Top Questions to Ask Any Attorney
When searching for a criminal defense attorney, keep in mind that you are looking for someone to do a job for you. Similar to conducting a job interview, you want to find candidates that you think can perform the required duties and meet with them. Don’t simply choose an attorney at random or because you’ve seen them multiple times on billboards across town.
Find the best attorney for your situation by asking these questions during an initial consultation or by phone.
Find an attorney that has extensive experience handling the type of crime you are charged with committing. This will ensure that they know how to build and present a case like yours, as well as a knowledgeable understanding of how the local courts work.
Robert McCabe has more than 23 years of full-time work in criminal law.
Find an attorney that has handled many cases like yours before. The attorney may not have handled cases with the exact charges as yours before, but it is essential that they’ve worked on cases in the same area of law. For example, if you are facing Possession of Marijuana charges, the lawyer should have experience in drug crime law.
Robert McCabe has vast experience in many areas of criminal law and procedure.
Many lawyers are “general practitioners,” meaning that they handle all sorts of cases, but likely are not qualified as a “specialist” in the type of law you are dealing with. A lawyer with a specialization in cases like yours will be adept and experienced at building a strong case.
Very few attorneys are board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Don’t risk your chances with an attorney who isn’t qualified to be board certified or hasn’t bothered to sit for or been able to pass the rigorous application and testing to be board certified.
If you had a potentially life-changing medical problem, would you search for doctor who specialized in that area of medicine or go to the local minor emergency clinic and see a general practitioner for diagnosis and treatment? The specialist would provide a much better diagnosis and treatment. The same applies to the lawyer you choose to represent your specific case.
Robert McCabe has been board-certified as a criminal law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2008 and was re-certified in 2013, 2018, and again in 2023.
Simply finding an attorney with experience with cases like yours doesn’t mean that is where their attention is focused. Law offices often handle many different types of law. Just because a law firm is big and has experience with the type of law you need, that doesn’t imply that you’ll get the best representation from a specific lawyer. Their attention may be diverted elsewhere.
Robert McCabe personally handles all of his cases. All are criminal defense cases and all are local.
The success rate of a lawyer shows their ability to think through all the options and know when to take a case to trial. A high success rate also shows that the lawyer knows how to build a good defense for clients. No attorney can ethically guarantee any particular outcome or “percentage chances” for your case. However, you should ask about their past results for similarly situated clients.
Robert McCabe will candidly discuss the potential outcomes you are facing.
It is unfortunate to learn that many times clients think they are hiring one lawyer only to have a completely different associate attorney, often with less experience, show up in court. Be aware of who you are working with and find out exactly who will be representing you.
Robert McCabe personally handles all of his cases.
If you are unfortunately wronged by the malpractice of the lawyer you hired and that lawyer does not have malpractice insurance, they may not have the personal assets to cover the damages due to you. Malpractice insurance helps protect you in the case that your lawyer conducts malpractice.
Robert McCabe maintains malpractice insurance so you can have peace of mind.
Let’s face it – money matters. Make sure to consider their rate when choosing an attorney. Essentially, you are paying for the attorney’s time, experience and expertise. The outcome of a criminal case can be life changing. It could mean the difference in what your publicly available “criminal record” reflects, whether you go to jail and/or prison, and whether you end up paying little to no fines and fees. Additionally, those fines, fees, and costs can add up to many thousands of dollars imposed by the government. A well-qualified attorney could save you a lot of money in avoidable costs.
As far as billing structure goes, it’s important to note how an attorney charges for the services you need. Some may charge hourly or have a flat rate. They may want a large part of the payment before the engagement has even begun. Your financial situation may dictate which attorneys are available to you.
Robert McCabe offers flexible payment plans for almost all cases and accepts cash, checks, credit and debit cards. Credit and debit card processing fees incurred by our office are never passed on to the client.
You should ask about the attorney’s past results for similarly situated clients. Positive testimonials are often a great sign as well.
Robert McCabe will openly share his past experiences with you.
Some cases may last a long time, occupying an attorney’s time and attention before they can start working on your case. If you are facing criminal charges and need a defense strategy soon, make sure you find an attorney that is available to work with you immediately.
Robert McCabe purposefully keeps his caseload small. If he cannot give your case the time and personal attention it requires, he will let you know up-front.
Remember that you are searching for someone to work for you when hiring an attorney. Depending on your situation, there are many different things to consider when evaluating different attorneys, but these top questions to ask any attorney will give you the insights you need to make an informed decision.