It can be extremely challenging (and sometimes frustrating) to find the right Austin criminal lawyer. There are many different things to consider for each individual situation. While there is no exact formula to find the right lawyer for drunk driving defense, drug crimes defense, crimes of violence and property crimes defense, there are definitely a few rules of thumb to consider. We’ve listed a few of those key points to help you find the right Austin criminal lawyer for any unique situation you may find yourself in.
1) Ask Around
We’re certainly glad you found our website, but the best way to find a good Austin criminal lawyer is to ask around. Check with friends and family. Talk to civil lawyers and see if they can recommend someone. It’s understandable that you might not want to tell your friends or family that you’re in need of a criminal lawyer. There’s no need to tell them it’s for you; just tell them a friend needs a criminal attorney. We pride ourselves in the number of clients who are referred to us from past clients.
2) Research the Texas State Bar Website
In Texas, the official website for lawyers is Texasbar.com. Here you will find a listing of all the lawyers licensed to practice law in the state. The State Bar also allows you to search by practice area. It’s important to look at how long the attorney has been licensed to practice law as well as to check on whether the attorney has had any disciplinary issues.
3) Check out the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Lawyers may be board certified in various practice areas including Criminal Law. A lawyer who is board certified must have practiced for a certain number of years, must handle a certain percentage of cases in a particular area of law, and must take an extensive exam. The website for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is TBLS.org. By hiring an attorney that is board certified in criminal law you can be assured that they are extremely qualified and experienced. Chris has been board certified in criminal law since 1985.
3) Look into Criminal Defense Lawyer Associations
Attorneys who are members of some type of criminal lawyer association usually have a passion for that area of law. Two of the larger associations are the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Attorneys who are members of both organizations usually dedicate a significant portion of their law practice to criminal defense. These organizations provide continuing legal education for criminal lawyers as well as help keep lawyers up to date with changes in the law. All of the attorneys at Gunter, Bennett, & Anthes are members of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
4) Look for Designated Super Lawyers
To be designated a Super Lawyer an attorney must be nominated by their peers as an excellent attorney in their specific area of law. A review committee at Texas Monthly magazine then decides if an attorney should be given a Super Lawyer designation. Chris has been a Super Lawyer since 2003. You may find more information about Super Lawyers at SuperLawyers.com.
5) Search for Someone with Prosecutorial Experience
Like many things, sometimes practicing law is about who you know. Lawyers are divided on whether it’s a good thing for a criminal lawyer to have been a former prosecutor. Some lawyers take pride in the fact that they have never been a prosecutor; to them, it’s akin to sleeping with the enemy. Speaking from personal experience, our experience as prosecutors has been extremely beneficial. All of the attorneys at Gunter, Bennett & Anthes are former prosecutors. As prosecutors we all were able to establish relationships with judges and other prosecutors. In addition to this, our work as prosecutors allowed us to try numerous cases which helped hone our trial skills. When the cards are stacked against our clients it helps to know the right people to talk to.