How Do You Know You’re Getting the Best IL Criminal Defense
From the moment you enter the criminal justice system, you might feel overwhelmed and stressed.
That’s why, when you’re facing criminal charges, it’s in your best interest to bring a defense attorney on board – to help you navigate the often cumbersome legal process.
If you’ve never needed an attorney before, much less a criminal defense attorney, how do you know you’ve found the right one? What characteristics does a good defense attorney have?
It’s key to the success of your case to select the right attorney for it.
Here are qualities you need to look for in a criminal attorney, how the criminal trial process works, and the three main categories of criminal defense.
What To Look For in an Attorney
There are a few traits to prioritize when choosing a criminal attorney to represent you. They are:
Does this attorney have experience in cases like yours?
Remember, criminal law is quite complex, so it’s important to find an attorney with real-world experience defending similar cases. This will mean they are well versed in the law surrounding your type of case and that they want to represent clients in these circumstances.
Stellar Communication Skills
A good attorney will listen carefully and respectfully to you, address your concerns, and answer all your questions.
They’ll also communicate to ensure that you understand their choices and how the case is going.
A good defense attorney will make you feel as if they want to work with you. You will be a priority to them.
Simple actions, like remembering your name and the specifics surrounding your case, should not be difficult. They’ll also work hard to prepare the best defense possible for you.
Aggressive But Approachable
Aggressiveness is a good characteristic in a defense attorney since it may be necessary at times. A passionate attorney advocates for you in court but remains approachable outside of court—that’s a great attorney to have on your side.
The Trial Process
There are typically six phases to a criminal trial. They are:
- Choosing the jury
- Opening statements by the prosecution and defense
- Witness testimony and cross-examination of those witnesses
- Closing Arguments
- Jury Instruction
- Jury Deliberation and Verdict
Your attorney will guide you through each phase of a criminal trial. They’ll make sure you know how things are progressing.
They will also advocate for you in court, presenting the best defense they can.
The Categories of Criminal Defense
There are various strategies that criminal defense attorneys use for defense in court.
The three main categories of criminal defense are:
This is the most straightforward defense out there – you simply didn’t commit the crime.
However, it takes a lot of strategies for your attorney to present a convincing case that demonstrates your innocence.
A good attorney will bring expert witnesses to the stand, find evidence that points to your innocence, and may even present strong alibi evidence on your behalf.
If you plan to plead self-defense, your attorney must show that you faced a threat justifying the use of force. This strategy can apply to situations in which you were protecting friends or family from what you believed to be a real threat.
This is one of the hardest strategies for defense, but it can work in some situations. Once your attorney knows all about your case and the charges against you, they can formulate a defense that utilizes insanity if appropriate.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.