You were arrested and accused of a crime. You’re scared—and you should be. The justice system is powerful. The prosecution has the FULL FORCE of the government behind it and virtually limitless financial resources to pursue your case.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE?
Whether you are guilty or have been falsely accused, YOU NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY who understands the law, cares about your case, and isn’t afraid to stand and fight toe-to-toe with the prosecution.
So how do you speak with that kind of criminal defense attorney? Schnipper Law can help, read on.
The ONLY thing all attorneys have in common is that they passed the bar exam. After that, what distinguishes one lawyer from the next is experience. We don’t just mean how many years of law practice they have under their belts (although that’s important). We mean hard-earned, boots-on-the-ground FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE about how the criminal justice system in Atlanta operates. You have to ask the right questions to your Attorney to make sure you don’t end up in a worse situation. You wouldn’t hand over a stock car to your grandma just because she drives her Buick to church every Sunday. Don’t make the mistake of trusting your criminal defense to a lawyer who hasn’t handled a case like yours.
The prosecution will come HARD at you trying to get you to take a plea deal, maybe with threats of a long jail sentence if you don’t play ball. Leave those negotiations to an attorney who knows the prosecutors and how they tick. You aren’t a lawyer. If you try to “talk” your own way out of a charge or into a plea You’ll get eaten alive.
Sometimes a plea is in your best interest. Sometimes it’s not. You know who knows the difference? That’s right: an experienced criminal defense attorney who has seen these kinds of cases before, knows what is standard, and can explain all of the consequences of a plea deal to you. Copping a plea can have long-term consequences for your employment, your ability to find housing, and your hopes of attending college. They can also have harsh immigration consequences which the prosecution is not required to tell you about. And since they don’t have to, they probably won’t.
If you don’t take a plea deal, your case will be set for a jury trial. EVERYONE in America who is accused of a crime has a right to a jury trial. They also have a right to a lawyer to represent them in that trial.
BUT GUESS WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO?
You don’t have the right to a lawyer who has spent decades taking cases like yours to trial. Heck, you don’t even have the right to a lawyer who has argued a single case like yours to a jury.
If you want a lawyer who’s as comfortable in a courtroom as he is in his own living room, and who understands how to explain your defense to a jury in language they understand, you need one with EXPERIENCE. Schnipper Law has that reputation.
The Right Kind of Reputation
Any attorney can say they’re hard working, “a fighter,” or committed to their clients. But which of them can say that others would describe them that way? Look for a criminal defense lawyer who has the respect and admiration of other lawyers, judges, and clients. Do research on attorney review sites. Ask around. You want the attorney who has actually done the hard work, has actually fought for his clients, and has actually gotten results, not just one who says so. That’s how you earn the right kind of reputation
It takes an entire team to investigate a criminal case. YOUR ATTORNEY SHOULD HAVE ONE, AND IT HAD BETTER BE GOOD. Lawyers can’t be everywhere at once. They need skilled investigators, paralegals, legal assistants to help with gathering facts, nailing down evidence, and interviewing witnesses. They need access to a network of expert witnesses, such as psychiatrists, social workers, or people with specialized technical expertise, to help prove their clients’ cases.
It’s a team effort. A great attorney surrounds himself with an even greater team. Your defense deserves nothing less.
Will your attorney be available to you when you need him? Do you have a good way to contact him? What about other people in his office who may be able to help if he’s with another client or in court?
If an attorney tells you he is only available 9-5 Monday-Friday, HARD PASS. Practicing criminal law takes 24/7/365 commitment. Choose someone who is going to be there for you when you need him, no matter what.
What You Need in a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you face criminal charges in Atlanta:
You want a TON of experience, someone who has represented clients in every kind of case you can imagine, from misdemeanors to felony robberies and homicides. You’ll need someone who can pick the best jury for a case, and tell his client’s story so that its strength is crystal clear to the jury and the judge.
It’s helpful to hire a former prosecutor to serve as your defense attorney, someone who learned about the system from the inside. That’s how you understand the tricks prosecutors may use to try to bully you into taking a deal. That’s someone who can anticipate their next move. If your case goes to trial, the DA has to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. If your attorney has walked a mile in their shoes, he will know how to introduce doubt into the prosecution’s case, poke holes in their evidence, and throw them off their game and level the playing field so that YOU GET A FAIR SHAKE.
You want to talk about reputation? Look up the attorneys you think you’d like to work with and check the customer rankings on Google. A five-star review is a good sign. Also, check out Avvo – the place for attorney rankings—those are awards that come from earning a reputation from his peers.
Team? You need someone with investigators, paralegals, and legal assistants on your side, fighting to get you the best result in your case.
Access? Will you get your lawyer’s personal cell phone number so if you have a question on a Saturday morning or late on a Tuesday night, you can call or text?
No two cases are alike and any attorney would be out of line to guarantee a result, but a criminal defense attorney who will put the full force of his experience, his team, and his compassion behind your case gives you the BEST CHANCE for the BEST results possible.