If you have committed an offense or a misdemeanor, you may be formally charged by the police. If this does occur, you have the right to seek legal representation. If you have never had to seek the services of a solicitor, then there is a good chance that you feel way out of your element. If you are unsure what things you need to be on the lookout for or how to even hire one of the criminal lawyers in Melbourne, check out this comprehensive guide to help you through the process.
Know who and what you are dealing with
Before you hire anyone, you need to know what charges have been specifically laid against you and what you will be contesting in the courtroom. Most criminal lawyers in Melbourne will specialise in a specific area of the legal framework, so be on the lookout for those that have experience in the field you require.
Do your own research
Even if there is a family friend who can handle your case, it’s still in your best interest to be doing your own research. Do a Google search of ‘criminal lawyers in Melbourne’ to optimize your search. You don’t want solicitors who don’t practice in criminal law in Melbourne, so make sure you streamline your search to save yourself time and stress.
Don’t ignore friends and family
You may have friends of family who have been in a similar situation. Ask them for advice and who their legal counsel was for their case. They may know someone who would be willing to take on your case for a reduced fee or on a pro bono basis.
Know the real deal when you see it
How do you know that you have found the right solicitor for your case? If you have never been in that position before, it can be very hard to come to a decision you feel confident about. What you can do, however, is look for red flags. Criminal lawyers in Melbourne who are late to meetings or scheduled court appearances should be removed from your list. Someone who is on their phone is also likely not going to give your case the required amount of time and effort it needs to succeed.
Solicitors often use very confusing jargon and terminology. If you are confused in any capacity, make sure you seek clarification. There is no point just nodding as if you understand. You need to understand all your legal options and how much their services will cost up front. Legal fees can be quite expensive, so knowing how much you owe before hand can greatly help with budgeting. Do not sign any agreements or contracts until you are fully confident that you can afford all relevant fees and costs.
Keep solid records
It’s also important that you have all the relevant documentation for your team of criminal lawyers in Melbourne. Make sure you have copies of the original documents, in case your solicitor(s) asks for the originals. It’s always good to have a chronology of the events during which the alleged illegal activity occurred. Making sure that your story is straight is critical to the success of your case.
You’re not locked in
A lot of clients often feel trapped when dealing with criminal lawyers in Melbourne. They feel like they can’t opt out and look elsewhere. The fact of the matter is you can change your legal counsel whenever you see fit. If your solicitor isn’t fulfilling their duties to an adequate standard, then you are not obligated to retain their services. Put your criminal lawyers in Melbourne on notice and if they continue to let you down, end your professional relationship with them.