If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime, or you believe you are the target of a drug investigation by state or federal law enforcement, you need an experienced drug defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. A drug defense lawyer will protect your rights, act as your voice with law enforcement and other authorities and begin mounting a defense if you are charged with a crime. Finding the right lawyer, however, can be challenging. Taking the following steps should help you choose the right Orlando drug defense lawyer.
- Do not wait to hire an attorney. One of the most common mistakes people make when they are under investigation for a drug crime is to put off hiring a lawyer. They often do this because they are under the mistaken impression that hiring a lawyer will make them look guilty. Understand that if a law enforcement agency is targeting you in a drug investigation, they already think you are guilty of something. Not hiring an attorney only allows law enforcement to potentially violate your rights while investigating and means that you miss the opportunity to intervene in the investigation before you are charged with a crime. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by hiring a drug defense lawyer immediately.
- Decide what you need in an attorney. Obviously, you want an attorney with the experience and skills needed to protect you and your future; however, there may be other characteristics or qualifications that are also important to you. For example, you may need a lawyer who speaks a language other than English or one who has flexible office hours.
- Seek referrals from friends and family. Although you may not have needed a drug defense lawyer before, the odds are good that someone you know has. Firsthand reviews from someone who has worked with a lawyer before are invaluable. Ask friends, family members, and colleagues (if you are comfortable doing so) if they have experience with an Orlando drug defense lawyer. While a glowing review is ideal, even a negative review can be helpful in your search for the right lawyer.
- Conduct online research. Basing your decision entirely on a lawyer’s website might not be wise; however, an attorney’s website usually provides valuable information, such as how long the attorney has been practicing law, what areas of the law are the focus of the practice and biographical information about the lawyer.
- Check with local and state bar associations. You can also check with local and state bar associations when looking for an Orlando drug defense lawyer. The Orlando Bar Association has a lawyer referral service, as does the Florida Bar Association.
- Create a “short list.” At this point, you should be able to create a short list of prospective attorneys. Keep the list to around three or four lawyers that you feel might be right for your situation.
- Schedule consultations. Contact the lawyers on your “short list” and schedule a consultation with each one. Sometimes it comes down to which lawyer inspires confidence or another intangible quality that can only be determined after interacting with the attorney.
- Prepare a list of questions. Your consultation will likely be limited in time, making it important to prepare a list of questions and concerns ahead of time so you do not forget anything. Your list may include questions specific to your situation or case; however, some questions to consider asking include:
- How long have you been a drug defense lawyer?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to criminal law?
- Do you defend people in federal cases or just state cases?
- How many jury trials have you done?
- Do you have contacts in law enforcement and/or the prosecutor’s office?
- How often do you win cases?
- Do you think I have a defense in my case?
- What is your fee and how do I pay it?
- How will we communicate if I hire you?
Get Help from an Experienced Orlando Drug Defense Lawyer
The above steps will go a long way toward helping you choose the right Orlando drug defense lawyer for your situation. If you are under investigation or facing criminal prosecution, the most important thing is to protect yourself and your future by hiring an attorney as soon as possible.
At Haas Law, our Orlando drug defense lawyers have the resources, skills, and experience necessary to protect you during a drug crime investigation and successfully defend you in a state or federal criminal prosecution. Let us put our commitment and dedication to work for you.
Call us at 407-755-7675, chat with us online, or submit our online form today. Because we understand that time is of the essence when law enforcement authorities are investigating you, our calls are answered 24 hours a day, allowing you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.