know, which could impact on their ability to represent you. These instances will not arise too often but in looking for the best solicitor to represent you, it is always best to cover every potential issue.
Other questions you should look to ask a solicitor include:
- What will the total cost be, including fees and expenses?
- What likely outcomes do I face?
- Do you have a strategy in mind/What strategy do you propose?
- Is there any alternative to trial to be explored?
- What role do I have/What do I need to do?
- How long do you expect the case to last?
Finding the best criminal defence solicitor for your needs isn’t a difficult process but it is important that you take appropriate steps to find the solicitor who is best suited to your needs and requirements.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.