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How Do I Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona?

Posted on November 9, 2023 in

Clear your criminal charges by knowing how to choose the best and correct lawyer

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges, you might be wondering: How do I choose a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona? You have come to the right place.

At the Snader Law Group, each client will get personalized attention from our criminal defense attorney. When our customers contact our Phoenix law firm for assistance, they talk directly with Howard Snader, not a paralegal or an associate.

We can help with any criminal defense case, from a misdemeanor such as a DUI defense to a felony charge such as drug crime, violent crime, sex crime, and white collar crime.

Call us now and book an appointment for a FREE CONSULTATION with our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer.


What is a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A criminal defense attorney acts as the defendant’s adviser, defender, and ally inside the complicated criminal justice system. Arizona defense attorneys are often divided into two categories: court-appointed criminal defense lawyers (paid by the government) and private criminal lawyers (paid by the defendant).

Some criminal defendants have the financial means to hire a private criminal defense lawyer. About 80% of all criminal defendants cannot afford legal representation. In these cases, the court will appoint a criminal defense lawyer to represent the defendant (assuming specific qualifications are met). These court-appointed criminal lawyers are public defenders the government pays for (also called panel attorneys). Some criminal defendants (roughly two percent) represent themselves in court and are known as “pro se” or “pro per” defendants.


What Does a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

Here are some actions a criminal defense lawyer from Phoenix, AZ, should do for you:

  • A criminal defense attorney (both private and court-appointed) gathers information, examines the criminal case against their client, and tries to reach an agreement with their opponent (prosecutors). These agreements may involve reduced bail, charges, and sentences. Deal-making has risen in importance and has emerged as a critical element in decongesting the Arizona criminal justice system due to various factors, including public and political pressure, congested prisons, and overburdened court calendars.
  • A criminal defense attorney also examines witnesses, helps in the formulation of a plea, assesses the prosecutor’s case, considers potential sentences (as well as the likelihood of such a sentence being imposed by a particular judge), reviews search and seizure practices, questions witnesses, and collects evidence. Defense counsel may also give legal advice on the possible immigration repercussions of a plea, conviction, or criminal record.
  • A defense attorney also provides more personalized service by informing the defendant of the probable outcome and helping the defendant deal with the anger and fear of being tossed into the criminal justice system. The defense attorney will represent the defendant in a trial if no plea deal can be reached.


How Do I Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona?

Taking the effort to choose the best Phoenix criminal defense attorney will guarantee that you are portrayed in the most favorable light in court. Although looking for a defense lawyer can be overwhelming, especially when faced with the ramifications of criminal charges, it is perhaps one of the most crucial steps in the entire case.

Below are ten pointers to help you answer your question: “How do I choose a criminal defense lawyer in Arizona?”


A Lawyer Must Be Responsive

When it comes to criminal charges, time is critical. Lost time equals lost case. The criminal defense lawyer you choose should step immediately into the case.

When you call a lawyer, you should expect a quick response. Their criminal defense law firm should be able to meet with you within a day. If they respond quickly to your call or email, they will be responsive when it is time to defend you.


The Best Lawyer Specializes in Criminal Law

Though they are not required to practice criminal law exclusively, the ideal lawyer should, at the very least, primarily focus on criminal law. If you do not notice anything regarding criminal law on the lawyer’s website, they are probably not the ideal lawyer for you.

The lawyer you choose must be involved in criminal law regularly to keep current on the intricacies of this type of law and the best possible defenses.

The main practice areas of the Snader Law Group are criminal defense and family law. Our law firm’s founder, Howard A. Snader, a former prosecutor and board-certified criminal lawyer in Arizona has over 30 years of experience defending good people accused of serious misdemeanors and felonies such as sex crimes, aggravated assault, and domestic violence. He is considered one of the most trusted and skilled Arizona attorneys and the top Phoenix criminal defense attorney. Howard and his staff will give the best defense for any criminal charge.

