Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney was last modified: March 24th, 2016 by Howard Iken
Video Thumbnail

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Loyal, Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorneys

By Your Side at All Times

Ayo and Iken Florida Attorneys and Lawyers

Facing criminal charges is difficult enough, yet finding the right attorney can present an even greater challenge.  If you have been arrested, chances are you are desperately trying to figure out what to do next.  When this happens, sometimes people hire the first lawyer that comes around.  However, just because an attorney promises to get you results does not always mean that they are competent to take your case.  Since criminal cases in Florida are often complex, it takes an attorney who has the skills and experience necessary to effectively fight for your rights.  With this in mind, consider asking the following questions when looking to hire an attorney:

Legal Experience


During your initial consultation, consider asking:

  • florida-criminal-defenseHow many experienced attorneys do you have?
  • How long have you been practicing criminal law?
  • Have you handled cases like mine before?
  • How often do you appear at the courthouse where my case will be heard?
  • What is your relationship like with the prosecutor’s office?
  • Have you been in front of the judge before who will be hearing my case?
  • Do you often negotiate plea bargains with the prosecutor?
  • How familiar, given your experience, are you with the charges I am facing?


Case Assessment


Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you need an attorney who will help you explore all of your legal options.  Make sure to ask:

  • What are the scope of my legal options?
  • What potential issues do you see in my case?
  • What will happen if I plead guilty?
  • Should I plead guilty?
  • Do you think my case should go to trial?
  • What facts hurt and help my case?
  • What defense strategies do you recommend?

Case Management


When hiring an attorney, you want one that isn’t spread so thin that they are incapable of giving your case the time and attention it deserves.  Some relevant questions to pose in this regard are:

  • Do you have enough time to represent me?
  • How many attorneys will be working on my case?
  • Who else will be working on my case?  Can I meet them?
  • When I contact you, how quickly should I expect a reply?
  • With whom will I deal with the most at your office?
  • Who will likely be representing me in court?  Will that responsibility be yours or someone else’s?
  • How do you prefer to be contacted?
  • If I have questions, can I contact you directly?
  • What are your typical working hours?

Legal Fees


While it is never recommended to choose an attorney based solely on fees, it is important to find out what the attorney charges and the type of billing method that they use.  Consider asking:

  • Do you charge a flat fee or do you work by the hour?
  • If you charge a flat fee, how much is it and what does it include?
  • If you charge an hourly rate, how much is it?
  • Do you charge a retainer fee and if so, how much?
  • What other expenses should I expect to have to pay?

When it Comes Time to Choose a Lawyer


After you have taken the time to interview several lawyers, it is time to ultimately choose one to represent you.  Here are some key questions to consider before finalizing your decision:

  • Which attorney has the experience I require to effectively address the charges that I am currently facing?
  • Which attorney made me feel the most comfortable?
  • Which attorney offered the best advice?
  • Whose legal fees seemed the most reasonable and fair priced?
  • In which attorney am I the most confident?


Now is the time to sit down with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss “reality.” Your attorney should not be afraid of discussing money, potential for jail time, realistic chances of getting the case dismissed, and reasonable altermatives.  For additional information on our comprehensive criminal defense services, call the Tampa law firm of Ayo and Iken now to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation at 1-800-469-3486 or feel free to email us.  We will do what it takes to fight for your rights and protect your interests, no matter what.  We look forward to providing you with top-tier legal representation.

Thank you Jeana for helping bring my Boy Home 🙂 I could not begin to thank you enough. We look forward to better days for sure, thanks to you and all of your help. Thank you for being so fair and for working with our Family through these tough times. God Bless you!!

Jessica – Avvo


Need assistance with this form?

Free Consultation is limited to individuals considering hiring an attorney. Not all situations qualify. Fee charged for appellate case evaluations.

Or email message to:

My previous attorney was doing a very poor job of representing me to collect unpaid child support (severe lack of communication, 1 invoice over 2 years, some paperwork not filed, frequent change of support personnel, etc.). Jim took over on short notice (a few months before court date) and quickly got up to speed. He knew what was fair and legal: I was owed child support and the ex admitted it in his own writing, but simply chose to stop paying. He resolved to settle for nothing less. Because the previous attorney failed to file the financial disclosure with the court, and there was no proof of assets to liquefy; all the GM could do was reinstate wage garnishment as previously ordered. Jim did a fine job of showing the debtor did nothing to fulfill his responsibilities by asking direct questions of him in front of the GM.

Anonymous – Avvo