When you’re facing charges for a federal crime in the Atlanta area or beyond (or if you’re planning to appeal a recent federal conviction), your choice of attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Here are 5 important things to consider when choosing an Atlanta federal crime lawyer.
EXPERIENCE WITH FEDERAL CASES
The federal criminal justice system operates by different rules and procedures than the court systems in most states, and not every criminal defense attorney has experience in navigating these procedures. It’s important to hire defense lawyer with specific experience in the federal court system because he/she will have both the knowledge and skill to provide wise counsel and implement strategies that more likely to be effective.
PRE-TRIAL NEGOTIATION EXPERIENCE
The truth is that many federal cases never make it to trial, and the federal court system prefers it this way. Many federal cases are resolved out of court through techniques like plea bargaining. This can be either good or bad for the defendant, dependent on the attorney’s pre-trial negotiation skills. You want an Atlanta federal crime lawyer who understands how the evidence works against you or in your favor, and who can advise you whether a certain plea deal is in your best interests. A skilled attorney can also work on your behalf to have certain charges mitigated or dropped entirely before your case ever goes to trial.
Even if you are convicted of a federal crime, that is not the end of the story. In many federal cases, what happens after the trial (during the appeals process) is almost more important that what happens during the trial itself. A criminal defense attorney with federal post-trial experience will be more likely to craft an effective appeal on your behalf, and he/she will also know the specific post-trial motions and appeals that are more likely to result in a positive outcome.
HONESTY WITH THE CLIENT
This may seem like an odd thing to consider, but you don’t want a defense attorney who frames your situation in rose-colored glasses in order to keep you happy. Rather, you need a lawyer who will be upfront with you about the case against you and your options from every angle. While this isn’t always comfortable, it does help to rule out the defense strategies that are less likely to work, and helps you both to hone in on the options that are more likely to be effective.
A BROADER PERSPECTIVE
While legal skills and experience are important, it’s equally important to have an attorney who has a broader perspective of your case than just the law itself. The best way to explain this is that the people enforcing and interpreting the law are human beings with natural emotions and biases. An attorney with the ability to view your case from every conceivable angle will be able to discern how government officials are most likely to view certain types of cases and evidence, or how a certain strategy might be interpreted to work for or against you. This type of discernment is often just as critical to a favorable resolution as anything else pertaining to your case.
With a background in psychology as well as law, attorney Marcia Shein is an Atlanta federal crime lawyer who not only has many years of experience with federal cases, but also has an excellent track record in implementing strategies for positive outcomes for her clients. For an initial consultation regarding your case, contact the Federal Criminal Law Center.