9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Criminal Defence Lawyer in Alberta

The benefits of hiring a criminal defence lawyer in Alberta are innumerable. A criminal defence lawyer may be all that stands between you and a substantial fine, criminal record or prison sentence, so it’s important you hire the right one. They can negotiate rights in your name and help improve your chances of a favourable outcome.

Below are nine critical questions to ask before hiring a criminal defence lawyer in Alberta:

1. Does the criminal defence lawyer have experience in cases like mine, and what is their opinion of the possible outcome?

When it comes to criminal charges, your legal defence is your best asset. You should only hire a criminal defence lawyer in Alberta who understands the law related to your case. Experienced lawyers possess the knowledge and expertise to navigate the courtroom and plan a robust defence with the best possible outcome in mind.

With any court case, there are never guarantees. A criminal defence lawyer who offers definitive outcomes should immediately sound alarms bells. However, there are usually several possible eventualities for criminal defence cases. In some cases, the prosecution chooses to drop all charges, while in others a criminal defence lawyer can work out a plea agreement.

If the case does go to trial, there is also the possibility of a not guilty or guilty verdict. When hiring a criminal defence lawyer, ask them what the possible outcomes of your case are, how likely each is to occur, and what they think the best strategy is.

2. Does the criminal defence lawyer offer a free consultation?

A short phone conversation isn’t enough time for a criminal defence lawyer to evaluate your case, or to get a feel if they’re the right fit for you. It’s crucial to have a sit down meeting where they can review your case and provide possible ways to proceed.

3. How much do their services cost?

A criminal defence lawyer will typically provide a client with a variety of fee structures that best suits their finances. Some lawyers charge on an hourly basis, while others prefer retainers. Most will work out a mutually agreeable payment plan with clear line items, so you know what the cost is of pre-trial motions, consultations, paperwork and phone calls, etc.

4. How accessible is your criminal defence lawyer?

We know hiring a criminal defence lawyer is a particularly stressful time for clients, who often desire direct contact with their lawyers when and as questions arise. A reputable criminal defence lawyer should always be available to respond to concerns and be clear about the way they plan to communicate with you from the get-go. Establishing this at the start can alleviate unnecessary stress related to communication expectations.

5. Who will be working on my case?

Criminal defence lawyers typically have a team of assistants, clerks, paralegals, and other lawyers that work with them on each case. In some instances, they will be the professionals you communicate with as your case proceeds, so it’s a good idea to ask if you can meet with key team members. 

6. How quickly will the case be resolved?

Criminal cases can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to resolve. It’s impossible to predict the exact time frame without knowing the details. However, once an experienced criminal defence lawyer understands the particulars regarding a case, they should be able to provide an estimated timeline. A good criminal defence lawyer will do their best to facilitate the fastest possible resolution.

7. Are they willing to take your case to trial?

It may come as a surprise, but some criminal defence lawyers are plea bargain machines, meaning they’d rather crank out plea after plea than go to trial. An innocent client will likely be unsatisfied with entering a plea bargain because it requires them to plead guilty. Of course, each case is unique, and it’s difficult to generalize, but you need to know from the start whether your criminal defence lawyer is comfortable and willing to defend you in court. 

8. How many trials have they conducted, and what is their win percentage?

If your case goes to trial, you’ll want a criminal defence lawyer in Alberta who can confidently argue your case in court. Your criminal defence lawyer’s team should know how to prepare for the courtroom, as well as the best way to pursue and negotiate plea bargains. You’ll also want to know what their success rate is, too. A criminal defence lawyer who hasn’t won any of their cases doesn’t inspire much confidence.

9. What do I need to do to help with my case?

A criminal defence lawyer works with their clients to build the best defence, and will clearly outline responsibilities. Therefore, it's important to find out what you should and should not do to assist your lawyer.

We Are Your Champions For Justice When Life Gets Messy

Whether you are acquitted or convicted, the process of getting accused or charged for a crime is very stressful. If there is a chance you could end up in jail, or with a criminal record, hiring a criminal defence lawyer in Alberta is critical to safeguard your future.

Contact Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Charles Fair 

Being wrongly convicted of a crime is frightening, and unfair. You need to protect yourself by contacting an experienced criminal defence lawyer. At Fair Legal, we work to ensure that the government and its agencies, such as the police, active within the balance of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and do not abuse their power. Criminal defence lawyer Charles Fair will vigorously protect the rights and interests of our clients who are facing criminal or regulatory charges. Fair Legal wants to ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process and that any sentence is one that is appropriate for your circumstances and not disproportionate to the alleged crime committed.

Call us at 1 (403) 239-2249 to schedule a confidential meeting with a member of our team.