Tips, tricks and advice for finding the best sex crime lawyer in Houston
If you have been charged with a sex crime, it’s critical that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. However, you want to be sure that you choose a lawyer with special qualifications so that you get the best defense possible. You don’t want to simply go to the lawyer who specializes in real estate or personal injury; rather, it’s important to consider their type of experience and qualifications in your case type.
These tips can help you choose the right sex crime lawyer in Texas who has the experience, knowledge and capability to fully protect your rights and freedoms.
How responsive are they?
If you are facing charges related to sexual assault, you want an attorney who will respond to you quickly. When you call the office to schedule your initial consultation, they should be able to set up an appointment within a day or so. This will indicate how quickly they will respond when you call with questions after they hire you.
Type of experience
Just like doctors, lawyers specialize in certain types of law. You want to find someone who specializes in criminal law, specifically one who has experience with sexual assault defense.
Choose a local attorney
One of the benefits of hiring a local attorney is that they have experience with the local court system. Each court has its own process for filings, procedures and protocols. A local attorney will be familiar with those protocols and less likely to offend a clerk or judge. They will also have an existing working relationship with local prosecutors and police.
Check the State Bar Association
Your State Bar Association will have information regarding any disciplinary actions taken against an attorney, as well as the types of cases they handle. You can use search engines like Google to find news articles about high profile cases the attorney may have handled and organizations they are involved in.
You can also find attorney review sites, many of which don’t allow a lawyer to remove bad reviews. This will give you a better picture of the lawyer’s relationship with clients, how they handle cases and what the outcomes of those cases were.
Ask family and friends
One of the most common ways lawyers get new clients is through referrals from their current clients. You can ask family and friends for the names of lawyers who may have helped them in their criminal case. They may even have acquaintances who are attorneys who might be able to help. You can also ask a lawyer you already know and trust to recommend a good criminal defense attorney.
Questions during the initial consultation
You will want to choose a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the crime you are facing. During the initial interview, they should know what questions to ask to get an understanding of anything unique about your case, as well as details on how to go about defending you. They should also be able to explain what possible penalties you could be facing.
An attorney who is well-versed in defending sexually-based criminal charges will understand that they need to conduct their own investigation. They will want the names of witnesses and details on where the crime allegedly took place. They will try to seek video evidence that refutes what the accuser says and witness statements that may prove they are not being truthful. The attorney may also investigate the background of the accuser to see if there is a history of false accusations in their past.
Willingness to go to trial
You want to choose an attorney who does not instantly begin talking about plea arrangements with a prosecutor. Keep in mind that it is your decision whether a plea deal or agreement is in your best interest or not.
A good attorney should advise you of your chances at trial, but also be willing to defend you in court if you choose to reject a plea bargain. For this reason, it’s better to choose an attorney who has courtroom experience should your case end up in court.
Although the attorney will control how the case winds through the court system, what witnesses to call and what motions to file, there are some decisions that are totally yours to make. Your attorney should listen to what you have to say and answer questions in a direct manner. In addition, they should be open and honest about what you could be facing so that you can make an informed decision.