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Criminal Law Lawyers Near You

Dwane Cates avatar
I am certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Specialist in Criminal law. I have been practicing Criminal law in Arizona for over 21 years. I was recently a...
Andrew C. Wilson avatar
Minneapolis defense attorney Andrew C. Wilson won his first jury trial before graduating from law school. After his first year of practice, his name was cemente...
Brook M. Thibault avatar
Brook M. Thibault is a Virginia Beach trial lawyer, former Associate Counsel for CMA CGM (America) LLC the world's third largest container ship company, and Pub...
George Ramos avatar
George H. Ramos Jr. is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, CA.
Andrew Norman avatar
Andrew Norman is Of Counsel to the firm Silverman Thompson. Since joining Silverman Thompson, Mr. Norman has concentrated on the defense of clients in criminal...
Chris Trotter avatar
Providing high quality legal representation to every client is Chris Trotter's first priority. With a strong academic background and extensive trial experience,...
Robert Jesse Harris avatar
Robert Harris is founder and president of Harris Velazquez Gibbens, Law Firm. A medium sized law firm located in Hillsboro Oregon with a second office in North...
Robert H Ambrose avatar
Robert H. Ambrose is a criminal defense attorney based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He represents clients throughout Minnesota in a wide range of criminal cases, ...
Luke Neuville avatar
At Neuville Law Office, Luke dedicates 100% of his practice to criminal defense and defending clients in the Twin Cities and greater St. Cloud area facing DWI/D...
David Balmer avatar
Minnetonka criminal defense attorney David Balmer established the Balmer Law Office with one overriding goal:to provide aggressive, high-caliber criminal and DW...

When an individual or organization is charged with a crime, they face criminal prosecution in court. The prosecutors will present all the evidence they have for charging the defendant to the judge. Working on the behalf of the defendant is a criminal lawyer. Also known as criminal defense lawyers, these are legal professionals that specialize in fighting criminal cases with the overarching goal of getting the charges against their client dropped. Criminal law is a diverse practice area and encompasses violent crimes, drug offenses, sexual assault and rape, and fraud.

If you have been charged with a crime, you will want to contact criminal law attorneys near you for legal advice. Not all law firms are on par, so here we share advice on choosing the best criminal lawyer near you along with other considerations such as costs and consultation fees.

What is a Criminal Lawyer?

Criminal defense lawyers are legal professionals that represent the accused in local, state, and federal courts to find justice for their clients. They specialize in criminal law, the most widely known area of legal practice. This is a huge area of the law, encompassing a range of crimes that negatively impact society as a whole. Examples of legal issues a criminal lawyer near you might work on include: domestic violence, murder and manslaughter, sexual offenses, fraud and embezzlement, assault and violent crimes, or burglaries.

What Does a Criminal Law Attorney Do?

As criminal law is a diverse practice area, the precise role of a criminal lawyer can vary considerably. However, their overarching goal is to help guide the defendant through the criminal proceedings and fight any criminal charges held against them. As such, some of the duties of a criminal law attorney include:

  • Investigating the case and interviewing any witnesses
  • Gathering evidence to support their defense
  • Using all available evidence to formulate a defense strategy
  • Negotiating with the prosecution to form plea bargains
  • Preparing the criminal defendant for trial
  • Researching similar cases and statutes

When To Hire a Criminal Lawyer?

When facing criminal charges, there should be no delay in hiring a criminal defense lawyer. Felony charges have severe punishments including life behind bars, large monetary fines, or even the death penalty. Even misdemeanor crimes can lead to jail time. Hiring a criminal law lawyer near you will be your best chance of getting the charges dropped and clearing or reducing all associated punishment. Additionally, the sooner you hire an attorney, the better. We recommend you contact law firms as soon as you are arrested by the police. In most cases, it's also a good idea to refuse to answer any questions until you have legal representation. Anything you do say could damage your defense further down the line.

How Do I Choose a Criminal Attorney?

When choosing a law firm to work with, you want to ensure you appoint the best criminal lawyer near you. Here are a few considerations you should take into account:

  • Area of Specialization: Having a professional license isn’t enough. Criminal law is a huge practice area that covers everything from minor crimes to major felonies. Therefore, always look for criminal law attorneys near you that specialize in your area of interest. This means they are better equipped to handle your case.
  • Success Rates: Always ask what the success rates and experience level of the law firm are. Criminal charges carry severe punishments and the outcome of your case can have astonishing impacts on your life. Criminal defense lawyers with proven success are more likely to achieve the results you’re looking for.
  • Responsiveness: Criminal cases can change rapidly each hour of each day as more evidence is discovered or when media outlets get involved. As such, you need a criminal law lawyer near you that is responsive. They need to answer your calls and messages at all hours of the day and be prepared to work overtime to stay on top of everything.

How Much Does the Average Criminal Lawyer Cost?

Many criminal law attorneys near you will work for the public defender’s office. These lawyers are assigned criminal cases by the courts if the defendant’s income entitles them to a court-appointed attorney. The income bracket for this varies between states, but the rule is in place as all defendants are entitled to receive fair representation in court regardless of their wealth. As such, if using a court-appointed lawyer, there are no legal fees as it is subsidized by the government.

On the other hand, there are also private law firms. You will need to hire a private criminal defense lawyer if you do not qualify for free legal representation. Even if you do receive government help, you may prefer to choose your own lawyer, as they tend to get better deals for their clients.

Private criminal law attorneys near you will typically charge by the hour. Depending on the experience of the law firm, hourly rates range from $150 to $700 and upwards. Therefore, the overall cost of hiring criminal law lawyers near you depends on the experience of the firm and the complexity of your case. An average of up to $3,000 could be expected for simple misdemeanor cases. However, it is not uncommon for legal bills to reach $15,000+ for serious offenses that go to trial.

Do Criminal Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?

Every law firm will have its own procedures when it comes to consultations. However, free consultations are common for criminal defense attorneys. This gives both the defendant and the lawyer a chance to establish whether they are a good fit. In other cases, criminal law attorneys near you will charge a set hourly rate for their consultation time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important responsibility of a criminal defense lawyer?

According to the American Bar Association, all criminal defense lawyers have the primary responsibility of defending their client's rights in the pursuit of justice.

Do I need a criminal law lawyer near me if I’m pleading guilty?

Yes – It is beneficial to speak to a qualified attorney even if you do plan on pleading guilty. They can help you in obtaining better benefits or reduced sentencing for admitting to the crime.

What should I do if I am falsely accused of a crime?

If you have been falsely accused of a crime, you need to contact one of the best criminal lawyers near you. Being falsely accused does not mean the charges will automatically be dropped. Speak to an attorney who can help prove the charges need to be dismissed.