HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING CRIMINAL LAW?
Your future is too important to leave to an attorney without experience. In the legal field, the “10 year rule” suggests people shouldn’t hire an attorney without at least 10 years of experience. Our lead attorney, E.R. (Ned) Turnbull, has over 25 years working on all sides of the courtroom and his broad experience and track record have earned him a 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo.
HAVE YOU REPRESENTED CLIENTS WITH A SITUATION OR CHARGE SIMILAR TO MINE?
Asking a criminal attorney about their experience with cases similar to yours is helpful in two ways. First, you will better understand what to expect, and second, you will have a feel for the attorney’s knowledge of your situation and if they have successfully defended against that particular charge before. The more experience an attorney has, the more effective your defense strategy will be.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A FELONY CHIEF PROSECUTOR?
Many attorneys open private practices before earning the experience that comes from working as a prosecutor. Since these attorneys are growing their trial skill on a daily basis, they gain exposure to all types of cases.
A great criminal prosecutor can make an even better criminal defense attorney. Make sure to ask your potential lawyer about their prior courtroom experience, especially as a prosecutor. If they don’t have much, you are probably better off looking elsewhere.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A FELONY DISTRICT COURT JUDGE?
An attorney with felony judicial experience will have a more complete understanding of the process, giving them an edge when it comes to your defense. Bench experience gives attorneys a unique understanding of what prosecutors want, what prosecutors will try to do, and how the Court will likely respond.
HOW MUCH OF YOUR PRACTICE IS DEVOTED TO CRIMINAL DEFENSE?
An attorney devoted to criminal defense is more likely to understand your case. A good rule of thumb is to hire an attorney who devotes at least 50% of his or her practice to criminal defense. Otherwise, you may have an attorney who only occasionally practices criminal defense.
HOW MANY FELONY JURY TRIALS HAVE YOU TRIED TO CONCLUSION IN YOUR CAREER?
Many attorneys like to call themselves trial lawyers despite never having tried a jury trial. An attorney who is familiar and confident with the trial process will not be afraid if your case goes to trial. Ask the attorney how many Felony criminal cases they have tried to a verdict before a jury. If the attorney has tried less than 60 trials, keep looking.
HOW MANY ATTORNEYS WILL BE WORKING FOR ME AND ON MY CASE?
Many law firms are solo practitioners, which means they will be the only attorney working on your case. A firm with a team of lawyers that works on cases collaboratively will increase the quality of your representation and the results of your situation. Hire a legal team to fight for you.
DO YOU REQUIRE AN ADDITIONAL FEE IF THE CASE GOES TO TRIAL? CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH A COPY OF YOUR RETAINER AGREEMENT TO LOOK OVER?
When searching for an attorney, always ask about rates and hidden fees. While keeping costs low is an enticing idea, the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction can cost far more than the fees of an experienced professional. That plan may make sense when hiring a florist or a plumber; however, when you are charged with a crime you will want the best attorney for your case. Low fees sometimes mean an attorney is inexperienced or has a low success record. Plea bargain lawyers, for example, may not charge much, but only because they will not be doing much work. Your future is at stake — hire an aggressive attorney who is familiar with how the law works and can give you a fighting chance.
CAN YOU MAKE ANY PROMISES ABOUT THE RESULTS OF MY CASE?
While an experienced criminal defense attorney can usually predict what will happen in a given case, no attorney can honestly guarantee any result. The attorney with your best interests at heart is the one who informs you of all the possible outcomes, including the negative ones. Be wary of attorneys who make promises. They are generally more concerned with taking your money than providing you with quality representation.
HOW WILL YOU HELP ME UNDERSTAND MY CHARGES? WILL YOU SUMMARIZE MY CASE IN WRITING, INCLUDING THE LAW AND FACTS?
A good attorney will provide you with a Case Summary that breaks down the details of your situation in writing. This case summary will include a clear and simplified explanation of your charges, the law, and every step of the attorney’s activity and why. Even though these documents are helpful to clients, most attorneys do not provide them. Do not settle for an attorney who is unwilling to keep you fully informed about your case.
We realize that you likely have many questions, and we are ready to answer them at any time. Do not hesitate to contact us today for the legal help you need and the answers you require. Remember that the attorney-client relationship is an incredibly important part of your defense. This is why we always address your individual needs and make sure that our case strategy is personalized for your unique situation.
Our extensive experience in all sides of Texas criminal law make us uniquely qualified to handle even the most complex cases. Choose Turnbull Legal Group today for hard-hitting defense from a team of advocates you can trust.