Those charged with criminal offenses should very seriously consider their options in selecting an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney. Even misdemeanor convictions carry jail sentences of up to a year; more serious felony convictions can lead to life imprisonment.
Beyond the legal consequences of conviction, a criminal record can have a devastating impact on one's personal life, resulting in diminished employment opportunities, limited educational opportunities, and a social stigma that can negatively affect one's family and friendships. For these reasons, it is imperative to find the right lawyer for your case--one who can help you avoid or minimize the consequences of conviction. How do you determine which attorney will be the best attorney for your defense? There are a number of options to consider when choosing a criminal defense lawyer.
- Experience: Skilled legal defense requires knowledge and expertise that can only be gained through experience. A novice attorney is not necessarily a bad lawyer, but through experience, an Oklahoma criminal lawyer gains familiarity with court proceedings and insight into the prosecution's style. This allows the attorney to "expect the unexpected" and plan for situations which may not be anticipated by a lawyer with less experience defending criminal cases.
- Expertise: You want a criminal defense lawyer who has not only years of experience with legal defense in general, but one who has an intimate knowledge of the type of crime with which you have been charged. Whether you are looking for an Oklahoma City DUI defense lawyer or a sex crime attorney in Oklahoma, you need an attorney who is an expert in cases like yours.
- Reputation: As you search for a criminal defense lawyer, pay careful attention to the attorney's reputation. Is the attorney known for his or her integrity? Does he or she demonstrate a commitment to each client and personal involvement with each case? In addition to a positive reputation for dedication to providing quality legal representation, the right criminal lawyer should also have a proven record of courtroom success.