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What to look for in a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

In the last post, I discussed the roles a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney plays when handling a criminal or DWI matter.  With these roles in mind, what are helpful criteria to look at when selecting a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer?  Of course, selecting a lawyer depends upon the particular person and matter involved, but here are some areas to consider when looking for a criminal defense or DWI lawyer:


Where did the attorney go to school, and what is their education?  Why did they get into law in the first place or become a criminal defense attorney?  Although an attorney may be many years removed from their starting days, these factors can shed light on the foundation of the attorney’s style and values.


How long has the attorney been practicing?  Where has the criminal defense attorney worked?  What types of cases does the attorney handle?  These questions will give you insight into the sorts of matters an attorney is familiar with.  For example, some criminal defense attorneys handle many more DWIs than other cases, while others are more general practitioners.  Also, be sure to ask whether the Minnesota criminal defense attorney has taken many cases to trial or handled any appeals if you think those will be issues in your case.


While it is usually recommended to get the best defense you can, cost plays an important factor when selecting an attorney.  Find out how the billing structure works — whether it’s flat fee or hourly.  Also, ask about payment plans and see if the Minnesota criminal defense attorney is willing to be flexible to take your matter.


Many attorneys are able to handle your matter well.  So, one factor to decide among them is personality.  Find a Minnesota criminal defense attorney that offers the type of personality that will work well with you.  Do they give an optimistic picture of your case, or do they focus on the risks of a particular strategy?


Finally, the number one thing I’ve heard people complain about their Minnesota criminal defense lawyer is that they don’t get their phone calls returned and don’t know what is going on with their case.  A Minnesota criminal charge can be a stressful event and it’s important that you are kept up-to-date and get your questions answered.  Make sure they’ll be available and return your phone calls.

Eric Rice is a Minnesota criminal defense attorney who strives to provide excellent client service.  If you are facing a Minnesota criminal or DWI charge contact Eric for your free consultation at: (651) 998-9660 or