In a criminal case, it’s the Government against you. But the Defendant has an advantage, they get to choose their Criminal Defense Attorney. It’s an important decision:
The Top Search Results are Not Always the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers
Any of the links shaded in yellow or on the right column of the google results page are paid advertisements. That is not bad but it means that the result is there because someone bought the positioning on the page. Results in the main part of the page are the “organic results” returned because they are relevant to your search. As you click the results, what do you find? Is it a lot of “I will FIGHT for YOU” along with empty superlatives, or is it actual information that might help you understand your situation? Lawyers think about what goes into a website and the content there is probably an extension of their personality and attitude.
That’s Not a Even a Law Firm
When you search for a Criminal Defense Lawyer on Google, many of the top search results will look like law firms, but they are not. Sites like “mycriminalattorney.com” are not law firms at all but are referral services based many miles away. You contact them, they will charge you a fee and then contact a local attorney to handle your case. If they charge you $3000, the local attorney might get $1000 of that to handle the case. You just paid $2000 for that service to send an email. A website that does not list a local location and phone number is not a local law firm.
Maine has no Public Defender’s Office
Other States have a Publicly funded office with attorneys who represent defendants who can’t afford a lawyer. Maine does not have a such an office but instead has a court appointed attorney system. That means that certain attorneys have agreed to accept criminal cases which the court assigned to them. The state pays the attorney a very low hourly rate for handling the cases and the client has little or no obligation to reimburse the state for that fee. Keep in mind that in the court court appointed system:
- You don’t get to choose your Appointed Criminal Defense Lawyer.
The court is supposed to just appoint the next lawyer on the list. While many appointed attorneys do excellent work, some definitely do not.
- Many court appointed attorneys do not specialize in criminal defense.
While some do, others use court appointed work as a way to supplement a practice which focuses on some other area. A person facing criminal charges should be very careful to make sure that their attorney, whether appointed or retained, specializes in criminal defense.
The Best Criminal Defense Lawyer is Not Any One Person
In Portland, Maine, defendants a lucky to have plenty of Lawyers to choose from. The best lawyer for you will have the experience and expertise you need but, just as important, they are someone that you like and that you can talk to and get along with. That defense lawyer is probably one that the DAs and judges respect and that a Jury can understand, and agree with. A lot of criminal defense attorneys fall back on aggressive language and pompous bluster. The reality is that the most effective lawyers don’t really talk like that. Effective advocacy is not about bullying people or bragging about yourself. The tougher job, and the more important job, does not have anything to do with arrogance or ego. Instead, it involves understanding and interpreting complicated issues in a way that benefits your defense, and knowing how to persuasively communicate that perspective.