Top 5 Tips: How do I hire a South Carolina criminal defense attorney?

by | Dec 22, 2016 | Firm News

Hiring a defense attorney can be intimidating and overwhelming.  To ensure that the process is efficient and manageable, keep these five tips in mind.

1. Have your paperwork.
Having your charging documents available enables you to tell the attorney exactly what your charges are, what name you are charged under, where you were charged (sometimes your charges will be assigned to several courts), and when you are scheduled to appear in court.
2. Disclose your criminal record/probation status.
Your past criminal record is an important way for an attorney to gauge the amount of work to be done on your case.  By hiding past transgressions, you are only shortchanging yourself and limiting your attorney’s ability to protect you.
3. Disclose your probation/parole status.
Similar to your criminal record, it is imperative that you disclose your probation/parole status immediately.  If you keep this to yourself, your attorney may not find out about this until it is too late.  You want your attorney to be able to address your current charges as well as any revocation hearings that result from the alleged incident.
4. Be prepared to talk price.
Criminal law moves quickly at first, and most defense attorneys know exactly what they need from you to get started.  By knowing where you stand financially, you will be able to better discuss possibilities for payment that will allow the attorney to start working as soon as possible.
5. Do not discuss specifics on a jail phone.
While the details of your story are important, all information that you reveal on a jail line is potentially recorded and can be turned over to prosecutors.  We suggest that you wait until you schedule an initial, in-person consultation with an attorney to ensure that your conversations are kept confidential.

Finding the right attorney can be a very personal process.  Write down any questions you may have and do not be afraid to ask.  Lawyers are there to HELP you.

Attorney Blackwelder looks forward to speaking with you about representation. Give her a call today!