In the United States, a criminal justice system exists for a reason. Does our justice system have problems that need fixing? That answer depends on who you ask. Our country is a melting pot full of individuals from dozens of different cultures, races, religions, genders, and socio-economic classes. All of the people in that melting pot have something in common: some get convicted of crimes. Are they always guilty? Of course not.

Even if the evidence points to a guilty verdict, you aren’t guilty until proven so. Above all else, a defense attorney’s job is to do everything in their power, and in accordance with the law, to help you walk away free.

From violent crime to theft, substance abuse, a DUI, white-collar crime, and everything in between, crime spans the spectrum. If you get charged a crime, you have a right to speak with an attorney before answering any questions. If you can’t afford one, one will be appointed for you. If you do have the ability to choose your criminal defense attorney, they should have some specific traits that make a defense attorney successful, including:

  1. Integrity: A good defense attorney is always honest with their clients, even if the truth is something they may not want to hear.
  2. Research savvy: The attorney should be able to competently investigate any legal precedent that may help their client and the crime for which their client is charged to search for anything the police may have missed.
  3. Talented negotiator: Many attorneys settle cases out of court. A savvy defense attorney should be adept and willing to negotiate in the best interests of their client.
  4. Confident and persuasive: Courtrooms are stuffy and formal settings. While the defense attorney has to adhere to some guidelines strictly, they should be dramatic from time to time. Theatrics are needed and can be persuasive to prove a point or discredit a witness.
  5. Understands their competition: A defense attorney who is worth it knows enough about their competition (judges and prosecutors) to use a mannerism or personality tick to their client’s advantage.
  6. Is respected amongst police: The defense attorney understands that police have a job to do and vice versa. The police respect that. Criminal defense attorneys who are on good terms with law enforcement may be able to attain better insight into the crime they are investigating.

Lastly, a criminal defense attorney worth hiring cares about their client. They know that each client and the crime they were convicted of are unique. It’s essential to put in the work and genuinely care about your client and their family’s well-being. Defense attorneys with these attributes are likelier to succeed.