What Should I Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

April 28, 2021

Criminal Law

Being face to face with a criminal charge can be overwhelmingly stressful and requires the best help and guidance a person can get.  When confronted with a questionable and unclear future, the only way to possibly achieve a positive outcome is to find the right representation in court.  But with so many lawyers in the area with different skills, it can be trying just to find the right one.  The following discusses what qualities a person should look for when facing a criminal charge.

Background and Experience

A lawyer focuses their practice on one or more legal aspects, such as bankruptcy, immigration, or personal injury.  If charged with a criminal offense, only a lawyer with a strong background in criminal law will have the resources and knowledge to properly guide their client through their case while working for the best possible result.

A lawyer who can defend a criminal offense must have an extensive background and focus on criminal law.  Perhaps more importantly, the right lawyer to choose should have considerable experience with the particular charge the defendant is facing; there are many complexities with each law, so each must be handled differently from the next.  For example, a lawyer with experience defending alleged driving under the influence (DUI) charges should be more suitable for a DUI charge.  A lawyer who has experience defending the same charges a person is facing can strengthen their defense considerably and offer accurate assessments of the case.

Another important aspect to consider when hiring a lawyer is the location of their practice; knowing the ins and outs of the local court system, including the local judges and prosecutors, can prove to be extremely helpful in a criminal case.  In this respect, a lawyer familiar with the local authorities can properly convey their client’s defense.  This could possibly paint a more favorable picture of their client and may help with negotiations if necessary.

Trust and Comfortability

A good lawyer is trustworthy and has the personality and skillset to ensure confidence in their client.  This is because trust is one of the more unspoken yet vital parts of law.  Someone facing a criminal charge is already in an uncomfortable and vulnerable position.  Trusting their lawyer to do everything in their best interest gives a defendant a more positive outlook.  Defendants are also more likely to be honest and include every detail needed for their case; someone who does not trust their lawyer may omit important information.

A defendant, facing an uphill battle, needs to know that someone is advocating for their rights and freedom, and the right lawyer can be that person.  An honest lawyer will also protect the information of the client and keep all matters private.

Communication is also key in a client/lawyer relationship.  A good lawyer can effectively communicate clear and concise legal advice so that the client will understand what to expect and what could unfold.  A lawyer who lacks good communication skills can leave their client having more questions than answers and may not be able to strategize a proper defense.


A lawyer is only as good as their availability.  As it is with comfortability and confidence, it is near impossible for someone to trust another if they are not there to confide in and ask questions.  A good lawyer makes themselves available, returns phone calls and emails, and acts in a professional manner.

In a client/lawyer relationship, availability is affordability as well.  Professional and courteous lawyers make their costs known upfront with no hidden fees.  Some lawyers will even offer free consultations and listen to the client’s needs.  As with any agreement, it is important to always look at a contract before signing; any skepticism may inhibit a strong relationship.  A good lawyer will make their terms clear to understand and will let their client know that they are more concerned with their case than with payment.

West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes Ardently Defend the Rights of those Wrongly Accused

Being charged with a criminal offense is a matter not to be taken lightly.  The whole experience can be stressful and complicated, and receiving a positive outcome does not happen by luck.  It takes careful consideration and the right preparation to build a good defense.  If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, contact the West Chester criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes immediately.  Our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers will defend your rights, keep all information private, and advocate for your freedom.  Call us today at 610-431-7900 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.  With our offices located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve all communities of Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.

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