Many Phoenix criminal defense attorneys have practiced criminal law for many years but have only gone to trial twice. Because they pressure clients to accept the first plea deal, some have never represented anybody in a criminal trial. If freedom is what you are after, you can rest assured that Howard will not try to coerce you into a plea bargain that is not in your best interests. He will take a good case to trial. Call the Snader Law Group now and book a free consultation!


Select a Lawyer With Local Court Experience

The lawyer you choose should have experience in local Arizona courts aside from being qualified in criminal law. This is an often neglected part of selecting the best attorney, but local ties and relationships can positively impact battling criminal charges.

Each court and judge do things their way. Knowledge of the ins and outs of the courtroom might help you design a successful formula for your case.


Check Reliable Sources

You can discover more about an Arizona criminal defense attorney online. Some of those sources are reliable, while others are not. You may check the Arizona State Bar to learn whether a lawyer has ever been disciplined. Although starting here is a good idea, you should not end your investigation there.

Because certain websites, such as Facebook and Google+, do not allow lawyers to delete negative reviews, these sites can be valuable in knowing what other clients say. Other websites enable lawyers to paint a rosy image of themselves. While you should not dismiss an attorney because of one negative review, reading reviews will give you a broad picture of what other clients think of the lawyer and their services.


Request Referrals

Asking friends and relatives whether they know any competent Arizona attorney is one of the best ideas for finding the ideal attorney for you. Those who have firsthand experience of how an attorney works may provide you with ideas about how they will manage your case.

You could even ask a lawyer who they recommend for a criminal case if you use them for estate or business planning. Using word of mouth may be an excellent means to acquire an honest opinion, particularly if the person you asked cares about your well-being.

A Good Attorney is Well-Versed in the Basics

A skilled attorney does not need to know everything without trying to look it up, but they should have a basic understanding of the most common crimes. They must be capable of explaining the potential and probable punishment for the criminal charges brought against you.

Arizona attorneys should be aware of the questions they need to ask you to assess if a nuance applies to the criminal case. A capable and experienced criminal defense attorney is knowledgeable and comfortable with Arizona laws and the criminal justice system.


Examine the Fee Structure

An efficient defense attorney does not want their client to be confused about their attorney’s fees. Instead, they will explain how they charge in layman’s words and provide an estimate of what to expect regarding service fees and the entire cost of your criminal defense.

The cheapest criminal lawyer is not necessarily the best. Instead, inquire about their services and ensure the attorney is prepared to present a strong defense.


Check their Enthusiasm

Some lawyers put forth more effort than others. You will need a Phoenix criminal lawyer who will perform an extensive investigation. They should only go to trial when it is best to go to trial, and they should only tell you to take a plea deal when it is really in your best interest. When deciding whether to proceed to trial or take a plea deal, a proficient attorney can describe which option they believe is in your best interests and why.

To find a good lawyer, look for one enthusiastic about their work. Though your attorney should have a lot of experience, the amount of years is not everything. A skillful attorney takes a genuine interest in their profession and is willing to work on your case on your side.


They are Confident in the Courtroom

Courtroom experience is one form of experience that is important. Criminal cases move quickly. Your lawyer may only have a few seconds to raise an objection that might affect the result of the case. Ensure your attorney has adequate experience to understand the court regulations and to feel confident and at ease in a courtroom.

In this sense, you can evaluate a book based on its cover. If an attorney has a clean look and is well-spoken when you meet with them, you may expect them to be the same in court. The lawyer you choose represents you. When you meet, you should appreciate how they present themselves since they will speak on your behalf.


They Follow Your Directions

It is up to you to fight your criminal charges. Your lawyer should take charge of the technicalities of preparing your case, such as filing court petitions and deciding which witnesses to call, but the decisive choices are up to you.

It is entirely up to you to enter a guilty plea or proceed to trial. When assisting you in developing your action plan, your attorney should take the time to understand your objectives and priorities.


Top Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona

We understand how scary and upsetting it is to face criminal charges. That is why choosing a criminal lawyer who is a good match for you, and your case is essential. If you are looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, contact the Snader Law Group right now!