Finding a defense lawyer in Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh has no shortage of top notch criminal attorneys, lawyers who can defend individuals accused of felonies, misdemeanors, and driving or DUI and drunk driving offenses.

But finding the right attorney can be a challenge.

The fact of the matter is that many people who face criminal, traffic, or drunk driving offenses have never been in trouble with the law before. They’re often under pressure to find an attorney and find one fast. They think they just don’t have the time to shop around. So the question is, how do they find attorneys and more importantly, how do they choose the best attorney.

First, it goes without saying that money is always an issue. A couple of firms stand out as the best in Raleigh, in large part because of their well-deserved reputations. But they can also cost a fortune.

The truth is that there are a great many attorneys in the Research Triangle who can deliver as good or better results at a fraction of the price. While bargain shopping is not always the best approach, making sure you can afford the attorney you hire goes a long way toward making the entire situation less stressful.

That’s because young, aggressive, and smart attorneys are hungry for work, and anxious to make their mark. But how do you sort the good attorneys from the not-so-good?

Interview… interview… interview. These interviews are almost always free. And so while a potential client shouldn’t abuse the privilege by needlessly meeting with attorneys, meeting several attorneys to find the right one is a wise approach.

Usually, unless in custody with a pending bail hearing, someone accused of a crime has at least a little time to locate a lawyer. Take some time to interview a few attorneys. Ask about experience, about the attorney’s philosophy, and about the attorney’s current caseload. If the attorney immediately starts talking about a potential plea offer, run, don’t walk, to the door. While a plea may be an appropriate resolution to the case, lawyers act merely as plea negotiators are not giving their clients the kind of representations for which their clients are paying.

Also find out how busy an attorney is at the time. While a busy attorney or firm may be attractive because it seems like the firm is prospering, remember that lawyers swamped with work may not be able to devote as much time to a new case as a less busy attorney. And since preparation is crucial to a successful result, finding an attorney who can put in the time to handle the case properly is important.

In addition, while a client should be comfortable talking to and working with the attorney, avoid attorneys who want to be or pretend to be friends. Someone facing serious or even misdemeanor charges doesn’t need a best buddy. He needs an attorney who is going to be professional, thorough, and careful about handling the case.

Finally, remember that if you want quality legal services, they come at a cost. While paying for one of Raleigh’s most famous attorneys may be too much for the pocketbook, don’t simply look for the cheapest lawyer out there.

A lot is riding on thinking and choosing your lawyer carefully.

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Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.