No matter what criminal offence you have been charged with, self-representation is never a wise idea. Before the first court appearance, you need a criminal lawyer by your side. Thankfully, there are thousands of lawyers working in private practice in Vancouver, so finding one doesn’t have to be hard. You need a Vancouver criminal defence lawyer you can trust. In this guide, we are sharing more on finding the right option.
Make a list
Find a comprehensive list of lawyers practicing in your area. You can check for names in Criminal Lawyers’ Association, or ask around. Talk to neighbors, friends, and colleagues about the lawyers they have worked with.
You need a lawyer who specializes in criminal law in particular, and they need to have some experience in handling cases with charges similar to yours. Most law firms in Vancouver have a website these days, so you can find all the relevant details of their area of specialization. Check if the lawyer is a member of criminal lawyers’ associations.
Ask questions in person
Top criminal defence lawyers will be happy to offer a consultation session for free. Meeting your lawyer in person is absolutely important because this is all about discussing all aspects of your case. Start by asking a few relevant questions, such as –
- How long have you been practicing criminal law?
- Have you handled cases with similar charges as mine?
- Will you personally represent my case, or someone else from the firm?
- What do you expect from this case?
- Can you share more on generic bail conditions?
- What’s the scope of changes in these conditions?
- Do you have good networking with judges and crowns?
- What is the best-case scenario? Or what’s the worst-case scenario?
- How do you charge? What are the expected costs in this case?
Fee and more
Note that most lawyers in Vancouver and rest of Canada work on a block fee, or may charge an hourly late. For criminal cases, contingency fee is not allowed, as per The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Some lawyers charge a tad more than others, and that’s often because they have better experience and expertise.
Just do your homework and select a reliable lawyer, who can handle things better and ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Review a few lawyers now, and if needed, meet at least a few.