How to Choose a Houston Criminal Lawyer to Represent You

Choosing a Harris County criminal defense lawyer is an important decision that can have a significant impact on the outcome of a criminal case. Prospective criminal clients should consider the following factors when selecting a lawyer:

  1. Experience: Look for a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to your own. Criminal law is a complex and specialized area of law, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer will have the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the legal system and provide effective representation. How many criminal cases has the lawyer tried to a jury? How many has the lawyer won at trial?
  2. Reputation: Look for a lawyer who has a good reputation in the legal community. A lawyer’s reputation can impact the outcome of a case, as judges, prosecutors, and other lawyers may be more likely to take their arguments seriously. Ask court staff if they know the lawyer and what their reputation is. Read their Google profile and pay attention to their negative reviews. Lawyers who take on more cases than they can reasonably handle are usually reflected in those reviews.
  3. Communication skills: Look for a lawyer who communicates clearly and effectively. A good criminal defense lawyer should be able to explain legal concepts in a way that is easy to understand and should keep you informed about the status of your case. Lawyers that do not return calls, come to court very late if at all, or fail to keep clients informed of the status of their cases will usually receive bad reviews to that effect.
  4. Availability: Look for a lawyer who is available to answer your questions and address your concerns. A good criminal defense lawyer should be responsive to your needs and should be willing to meet with you  outside of normal business hours if necessary. Lawyers who do not return calls timely and are never available after hours or on the weekend are certainly not putting their clients first.
  5. Strategy: Look for a lawyer who has a clear strategy for your case. A good criminal defense lawyer should be able to explain their approach to your case and should be willing to discuss alternative strategies if necessary. Many young and inexperienced lawyers are still learning the trade, may not have any or little trial experience, and their approach to your case may be worlds apart from what a reputable trial lawyer can offer, so always talk to several lawyers before making a decision.
  6. Fees: Look for a lawyer who is transparent about their fees and expenses. A good criminal defense lawyer should provide you with a clear explanation of their billing practices and should be willing to work with you to develop a payment plan that is manageable for you. Be wary if the fee is too high or too low. Some young lawyers may set very high fees to give the impression they are the best when they may only be average and some lawyers that are not reputable may set very low fees because they earn a living handling cases in high volume but provide mediocre legal service. These lawyers generally have many one star reviews that tell the true story. No matter how many reviews such a lawyer might pay for, even if they have a thousand reviews, they cannot escape from their own mediocre legal 
  7.  Board certified: Is the lawyer board certified in criminal or juvenile law? To become board certified requires good standing with the Texas Bar, years of practice in a chosen field, many jury trials and hearings, recommendations from a judge and fellow attorneys, and 6 hour written exam to show proficiency in the field. This is the only way the Texas Bar recognizes specialized lawyers.
  8.  Top 100 Trial Lawyer icon is deceptive and misleading: there is zero recognizable data to back up that ludicrous claim. While there are some very good trial lawyers in the organization, there are many more average or mediocre lawyers who pay for the icon to mislead prospective clients. Any lawyer can join the organization and pay annual fees to put the icon on their website, however for many it is deceptive. It is not recognized by the Texas Bar. Worse, some mediocre lawyers not only post that icon on their website they also reinforce it in responding to their bad reviews.

It is important to take the time to research and interview several potential lawyers to find someone who is the right fit for you and your case. 

Does the lawyer answer your answer your most important questions? Does the lawyer rush you off the phone or take the time to truly understand your legal problem? 

Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a criminal defense lawyer is finding someone with whom you feel comfortable and confident.

Contact James G. Sullivan & Associates to consult with experienced Houston Criminal Lawyers at (281) 546-6428.

Serving Houston, Cypress, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, Pasadena, La Porte, Missouri City, Friendswood, Richmond, Hempstead, Humble, Tomball, Bellaire, Deer Park, Katy and other communities in Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

Our Houston criminal lawyers defend clients charged with crimes in district courts and county criminal courts, including domestic violence (assault of a family member), drug possession or drug delivery, violent crimes, and juvenile delinquency.