In Orlando, thousands of people are arrested on criminal charges each month. We turn to lawyers when we are the most vulnerable. We need them to help us navigate the criminal law system and fight tirelessly on our behalf in order to ensure that justice is served. When you have been falsely accused of a crime – or have had charges trumped up an unrecognizable amount – you need a lawyer that is dedicated, intelligent and creative.
That said, these attributes can be difficult to assess when you stand accused of a crime – as mentioned above, you are often at your most vulnerable and confused when you are selecting your legal counsel. This lack of mental clarity could leave you with an inexperienced or poorly reviewed attorney. Worse, you could be financially unable to hire the right lawyer for your case, depending instead on harried court-appointed counsel.
Bad lawyers lead to wrongful convictions
The evidence is clear – overburdened, uneducated or poorly performing lawyers are the reason why many people are wrongly convicted each year. Some studies estimate that a full twenty five percent of the people behind bars in the United States are incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit. This shocking statistic is even more chilling when you are facing a criminal court trial – you do not want to end up a victim of this horrible (and preventable) fate.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims on Appeal
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel is a common reason for people to appeal their conviction. The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that individuals have the right to effective and qualified legal counsel, and if an individual can show that their lawyer was incapable of providing a reasonable defense strategy they can appeal their conviction.
The Innocence Project has presented evidence that, “a review of convictions overturned by DNA testing reveals a trail of sleeping, drunk, incompetent and overburdened defense attorneys, at the trial level and on appeal.” Drunk? Sleeping? Overburdened? This could happen to you – never forget that there is a lot on the line.
How can you find a reliable lawyer?
If you are seeking an Orlando criminal law firm to defend you in your upcoming criminal trial, you need to keep a few things in mind during the selection process.
- Spend as much as you can afford – If you want the best of the best, it is important to choose carefully and dig deep into your pocketbook – your freedom could depend on your choice.
- Ask for recommendations from people you trust – Ask your colleagues, family and friends for any recommendations that they can provide. First hand experience is always preferable to reviews online.
- Check the lawyer referral agency – The American Bar Association operates a fantastic resource with their lawyer referral agency. Check this to ensure the counsel you are considering is in good standing with the bar.
- Interview more than one option – Remember, your instinct and first impressions can go a long way when it comes to the selection process – don’t be too hasty to go with your first option.