What to Consider: Choosing a VA Criminal Lawyer

The decision process in researching and hiring a criminal defense lawyer to represent you is multi-fold. One must consider attorneys’ experience, both in a particular area and in a particular legal field, and their personalities. Conviction of a crime in VA can have very negative ramifications on a person’s personal and professional life, so it is vital they make a careful choice in legal representation. To start consulting with a Virginia criminal defense lawyer, call today.

Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Virginia Criminal Lawyer

There are definitely certain factors that each client should look for when hiring a criminal defense lawyer. First and foremost, you should find out about the attorney’s resources and experience. Here are a couple of important questions:

  • Are there other attorneys available that your potential attorney can consult with and draw from?
  • Does your attorney have experience with your specific type of case, in your specific jurisdiction? How often do they take your type of case there?

Lawyer’s Experience

Some attorneys are very experienced in some areas of the law, but not very experienced in others. It’s important to hire somebody who has the background to represent you in your specific case. It’s not a good idea to hire an attorney simply because you’ve heard about the great job that he or she did in a different type of case; the requirements of your case may be different.

Lawyer’s Personality

Another factor to consider is the attorney’s personality. Personality is very, very important in the context of representation in front of a jury or a judge at trial. If an attorney is confident and is convincing to a judge or a jury, that will go a long way towards achieving a client’s goals. Additionally, if the attorney can communicate effectively and firmly with the prosecuting attorney in your case—as opposed to going in and immediately arguing with the prosecuting attorney—that will definitely benefit you.

Finding the right balance of qualities in an attorney can be tricky because there’s a very fine line between an attorney who goes into negotiations with the prosecutor with a negative attitude and somebody who goes in with a client-centered attitude. If a defense attorney goes into a meeting with the prosecuting attorney like they’re enemies from the very first moment or interaction, the prosecuting attorney is unlikely to work with you or offer a good deal. On the other hand, if the defense lawyer enters negotiations with the prosecuting attorney with the client’s best interests in mind and can be firm without being unnecessarily negative, the negotiation process will be more likely to result in a favorable outcome for the client.

Value of Spanish-Speaking Lawyer

In the following text, Virginia criminal defense attorney Mary Nerino discusses the value of hiring an attorney that speaks Spanish.

I speak Spanish; I’ve taken Spanish as long as I can remember as part of my studies and I’ve also worked professionally with Spanish. Additionally, I studied abroad and was a teacher at a bilingual elementary school for two years. As a result, I’m used to speaking with native Spanish speakers and non-native English speakers. I’ve found that being comfortable communicating professionally with Spanish speakers makes a huge difference in my defense practice because I have many clients who do not speak English and others who do speak English, but prefer to explain themselves in Spanish. This is tremendously helpful because details are sometimes lost in translation when we are forced to conduct our conversations only in English.

The ability to speak with somebody in Spanish is helpful within the course of my investigations as well. If I’m reaching out to potential witnesses or others to gather information about my client’s case, there is often nobody available to translate, and that’s when it’s really helpful to be able to speak Spanish with these individuals to find out what I need to know. I’ve found that this often makes witnesses open up and tell me something that they maybe wouldn’t have expressed to someone who did not speak their language.