Each year, millions of Americans try to navigate US courts without an attorney, with up to 90 percent of litigants unprecedented in some states. Sure, there’s no law against representing yourself in court, but should you do it?
Hiring an attorney has numerous benefits, especially when accused of something as serious as aggravated assault. The law can be quite complicated for the ordinary person. Even the most mundane legal matters require complex maneuvering and dozens of steps, and a single mistake can have serious consequences.
With aggravated assault charges, there’s a lot at stake. You need an aggravated assault lawyer at your side every step of the way. The right attorney can help get the charges dropped or at least significantly reduced.
Of course, the main challenge is deciding which lawyer to hire for your case. With about 20,933 law firms around the country that defend people accused of aggravated assault and other criminals, knowing the ideal one for you is easier said than done.
It’s why we prepared this comprehensive guide to help you narrow in on an aggravated assault attorney you can trust. Read on to learn more.
Aggravated Assault Definition
Before we talk about how to identify which aggravated assault lawyer you should entrust your case with, it’s important to know what an aggravated assault is. An aggravated assault refers to the attempt to cause serious bodily harm to another person with disregard for their life.
Certain factors can raise a charge from an assault to an aggravated assault. These include:
- Using a weapon
- The intent of the person committing the crime
- The state of the assaulted person
- The degree of injury as a result of the assault
Different states classify specific assaults as aggravated based on their criminal codes. You may also hear specific terms related to assault, such as aggravated assault using a deadly weapon. An aggravated assault often qualifies as a felony, whereas a simple assault can be a misdemeanor.
Questions To Ask When Interviewing Your Potential Aggravated Assault Lawyer
The moment you’ve been accused of aggravated assault, you’ll want to get legal help right away. However, do not rush into hiring the first lawyer you come across. You’re facing serious charges, and aggravated assault jail time can sometimes last decades.
Make a list of suitable attorneys you may want to talk to. Get suggestions from people you trust while compiling your list. The internet is also an excellent source of information when it comes to seasoned criminal defense attorneys in your area.
Once you’ve compiled your list, it’s time for a face-to-face meeting with each of your prospective lawyers. During your first meeting, you need to ask the right questions, so you make an informed decision about whether to hire the attorney or not. Here are six such questions.
1. How Many Years Have You Practiced Criminal Law?
Many people overlook this question, but you need to ask it to determine the amount of experience your prospective attorney has. Given how serious an aggravated assault charge is, it helps to be sure that your lawyer has significant experience handling such cases before. If a lawyer has handled similar cases for at least five years, they’re a good bet.
2. How Frequently Do Your Cases Proceed to Trial?
Many aggravated assault lawyers settle most of their cases through plea bargains rather than go to trial. Does your potential attorney do the same? If so, then chances are they have less experience at trial, which is a bad thing if your case does go to trial.
It’s best to look for a lawyer with enough experience prosecuting cases in court, especially if a trial seems imminent.
3. Will You Personally Work on This Case?
Decide from the outset whether you want a lawyer who is solely dedicated to your case or whether you’re comfortable with having a team working on it. Where the attorney has a team, expect some of the work to be done by paralegals. This can be a good thing as your legal costs may go down.
However, if you’re concerned that some vital details might slip through the cracks if a team is concerned, then find a lawyer who dedicates their time and attention to your case.
4. How Often Will Our Communication Occur?
Facing aggravated assault charges carries the possibility of incarcerations and hefty fines. It’s a challenging experience, and you want a lawyer who’s available for you whenever you have questions.
Whether you’re thinking of taking a plea deal, worried about your name ending up on the sex offender registry, or afraid that you might lose your job, it’s essential that you can easily reach your lawyer to answer these questions.
Determine how often you want to hear from your attorney and which communication channels are best for you. During your first meeting, present this information to your attorney and find out whether it’s something both of you can agree on.
5. What Information Will You Require?
Your attorney is most likely going to need some important information and documents to help build your case. Some of these documents and information must come from you. Ask your attorney what exactly they’ll need from you, so you know how to prepare accordingly.
6. How Will This Cost?
Most criminal lawyers charge a flat rate for legal services. Some may charge within a certain range, but their rates are capped at a specific figure.
This question is just about hourly rates. The information you get gives you a good idea of any other costs you should expect to see.
Find the Right Lawyer for Your Case
If you’ve been accused of aggravated assault, it helps to get legal help as soon as possible. Choosing the ideal aggravated assault lawyer for your case takes due diligence. The best way to go about it is by preparing the right set of questions to ask your prospective attorney during your first meeting.
Would you like to read more great content about aggravated assault law? Please, keep visiting our blog for featured attorneys.