Questions to Ask Your Newark Criminal Defense Lawyer
Ensuring that you get the best possible defense against criminal charges in New Jersey
The Anthony Pope Law Firm believes that all accused persons should have capable and responsive counsel. To determine whether your attorney is truly serving your best interests, we suggest the questions below.
Contact a respected criminal defense attorney in New Jersey
The Anthony Pope Law Firm has a solid reputation for achieving positive results in state and federal criminal cases. To schedule a consultation, call us at 973.536.2346 or contact us online.
- What percentage of your attorney’s practice is criminal law?
- What percentage of criminal cases does your attorney actually take to trial?
- Has your attorney ever prosecuted criminal cases, especially these specific charges?
- Does your attorney know the prosecutor, and if so, what is their relationship like?
- Does your attorney know the judges you’re likely to see, and what is his or her reputation with them?
- Has your attorney had convictions reversed on appeal?
- What are your options given the evidence against you?
You want to make sure that your attorney is not simply practicing criminal defense as a sideline. The higher the percentage criminal law is of your lawyer’s practice, the better. It’s also helpful if in the other areas of practice, your attorney actually tries cases, such as personal injury lawsuits.
Experience is the greatest teacher, and having prosecutorial experience teaches an attorney how the state builds its case. Having the ability to think like a prosecutor allows your attorney to develop a defense strategy and specific procedural tactics that can work to your advantage.
Even though the court system is adversarial, it helps when the adversaries respect one another. You don’t want your attorney to be too cozy with the other side, but you do want him or her to have a reputation for honesty and fair dealing, which can operate to your advantage in negotiations to dismiss or reduce charges or arrive at a plea bargain.
This is a good way to judge whether your attorney has enough courtroom experience. You want a Newark criminal defense attorney who has a positive reputation with the court. Judges are only human — if they have come to expect professionalism from your lawyer, they will be more likely to give him the benefit of the doubt on rulings that could favor your case.
This may seem counterintuitive, as if the appeals court is correcting a mistake the trial attorney made. But appeals courts actually correct what they perceive as mistakes the court made. If an attorney lost a trial, but the appeals court vacated the conviction, that trial attorney did what he or she was supposed to do: preserve the issue for appeal.
A defense attorney is limited by the facts of the case and the law that governs the offense. Oftentimes, the best an attorney can do is provide damage control. Your attorney should be willing to fully explain the pros and cons of your various options. Which path to pursue is your decision. If you feel your attorney is pressuring you to do one thing or the other without patiently answering all your questions, you’re probably not getting the full benefit of legal counsel.