Have you been charged with a crime that’s sexual in nature, including sexual assault? If so, you should know that the criminal justice system weighs such offenses very seriously and won’t make it easy for you to clear your name and receive a light sentence. In fact, those who are convicted of sex crimes may face steep penalties, to say nothing of permanent reputational damage.
An experienced sex crimes lawyer is your best resource for building a robust defense, and ultimately for avoiding harsh sentencing. The question is, what’s the best way to hire an attorney in this field?
How to Hire Sex Offense Lawyers
As you look for the right team of sex offense lawyers, here are a few tips and suggestions.
- Seek a sexual defense lawyer with ample experience. It’s always appropriate to ask an attorney how long they’ve been practicing, and specifically how many years they’ve spent focusing on sex crimes. The last thing you want is to face the criminal justice system with an attorney who’s still a bit green.
- Do your due diligence. There are plenty of easy ways to assess the reputation of a sexual defense lawyer, and to see what past clients have said about their services. You can always ask the lawyer for references. An even simpler approach? Use Google to your advantage. Spend some time checking out reviews from people who’ve worked with the firm in the past.
- Think local. A critical aspect of hiring a sex crimes defense attorney is finding someone who knows the local court system inside and out. Specifically, find someone who has good relationships with the local prosecutors and that can be helpful in helping you get an affordable bail amount or a reduced sentence. If you’re in Austin, find a lawyer with Austin roots; don’t let your case get outsourced to a nationwide firm.
- Don’t dismiss your first impressions. The first impression you have of your attorney will probably reveal much about what your working relationship will be like in the future. Did you find it easy to get your lawyer on the phone? Were they friendly and helpful? Were they able to meet with you promptly? Did they instill a sense of trust? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you might want to keep looking elsewhere.
- Remember, communication matters. A sex crimes case is bound to be intensely stressful. You’ll want to make sure you have an attorney who you can access on the phone pretty easily, whenever a question arises, or a worry fills your headspace. Look for a lawyer who provides you with a direct cell number and/or email address and is quick to tell you that they’ll be around whenever you need them.
- Be ready to share your story. When you first meet with a sexual assault defense lawyer, you’ll be expected to provide your version of what happened. This can sometimes be painful, but it’s important that you’re totally honest with your legal representation. It might be wise to jot down some notes or a quick outline before your meeting, just so you don’t leave out crucial details.
- Don’t expect a guarantee. You may wishfully think your lawyer will give you a promise that they’re going to clear your name. A reputable attorney wouldn’t do that, because frankly, there are just too many variables. Don’t look for false promises. Instead, hire a sexual assault defense lawyer who can credibly articulate a good plan to help you minimize or avoid sentencing altogether.
To speak with a sex crimes lawyer in Austin, reach out to Davis-Jones Law at any time.