Finding the best criminal defense lawyer is a must when you are facing a criminal charge in Albuquerque. Not all criminal defense attorneys have the same level of experience and reputation. Choosing the right criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between the best defense possible and someone who just shows up in the courtroom to stand next to you.
Being charged with a criminal offense is scary. Rushing to find legal representation is never the right approach, especially if you are facing a serious criminal charge like possession of a controlled substance or homicide. You want to find a criminal defense attorney who knows criminal defense law inside and out and can represent you in the best possible light during all legal proceedings. Choosing a criminal defense attorney should never be an afterthought. It is without a doubt the most important step you can take in defending yourself against any criminal charge.
While finding the best fit can seem daunting, following these six steps will help you find the best criminal defense lawyer to represent you in Albuquerque or anywhere else in New Mexico.
- Choose a criminal defense lawyer that is responsive
When you are facing a criminal charge, the last thing you need is an attorney who is missing in action. Time is of the essence when mounting a defense. Lawyers who drag their feet risk losing your case. You need a criminal defense lawyer who is able and willing to get right to work on your case. When you or someone else contacts an attorney on your behalf, that attorney should respond quickly. It is not unreasonable to expect an initial consultation with the attorney and his or her legal team within 24 hours. First impressions mean a lot. A criminal defense attorney that is quick to respond to your initial inquiry will likely be responsive for the duration of your case.
- Choose a criminal defense lawyer that is experienced
The best criminal defense attorneys know their way in and around the local courts. Local connections and relationships can make a difference when fighting a criminal charge. Having a familiarity with local judges and prosecutors increases your criminal defense attorney’s ability to navigate your case successfully. They will use that knowledge to help create a winning strategy for your case. In addition to making sure your criminal defense attorney knows the ins and outs of the Albuquerque legal scene, they must specialize in criminal law. While it is true that all lawyers receive some training in criminal law during law school, you want to hire an attorney who exclusively practices criminal law. Attorneys who specialize in criminal law are the most up-to-date on practices and procedures and more capable of mounting a solid defense on your behalf.
- Choose a criminal defense lawyer who is reputable
When you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, there is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction to find a lawyer quickly. This is a mistake that can come back to haunt you later. Taking your time to find a reputable criminal defense attorney is one of the most important strategies of your defense. Be sure to check the State Bar of New Mexico when choosing your attorney. The state bar has a feature for helping you locate criminal defense attorneys near you. Their website also allows consumers to research whether an attorney has any formal discipline on their record or if they have ever lost their license to practice. When you have an attorney in mind, ask him or her for at least three solid references. Another solid tactic is to seek recommendations from lawyers who do not practice criminal defense. Chances are, if you know an attorney who practices in any aspect of the law, they can recommend a colleague they consider reputable and dependable who can handle your criminal case. Looking at online review sites also can provide a glimpse into the experience other clients have had with an attorney you are considering.
- Choose a criminal defense lawyer who is transparent
The last thing you need when you are facing a criminal charge is to have an attorney who dodges your questions. This includes clarity on their fee structure and what you can expect to pay upfront and at the conclusion of your case. Some criminal lawyers require a retainer, which is a fee that clients must pay in advance of the attorney beginning any work on the case. An attorney who works on retainer will deduct all fees and expenses for working on your case from the balance of the retainer first. If there is any amount of the retainer left over after your case is concluded, an attorney is required to return the balance to you.
- Choose a criminal defense lawyer with a winning attitude
Confidence and enthusiasm go a long way in successfully defending a client against criminal charges. The willingness to conduct a thorough investigation is paramount to a solid criminal defense. You want an attorney who does their homework before encouraging a client to accept a plea bargain when that may not be in their best interest. Having confidence in the courtroom also is important. Criminal court proceedings can move quickly. You need an attorney who is quick on his or her feet and able to respond to any unexpected situation that may arise during court proceedings. An attorney with a winning attitude who is well-spoken is a solid asset to any criminal defense.
- Choose a criminal defense lawyer who respects your input
When it comes right down to it, you are the one facing the consequences of a criminal charge. That means you need to find a criminal defense attorney who not only seeks your input on your defense but who also is willing to allow you some control over specific methods of mounting your defense. This does not mean you should try to direct every part of your defense. After all, you are not a criminal defense attorney. What it does mean is you should have the final say on some of the biggest decisions, like whether you should accept a plea deal or go to trial. An attorney who fails to take your wishes into account is not a good criminal defense lawyer.
How do I find the best criminal defense attorney near me?
Marcus Cameron is one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Albuquerque. He has an impressive record. Marcus has participated in over 2,500 administrative and legal hearings. He has defended clients in 47 criminal cases, eight of which were for first-degree murder charges. One of his cases set precedent in the State of New Mexico.
Before becoming a criminal defense attorney, Marcus Cameron served as a Judge Advocate General with the U.S. Army for eight years. He also has worked as a public defender for two years handling felonies, homicides, and violent crimes cases. His experience on both sides of the criminal law fence makes him an asset to anyone facing a criminal charge.
Facing a criminal charge can be difficult and concerning. Arm yourself with the best criminal defense attorney in New Mexico. Call Marcus Cameron and his legal team at 505-218-7844 or contact us online to schedule your no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.