How Should I Choose The Right Criminal Defense Lawyer For My Case?

How Should I Choose The Right Criminal Defense Lawyer For My Case?

If you or a loved one is facing a New Jersey criminal charge, it is probably one of the most stressful and anxious times of your life.  Short of losing a loved one, facing a criminal charge is downright frightening given consequences that follow from a conviction and the uncertainty of what will happen. Therefore, choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for your case will likely be crucial to how your case is resolved. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have:

  • Over two-hundred (200) years of combined experience
  • A team of ten (10) criminal defense attorneys that devote their entire practice to criminal law
  • Our firm has seven (7) former prosecutors
    • Three (3) of our attorneys were former assistant county prosecutors and held directorial positions of the Drug, Gang, and Gun Task Force, Major Crimes Division, Trial Division, and the Juvenile Division
    • Three (3) of our attorneys were former municipal prosecutors in over twenty-five (25) towns
  • One (1) of our attorneys is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, a distinction held by less than 1% of attorneys in this State
  • One (1) of our lawyers was recently selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2020 list for New Jersey which is a highly credentialed, peer-influenced, third-party validated, and a patented process that selects only 2.5% of attorneys in New Jersey to this list
  • Some of our attorneys were also selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40

At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have the experience and credentials to successfully defend you or your loved one against numerous charges, whether it be at the state or federal level. These are charges that you should not face alone and we stand ready to defend you. Please give our office a call at 1-877-534-7338, we’re available 24/7.

Choosing the Best Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend Your Charges

There are many factors that should be paramount to you in the processing of selecting an NJ criminal defense lawyer to represent you. The headings below outline the primary considerations that will allow you to hire the best lawyers to handle your charge :

a. Specialization in Your Area of Law

  1. Website; You can tell if a law firm or attorney practices in criminal defense and only criminal defense, or if they dabble in a little bit of everything just by going on their website. A law firm that handles criminal defense, personal injury, real estate, trust & wills, and/or divorce is likely not as suited for you or your loved one’s case compared to a law firm with lawyers that primarily practice in criminal law. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the law firm or attorney you retain for your case devotes a great deal of their time to criminal law.
  2. Telephone consultation; If the lawyer or law firm has a free consultation, don’t be afraid to ask him/her if they or their firm devote most of their practice to criminal law. If the answer is no, or that they devote some of their time to criminal law but also devote their time to other areas as well, you or your loved one may want to keep searching for a firm or attorney that practices primarily in criminal law.

b. Experience Defending the Type of Criminal Offense You Are Facing

  1. Significant Exposure to Cases Like Yours. If you are facing homicide charges, you want to hire someone with experience defending manslaughter, death by auto or murder cases. The same would hold true for just about any area, for example, unlawful possession of a handgun offense. The key is not, however, what their website says in this regard but rather getting them on the telephone and pinning them down. The reason is that what you read on the internet is often the furthest thing from reality when it comes to actual experience. So ask the attorney you are considering the hard questions and do not accept double talk. How many gun cases have you actually handled? How many of the case(s) were tried before a jury?
  2. Trial Experience. A good amount of law firms will state on their website or to you over the phone or in-person that they have handled numerous criminal cases. Again, try and see how many trials they have handled. There is a difference between handling cases and going to trial on a case. A good amount of criminal defense attorneys have handled numerous criminal cases, but have not gone to trial or have tried very few. One way to see if an attorney has tried cases is to ask if they’re certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney. In order to be certified, an attorney has to have tried a certain number of cases, practiced a certain amount of years, and take a written as well as an oral test in criminal law and procedure. In the event you retain a criminal lawyer who has little to no criminal trials under their belt and trial is something that you want to pursue, then you will be ill-equipped to succeed. The likely result is pressure to take a plea or a botched trial. plea deal or potentially botch your case at trial.

c. Reviews 

  1. Google Reviews; You can (or anyone for that matter) can easily research a law firm or an attorney. With search engines like Google or Bing on your smartphone, it makes attaining information about prospective lawyers or law firms quicker, easier, and more efficient. Some things to look out for while researching are pretty self-explanatory, such as Google reviews. You can research each review (and particular reviews such as DUI reviews or Assault Reviews) and see what that client said about the law firm or lawyer. Don’t be fooled that someone has 25 Google reviews and therefore they must be good. Dig deeper and see what each review, if anything, says about that attorney or that law firm. A few detailed Google reviews will likely help you out more than numerous Google review that say little to nothing. 
  2. Avvo & Justia; Avvo’s website is a great tool in researching a potential attorney or law firm. They have a rating system that rates an attorney on 1 to 10. 1 obviously is the worst, and 10 clearly is the best. There are multiple factors that go into this rating system such as peer endorsements, awards, speaking engagements, years licensed, work experience and education. Also, the website includes a section for clients to review the attorney on a scale of 1 to 5. Justia is another great website to vet out an attorney. This website also rates an attorney as well as allows clients to leave reviews on the attorney’s profile.

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has the experience and credentials to successfully defend you or your loved one against numerous charges. Amongst our attorneys accolades are Avvo and Justia ratings of 10, Certified Criminal Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey and former prosecutors ready to fight for you or your loved one. Please give our office a call at 1-877-534-7338, we’re available 24/7.