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Choosing the right criminal defense attorney for you, your friend, or loved one can be a daunting task. With so many choices out there, it’s sometimes hard to find the right one. To get started on making the right choice, read the following seven tips, and then call Tulsa attorney Stephen Cale at 918-277-4800.
1) Years of Practice
Your first consideration is to find out how long the attorney has been practicing law. This may seem like a no-brainer question, but it’s an important one. You don’t want a brand-new attorney or an attorney with just a few years of experience handling your case. The amount of experience that an attorney has is important. First of all, an attorney’s knowledge and skill build up over time. Generally speaking, the more an attorney has practiced, the more skilled and knowledgeable he will be. Secondly, a criminal charge is too serious to be left to someone with a modest amount of experience. A conviction can have severe consequences. For instance, it can: hinder your ability to get a job or a professional license; keep you from voting; prevent you from legally possessing a firearm, and increase punishment for any future conviction. So, it’s best to hire a criminal defense attorney with many years of practice. Attorney Stephen Cale has been practicing for nearly 20 years and has accumulated a wealth of skill and knowledge to effectively represent his clients. 2) Areas of Practice. Secondly, find out what areas of law the attorney practices in. Many attorneys practice in several areas of law. For example, an attorney may practice family law, personal injury, criminal defense, and bankruptcy. Finding out whether an attorney practices multiple areas of law is important. As an illustration, an attorney may have a high volume of bankruptcy cases each
2) Areas of Practice
Secondly, find out what areas of law the attorney practices in. Many attorneys practice in several areas of law. For example, an attorney may practice family law, personal injury, criminal defense, and bankruptcy. Finding out whether an attorney practices multiple areas of law is important. As an illustration, an attorney may have a high volume of bankruptcy cases each year but handle only a few criminal cases. When that happens, that attorney has a lot of experience dealing with bankruptcy matters but little experience with criminal defense. As you’ve read in Tip No. 1, you don’t want an attorney with just a little experience handling your case.
3) Criminal Defense Focus
With Tip No. 2 in mind, it’s vital that you find out whether an attorney focuses on criminal defense. For instance, Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale focuses only on criminal defense and asset forfeiture defense. (Asset forfeiture cases are typically connected to an alleged crime. So, sometimes a person may have both a criminal charge and a forfeiture lawsuit filed against him). There are a couple of reasons why hiring an attorney who focuses on criminal defense is extremely important. For one, criminal defense is complex; there is nothing easy about fighting a charge or striving for the best possible outcome. Secondly, the law is constantly changing. New legislation is passed into law every year. And, new case opinions from appellate courts like the U.S. Supreme Court are issued annually. In fact, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issues new opinions several times throughout the year.So, as you can imagine, the more areas of law an attorney practices in, the more he needs to know to stay abreast of new changes. But it’s almost impossible to stay current on multiple areas of law. There’s only so much time in a day. As a result, an attorney may learn
So, as you can imagine, the more areas of law an attorney practices in, the more he needs to know to stay abreast of new changes. But it’s almost impossible to stay current on multiple areas of law. There’s only so much time in a day. As a result, an attorney may learn new law in one area but not devote time to stay on top of another. On the other hand, an attorney focusing on criminal defense doesn’t have other practice areas taking away his attention. Lastly, it takes a high level of skill to effectively represent a person facing a charge. So, it’s important to hire an attorney who focuses on criminal defense, and who has developed the skill and knowledge needed to effectively represent someone facing a charge.
4) Type of Charge
Even though an attorney may focus on criminal defense, he may not handle certain types of criminal cases. Here are three examples. First, some criminal defense attorneys handle only state or federal charges. Secondly, some attorneys may handle only misdemeanor cases, while others may handle only felonies. Thirdly, some attorneys refuse to take on cases involving certain crimes. For instance, an attorney may have no problem representing someone charged with DUI but refuse to represent someone charged with murder. So, you’ll need to find out whether or not the attorney has handled your type of case. Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale has handled a wide range of cases from state to federal charges, and misdemeanors to felonies (including murder).
5) Free Initial Consultation
Believe it or not, some attorneys actually charge potential clients for an initial consultation. That’s not the case with Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. He offers a free initial consultation. This is a no-expense opportunity for you to get to know him better, and for him to get to know you and your situation. It’s also a way for him to explain the legal process and give you an idea of what to expect. Attorney Stephen Cale believes in building a partnership with his clients and it starts with the free initial consultation.
6) Additional Benefits
Now that you’ve considered Tip No. 5, you’ll next want to find out what additional benefits (if any) an attorney offers at the initial consultation. Attorney Stephen Cale provides a free Defense Strategy Plan during his initial consultation. You can think of this as both a plan of attack and a roadmap. The Defense Strategy Plan is a custom-made document, tailored to the client’s specific situation. It lets clients know in writing what steps attorney Cale will be taking next to effectively defend them. It also shows them what they can expect from the legal system.
7) Positive Google Reviews
Lastly, take a look at Google reviews for the attorney. Google Business Reviews give people a way to rate and comment on a business. Ratings go from one to five stars, with 1-star being the least favorable and 5-stars being the best. This is a good way for you to discover from past clients what they experienced from the attorney, and whether they would recommend that attorney. You can view Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale’s reviews here.