The first resource you’ll need is a list of lawyers who specialize in criminal defense in Utah. You’ll find this list in a variety of places. Often, the court will be able to provide you with a list of attorneys, especially public defenders. In fact, one of these public defenders may be appointed your legal representation if you’re not able to afford a lawyer on your own. Another option is to look up lawyers in the phone book or online, although this isn’t the most efficient method.
Then there’s LegalMatch, a system that lists pre-screened Utah lawyers. LegalMatch is a partner of the Utah State Bar and lists only experienced, competent lawyers. You simply enter your legal problems and your case information and wait for attorneys to respond. After a few days, you should have a number of different responses. You can then evaluate these lawyers based on their experience, legal background, and the rating other LegalMatch users have left them. It’s one of the easiest ways of finding a good criminal defense lawyer in Utah.
To help you narrow down your potential attorneys, you should make up a list of things to look for in a lawyer. First, like buying a car or home, always look at a few different lawyers before hiring one. You want to find someone who has the legal skills necessary to help you, has worked on cases similar to yours, and is completely honest with you. More than that, you want someone you feel comfortable with. Your lawyer is going to be your confidant, and you’ll want to feel absolutely comfortable telling them everything.
Once you’ve settled on two or three potential lawyers, you’ll want to check their backgrounds. The Utah Bar Association can tell you if these lawyers have ever had a complaint filed against them. If they have, you may want to consider someone else.
Another important piece of information you need to know is how to fire your lawyer. Read the fine print of any contract with an attorney very closely. Some actually stipulate that your attorney can collect part of any settlement you get even if you fire him or her. While you won’t receive a settlement from a criminal case, it’s still important to know exactly what you’re getting in to and how to get yourself out of any agreements made.