You have the right to hire counsel if you can afford to do so. If you believe you cannot afford a lawyer, you can fill out a form and the court will determine if you qualify to have a lawyer appointed to represent you. New Hampshire is fortunate to have an excellent public defender program that covers the entire state.
If you do not qualify, or you prefer to hire counsel, How do you choose the right lawyer?
Hire a specialist
You are charged with a crime. Just as you would not hire a plumber to fix the wiring in your house, you should not hire a civil lawyer to handle a criminal matter. Make sure the lawyer you choose has experience handling your kind of case.
Think about hiring a local
In some cases, especially more serious ones, skill and experience are more important than the location of the lawyer. And some lawyers regularly practice in many different courts. In other cases, generally misdemeanors and violations, it can pay to have a lawyer who is very familiar with the local courts, police, and prosecutors. Find out how often the lawyer appears in the court where you are charged.
Look for good fit
You do it when you buy shoes – you need to do it when you choose a lawyer. Does the lawyer listen to you? Do they ask questions that make sense? Do they inspire confidence – but still level with you about your case and your chances of success? You could be working with this person for several months or a year, and your liberty may be at stake. Are they a good fit for you and your case?
If you are seeking legal representation for a criminal offense, contact us today.