If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Canada, it is important to retain a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Because a criminal conviction can be very serious and can affect the rest of your life, it is critical to have someone who knows the highly specialized area of criminal law representing your interests.
Where to Find a Canada Criminal Lawyer
If you want to enlist the services of a criminal lawyer from a private law practice, one of the best resources is the Internet. The online directory Canadian-Lawyers.ca is a good site to search. You just have to use the “Find A Lawyer” search box which can be found on the right-hand side of the page. The site provides search tips and you can expand your search to cities that are in close proximity. When you do a search for criminal lawyers in your area, you will be shown a list of lawyers. You can learn more about each lawyer by clicking on the lawyer’s name or by clicking on the link that says “more info.” The “more info” link is located next to each listing. In the profile section, there should be a link to the lawyer’s website.
Going to individual lawyer websites will allow you to learn more about the lawyer, services offered, and the law firm itself. It is always a good idea to hire a Canadian criminal lawyer with an office in the place where you are facing a criminal charge.
What to look for in a Canada Criminal Lawyer
When researching criminal lawyers, take the time to review their biographies. Check to see if the lawyers have experience in the criminal law area you require. You also should hire a lawyer that has trial experience. In addition, check to see if they belong to any reputable legal associations. You can also do an online search to see if they have any law articles posted online. Check their Frequently Asked Questions web page as this page can provide answers to important questions or concerns you may have.
Another option is to check the online archives of your area newspaper to see if something has been written about the lawyers you are considering. You can also contact your provincial law society to find out if the lawyers you are researching are in good standing. In addition, ask for references as it can be very helpful to talk to others about their experience with a particular lawyer.
Criminal Lawyer Experience
It is a good idea to hire a lawyer with several years experience. It is especially helpful to have a lawyer that has a few years experience in your particular criminal charge. Some lawyers can specialize or note that they have a lot of experience in such areas as assaults, DUI, drug crimes, traffic offenses, sexual assaults, domestic assaults, or white collar crimes. It is also wise to hire a criminal lawyer that has a good working relationship with the Crown Attorney’s office because many criminal cases will result in a plea deal between the defence and prosecutor.
Criminal Lawyer’s Staff
A criminal lawyer will have a staff to help him or her with legal cases. You should make sure you are comfortable with the staff. The staff should be friendly, professional, and courteous. Often you will be dealing directly with the staff as criminal lawyers are very busy.
Cost of Representation
Criminal attorneys in Canada will charge by the hour or by a flat fee that is payable up front. Fees can be competitive so shop around. However, criminal lawyers with a lot of experience and have a solid reputation tend to be more expensive. Although, because criminal charges are very serious, it may be worth spending more and look at it as an investment in your future.