If you have found yourself charged with a criminal offense that you did not even commit, then you have every right to stand up for yourself and fight back. According to a study, more than ten thousand people in the USA are convicted of a crime they did not even commit every year. Where the American justice system has provided justice to a lot of people, it has also been unfair to some innocent people. When it comes to the American justice system itself, the laws are written in a language that is quite complicated. The book of the law is full of loopholes, and an innocent person can become its victim easily. But despite a few drawbacks, the American justice system still believes that a person is not guilty until proven otherwise, and you can use that to your advantage.

Even though you will have a chance to defend yourself in the court of law, you will still have to climb a steep slope. Whenever someone is accused of a crime, the first impression of everyone is that the person is guilty. So, not only do you have to prove yourself innocent, but you will also have to deal with the accusatory eyes that will be looking at you all the time. So, it is going to be a challenging journey, and you will have to fight it with patience.

The first thing you need to do when you have been accused of the crime is to contact a lawyer. This is not something that you should take lightly; Instead of waiting for things to get worse, contact a criminal defense lawyer and start building your defense as soon as possible. Just make sure that the lawyer you are hiring is the right choice for you and is practicing the law in the same state you are accused in. For example, if the case was filed against you at Long Beach, then you must hire a Long Beach Criminal Lawyer. Apart from that, you need to make sure that the lawyer you are hiring has all the right skills. Below I have mentioned a few qualities that you must look for in your criminal defense lawyer. Let’s have a look:

Communications Skills

You need to make sure that the criminal defense attorney you are hiring has great communication skills. Any attorney who has poor communication skills will not be able to handle your case properly. Whether it is verbal communication or written communication, your attorney must excel at both. The lawyer will have to communicate with the judges, jury, lawyers, and other people involved in the case. If the lawyer does not have good speaking skills, then how will he or she be able to convince others of your innocence? Similarly, the lawyer will have to deal with a lot of paperwork as well, and he will have to write important letters and legal documents. So, you need to make sure that the lawyer you are hiring is not hesitant to express himself. Remember, during the court proceedings, the lawyer will have to argue with the prosecutor as well, and if he lacks the skill, he will be taking a virtual beating every time he steps in the court with the opposition.

Experience in Criminal Defense

Once you have made sure that your lawyer has great communication skills, you need to see how much experience he has in the field. An experienced lawyer will be able to see a clear picture of your case and will always make sure that you stay two steps ahead of the curve. So, make sure that the lawyer you are considering has a considerable amount of experience. Do not just look at the number of years he has spent practicing law. Look at for how many years he has been practicing criminal defense law and how many cases he has fought so far. The benefit of hiring an experienced lawyer is that they will know everything there is to know about criminal defense law and will ensure that you do not make any mistakes his previous clients made. He will also be able to find the loopholes in the book of law and will use different tricks and techniques to get you off the hook.

Must Believe in You

Another quality of a good criminal defense lawyer is that he must believe in you. Even if all the evidence is pointing against you, the lawyer needs to genuinely believe that you are innocent. Because that way, he will know that the future of an innocent person is in his hands and will do everything in his power to get you justice. You also need to play your part in it and tell him all about the case without holding anything back. Once you have shared your truthful story with him, he must tell you that he believes in you and will do everything to prove your innocence. On the other hand, if the lawyer thinks that it’s not his problem, whether you did it or not, then you should consider finding a new lawyer. A lawyer who does not believe you are innocent would not be able to feel compassion for you, which is an important quality of a lawyer.

Good Track Record

When it comes to hiring a criminal defense lawyer, no one wants to go with an attorney who has a poor record. Even if the lawyer has a lot of experience in criminal law, it will not do you any good if his track record is poor. A lawyer who has a poor record despite years of experience shows that he has not learned from his mistakes, and your case could go in the same direction. So, before hiring the lawyer, ask him or her openly about their past record and what kind of cases they have won in the past. You can also ask them what kind of allegations they have defended and how they did it. If they are allowed to share that, they will happily flaunt about it. But if they have lost more cases than they have won, then it is better if you put them on hold and look for another lawyer. Finding a good lawyer is never easy so do not hesitate to put some extra hard work into your search.


The American justice system is quite complicated, and the laws are written in a tough language. A lawyer who just follows the book would see it as a hurdle, but a lawyer who has good critical thinking will see it as an opportunity. A good lawyer is creative with the law and will always have an innovative solution for the problem at hand. And this does not apply to the law books only. A creative lawyer will be able to show his creativity in the courtroom as well and would convince the judge and jury in ways the opposition would not even have thought of. So, make sure that the lawyer you are hiring doesn’t just restrict himself to the book and can create new bridges when there is no way to go.

Decision Making Skills

The decisions you will make throughout each step of the case are going to decide whether you will win the case or not. As a layman, you will have a tough time making those decisions because you do not understand the justice system that well. But your lawyer understands the law completely and should be able to make that decision for you. However, even for the lawyers, it is never easy to decide which path to take because if they make a small mistake, it can ruin your whole case. These are the decisions that are time-sensitive, and your lawyer should not take much time with it. You need a lawyer in your corner who is always two steps ahead and will be able to make these decisions for you quickly.

Skilled Team

Handling a criminal defense case is never easy, and a lawyer cannot do it without a skillful team. When you are hiring a lawyer, make sure that he has a skillful team working with him who will be able to contribute well towards the case. If you are going to a lawyer who is associated with a well-known firm, then you will not have to worry about the resources because these law firms have plenty of associates who can assist senior lawyers. However, if the lawyer is a solo practitioner, then you should check how many associates work with him and whether they are skilled enough or not.

Good Reputation

Hiring a lawyer who has a good reputation is always a plus. If your lawyer is disliked by everyone in the courtroom, then it is not going to do you any favors. But if he has a great reputation and everyone likes him, then it can make your case stronger instantly. Also, a lawyer who has a good reputation will have a good relationship with the prosecutors as well, which means he is more likely to convince them of your innocence and get you a lucrative deal.

Author's Bio: 

Author, Freelance writer