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Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney


While Cherella Law is a top Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorney, I understand people may need an attorney for other reasons. You might hire an attorney when you purchase a home, draft a will or are injured in an automobile accident. Should someone contact my office looking for an attorney to help with a practice area that I normally do not work in, I am more than happy to give him or her names of attorneys who practice in that particular area of the law.

Having said the above, today’s blog post pertains to potential questions that a client should ask a prospective attorney. Why ask questions at all? Understand that working with an attorney, in any field, is a personal process. The lawyer will generally have access to sensitive information. Often enough, if an attorney is involved, the situation itself is fairly high stakes. With that in mind, hiring the right criminal defense attorney for you is critical to accomplishing your goals in defending against certain charges.

What do I mean by the right attorney? You want to hire the right criminal defense attorney for you. Since the process is so personal and high-stakes, find the attorney that is a good fit for you. Accordingly, here are some questions you should and should not ask a prospective attorney to see if he/she is the right attorney for your needs.

First of all, how much will it cost? Obviously, when you hire a criminal defense attorney, you will want to know the cost. Most attorneys that practice in this area will require an upfront payment to cover the cost of the representation. This is normal in the industry. The attorney will want to make certain that he/she is amply compensated in order to perform the proper representation designated specifically for you.

Different types of cases will warrant varying fee schedules. For example, if you hire an attorney to represent you on a federal criminal defense matter, the fees will normally be much higher than that in a state criminal defense matter. The reason is simply that the process normally takes more time, and the government’s file is usually much larger in federal court. Accordingly, the fees will tend to be greater in the federal arena.

Also, the nature of the charge may dictate the cost associated with the defense. A simple misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge will normally be less expensive than a felony distribution of marijuana charge. The reason is simply that the process in misdemeanor court is less intensive than in felony court. The criminal defense lawyer that you hire will know this at the outset and will base his/her fee on the proposed amount of time that may be required in your case. This is based largely upon experience in the legal industry.

The second question is how long will this representation take? This is a question for which the attorney may be able to give you a ballpark estimate but most likely cannot give you a specific time frame. As a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney, I have represented thousands of clients throughout the years in both state and federal court. Depending on the forum and judge, I can normally advise a client as to a rough estimate on the time frame that will be involved in the representation. I am usually very good at taking into consideration several factors that are to be considered in answering this question.

What will I need to do as the client? The criminal defense attorney and client work together to accomplish a specific goal. That goal is normally determined at the outset of the representation. The lawyer takes the helm with respect to courtroom strategy and guiding the client through the process. It is imperative that the client listen to his/her attorney and follow the attorney’s advice when requested to do certain things and perform certain tasks. The criminal defense attorney can only fully assist the client when the client follows through on the advice provided by the lawyer. There must always be an open line of communication between attorney and client for the relationship to function as one.

If you need legal help, please contact Cherella law.

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