In my 18 years of experience, here are 5 of the BIGGEST mistakes you can make while interviewing a criminal defense attorney.
Asking "Are you any good?"
No attorney will ever tell you to your face that they are not a good lawyer. In fact, this is one of the most common questions I'm asked when I consult with people.
Asking "Are you friends with the judge?"
If you ask an attorney if they're friends with the prosecutor or judge, this could lead you down a rabbit hole. If you think you may get a better offer or result because an attorney is friends with the prosecutor or judge, you're mistaken. Nearly every attorney who works in a specific county on a regular basis should have a cordial relationship with both the prosecutor and judge. Don't mistake this cordial relationship with friendship, and don't mistake that if they are friends, that you will benefit in any way from it. If a prosecutor or judge gives you a better result merely on the basis of friendship with your attorney, they are subjecting themselves to prosecutorial misconduct and all sorts off issues with The Florida Bar.
Expecting a free consultation
If you've been searching for an attorney, you'll see many websites and ads showing free consultations. Sometimes you may even receive a letter in the mail from an attorney after you've been arrested offering a free consultation. Never expect this to be a complete overview of your case because you will never get it for free. Most of the time, a free consultation is nothing more than a solicitation to advertise what they can do for you if you purchase their services. Usually, a free consultation will be short in manner, and if the attorney feels you are not serious about hiring them, they will offer little to no value out of the time in speaking with the attorney. A free consultation will never give you all the keys to your case.
Asking "What's your record?"
This is another question that can lead you down a rabbit hole. Any criminal defense attorney who has years of experience can handle hundreds if not thousands of cases. Studies show that 90-95% of cases do not go to trial. While an attorney can have 1,000 cases, 90% may not have gone to trial. They could be dismissals which can be wins or plea bargains which can be wins or losses. There could be cases when an attorney advises their client to take a plea on cases they could have won. Looking at the record as a whole is not important, but asking them questions like "when was the last time you tried a case?" or "have you been in front of the judge before and what are their tendencies?". Those are more important questions to ask rather than "what's your record?".
Asking "Will I get off?"
The BIGGEST mistake I see when someone consults with me is that they ask me "am I going to get off?". When somebody comes to see me for the first time, rarely have I reviewed every single piece of evidence or interviewed every witness in the case. I have not talked to a prosecutor or been before the judge on any notion. Any attorney who tells you to just "leave it to me" and "you'll get off" immediately after meeting, is lying. Asking them "will I get off" the moment you meet them is the biggest mistake you can make when interviewing an attorney.
If you want to know more about how to hire the right attorney for your case, then download my FREE guide 'The Top 5 Things Most Criminal Defense Attorneys Don't Want You To Know' which is available on our website.