As seen on:
1610 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL
Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist
How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Trust is probably the single most important factor in choosing a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. Also, you want someone who is honest, listens, and cares about you and your case.
Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law
Statistically speaking, 99 out of 100 Florida lawyers are not board certified. If your life is at stake, you owe it to yourself to hire a board certified criminal trial lawyer. Many folks think that a lawyer is a lawyer. Some think “well, he advertises that he does criminal defense, so he must practice criminal defense.” When lawyers are looking to hire their own lawyer, one of first things they look for is board certification. Board certification is an independent way of verifying the lawyer specializes in his area of certification. Don’t take my word for it. Check out this info from the Florida Bar about board certification.
Do I like him?
All things being equal, I do business with people I like. Take your time and talk with the lawyer in person. See if he looks you in the eye, shakes your hand firmly, and makes you feel at ease. If you can’t meet him in person, go with your gut feeling after speaking with him on the phone. If you don’t feel comfortable, go on to the next one.
You deserve a lawyer who is passionate about his work. To some lawyers, their career is just a job. It is a way to pay the bills. I have bills to pay as well. However, I wake up every day looking forward to defending the bill of rights and the Constitution. I love my career. If I won the lottery, I would still practice criminal defense. If I was only concerned about making money, I would practice personal injury, not criminal defense.
Price is probably one of the worst criteria to choose the right criminal defense attorney for you. You get what you pay for. If a lawyer is cheap, there’s a reason. This is no time to skimp with money. Call your family and friends. Get some credit cards together and hire the best lawyer that you can. He probably charges more than you want to pay. However, he may be worth it many times over. Especially with your freedom, you don’t want to have the cheapest lawyer in town representing you. What would you pay to keep out of prison for a year? 5 years? 10 years? Can you really put a dollar value on that?
Experience is certainly a factor. You want your lawyer to have some criminal defense experience. Many excellent criminal defense attorneys have a lot of experience. However, an experienced criminal lawyer might also be a horrible lawyer. You don’t want to be stuck with a horrible, yet experienced, lawyer. Your freedom is in his hands. Some older, yet experienced, lawyers may not be up for the fight. On the other hand, a lawyer fresh out of school could be fantastic for you if you get a good vibe off of him. You probably don’t want to be his first client. However, he may have the enthusiasm and work ethic you’re looking for. Jury trials require a criminal lawyer to be on his toes all the time, have knowledge of criminal procedure, case law, jury instructions, know when to make objections and when to shut up.
A great criminal defense lawyer listens and gives you straightforward answers to your questions. Also, he must memorize vast amounts of material, condense it and then effectively communicate it to the jury. The lawyer must speak plain language to be an effective communicator. Many lawyers use big words that some people don’t understand. That’s not communicating. That is being arrogant and ignorant.
Beware of lawyers that guarantee a particular result. While you understandably would want a guarantee as to the outcome, it is unethical for any lawyer to do so. The only thing I guarantee is that I will do everything in my power (both legally and ethically) to fight the criminal charges against you.
Does the lawyer have the time to devote to your case? Do they have a low-volume practice, so they can give you, the client, the individualized attention that you deserve? When I was a former assistant public defender in Palm Beach county, I handled over 1,000 cases. Typically, I handled 50 to over 100 cases at a time. It is difficult to work cases up like they should be worked up with such a high-volume. Unfortunately, the legislature has determined that spending money to hire more assistant public defenders is not high on their priority list. Some private lawyers have associates that do all the work on their cases. That enables them to be a high-volume practice and make more money. It is impossible for me to be in two places at the same time. Sometimes, I have another lawyer stand in for me, but only to reset the case to when I can be there. When you hire me, you get me. I try to keep my case load to 10-20 open files at a time. I’ve found that’s a good number for the clients and me.
I advertise. This website is an advertisement. Hopefully, you can take the information here with a smaller grain of salt than most criminal lawyer websites. It’s hard to tell much about a lawyer from only an ad. Try to confirm more about them through other sources like other lawyers or your friends. A word on “former prosecutors.” Some are great lawyers. However, hiring someone just because they are a “former prosecutor” makes no sense. They may still have the prosecutor’s mentality that “these guys are all dirt bags and need to go to prison, but at least I’m getting paid better now.” Here’s a pervasive myth- one some former prosecutors exploit – you will get preferential treatment because they have a “relationship” with the prosecutors. The prosecutors cannot be bought. The relationship, if there even is still one there, is not going to amount to a hill of beans. Everybody who really practices criminal defense “knows the prosecutor.” That does not mean you’re going to get any preferential treatment from them if you hire a former prosecutor. You won’t.
Leadership in the Community
Does the lawyer take a leadership role in the community? I’m president-elect of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Palm Beach Chapter. Also, I’m currently the president of the criminal practice committee for the Palm Beach County Bar Association. Also, I’m a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. I play guitar and sing throughout Palm Beach county with Inspirit. I perform at Alzheimer’s communities, old folk’s homes and other places. Inspirit’s mission is to “bring the joy and healing power of live music and the performing arts to those isolated members of our community who are living in a restricted environment.”
Criminal Trial Lawyer
You want a lawyer who takes cases to trial and doesn’t charge extra for it. Many lawyers that call themselves trial lawyers have not tried a case in front of a jury in years. As a board certified criminal trial lawyer, I have tried over 100 jury and non-jury trials to verdict.
Continuing Legal Education
You deserve a lawyer who keeps up with changes in the law. The Florida Bar requires lawyers to have 30 continuing legal education credits every three years. Every year, I exceed the required amount of CLE credits. I usually have almost three times the required amount of CLE credits by the end of the 3 year term. I even teach other lawyers about special jury instructions at conferences like the national NORML (www.norml.org) conference in Key West, Florida.
You are still reading? Ok, I will tell you what my grandpa Paps used to tell me. Paps was a decorated World War II veteran who stormed the beaches at Normandy. I lived with my grandparents when I was a teenager and learned a great deal from them. Anyway, Paps always told me “When I was in the military, they taught us – you have to tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em, then tell ‘em, and then tell ‘em what you told ‘em.” So here it is:
Trust is probably the single most important factor in choosing a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in criminal court. Also, you want someone who is honest, listens, and cares about you and your case.
How to choose a criminal lawyer
Choosing a criminal defense attorney
How to pick a criminal defense lawyer
- aaacriminaldefense.com has its principal office at 1610 Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Florida, Mr. Tesh represents clients charged with serious federal criminal offenses before Federal Criminal Courts in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Stuart, Martin County, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, and all federal courts throughout the United States of America.
- Federal crimes lawyer, federal criminal attorney, west palm beach criminal lawyer, west palm beach criminal defense, fort lauderdale federal lawyer, west palm beach, florida, fort pierce criminal lawyer, federal criminal defense attorney, Miami federal criminal lawyer, federal lawyer west palm beach, florida attorney, west palm beach lawyer, attorney, federal appealsIf convicted, you have only ten (10) days in Federal Court, as opposed to thirty (30) days in Florida, to file a notice of appeal. If you want to appeal a conviction, you must contact a Federal criminal appeals attorney immediately as time is of the essence.