Houston is considered a safe place to live, and most criminal activities are limited to sketchy neighborhoods.
Criminal attorneys handle various cases like sex crimes, domestic abuse, violent crimes, theft, drug offenses, and several other types of offenses.
If you are charged for any of the crimes mentioned above, you need to hire a Houston criminal defense attorney.
Finding the best criminal attorney can be a difficult task. Here are five things to consider before hiring one.
1. Experience in Your Type of Case
As per the 2001 National Crime Victimization Survey, around 691,710 nonfatal violent victimizations were registered in the US. In addition, 7% of Texans mentioned their family member or friend had been victims of domestic violence.
Some attorneys select areas of interest for their practice and take only specific types of cases. Therefore, instead of choosing a general criminal attorney, you should choose an attorney specializing in your crime area.
For example, if you are a domestic violence victim, you need to look for an attorney specializing in domestic violence cases.
2. Licensed to Practice in Your State
Texas laws require attorneys to obtain licenses to practice in the State.
An attorney who does not hold proper licenses cannot offer legal representation in the court, provide legal advice or handle any client’s legal matters.
Hence, you need to check whether the attorney is licensed to practice in State. You can find this information at the State Bar of Texas website.
3. Investigative Tactics
Recent crime data indicates homicides in Houston increased 71% in 2021 compared to 2019. An investigation is crucial in criminal cases. Most criminal attorneys work alongside professional investigators and detectives to resolve cases.
They should have experience working with law enforcement officers and detectives to assist their clients and prepare a defense for them. Some attorneys have retired police officers working full-time for them.
A Houston criminal defense attorney with good investigative tactics and having retired police officers and detectives in the team will have a distinct advantage in the case.
So, you should ask the attorney whether he has an investigative team of his own to find evidence and strengthen your case.
4. Policies and Procedures
Leading criminal defense attorneys have policies and procedures to follow, which helps them deliver excellent and consistent results. But on the other hand, some attorneys don’t have any policies and procedures, which leads to a chaotic situation while handling the case.
Experts mention that cutting-edge procedures help the prosecutor’s office better, and the attorney can handle the case uniformly and deliver success.
5. Client-Centered Values
Leading criminal defense attorneys are guided by values of commitment, courage, and compassion for their clients. If you are falsely implicated in a crime, it becomes the biggest personal trial of your life.
The attorney’s legal services should not remain limited to the courthouse steps, but the attorney should address the whole person’s needs.
They need to understand the clients that come to them are broken, mentally ill, addicted, or undergoing the very painful and emotional experience of being prosecuted for the crime.
The attorney should understand their mental trauma and help them navigate through a legal framework that is one of their worst experiences.
Considering these things will help you select a criminal defense attorney who can defend you and protect your constitutional rights.