When you are charged with a drug-related crime, quickly obtaining counsel to defend you is extremely important. But how do you find a good lawyer who handles drug charges, and what should you look for in selecting a criminal defense lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina?

Related Experience

You will want to find a lawyer who has direct experience representing clients who have faced charges similar to your own—and who has a good track record of success in defending those clients. There are a lot of different types of crimes people can be accused of, so just because someone describes themselves as a “criminal lawyer” doesn’t mean they have dedicated experience successfully defending clients in cases involving drug charges. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the type and number of cases they handle, so that you can gauge their experience and how they approach cases like yours. They should be able to comfortably speak to their experience in this area, as well as to their familiarity with all aspects of the criminal code in your state.

How Will They Handle Your Case?

In your initial consultation, a defense lawyer should tell you how they plan to handle your case. This includes a description of the defense strategy they’ll mount on your behalf, what negotiations they may attempt with the prosecutor, and how they will handle your case if it goes to trial. They should be up front as to whether or not they will handle your case personally or whether it will be handled by another lawyer within the firm. In discussing case management, they should let you know what you could expect in terms of communications, timing, and how quickly they respond to questions as the case proceeds. Some trial lawyers are busy in court all day every day and don’t respond to messages or calls until late afternoon, for example.

How Do They Handle Fees?

Many lawyers begin working for you when they receive a certain sum when you hire them, called a “retainer.” Once you have retained the lawyer for your services, they then use that money toward all costs related to your case, until it is exhausted. If the case has not concluded by the time the retainer is gone, you may need to pay additional fees. Other firms work on a flat fee basis—a specific, set amount for handling certain types of cases. Ask about their fees, how those are paid, and what those costs typically cover in a case like yours. For example, after the retainer is exhausted, do they proceed to an hourly fee, and, if so, what is that? While every case is different, and a lot depends on the complexity and length of the case, you have a right to understand what to expect in terms of how much it will cost to handle your case before you hire a lawyer.

How To Find A Good Lawyer For Drug Charges

Once you know what you’re looking for, there are many different ways on how to find a good lawyer who handles drug charges. Word of mouth is very valuable, as people’s positive personal experiences with a lawyer or firm can tell you a lot about how they would handle your case. Ask for recommendations from people you know. You can also contact your local Legal Aid Society or Bar Association to see whether they have a referral service that will suggest lawyers for you based on the circumstances of your case. There are also lists like Super Lawyers which rate lawyers in different cities and regions based on a varying set of criteria, including client recommendations.

You Can Find a Good Lawyer for Your Drug Charge at The Leventis Law Firm

While you may be in a hurry to obtain counsel, it is important to make the right and best decision when choosing a lawyer to represent you on drug charges, as this person is going to be very important to the outcome of your future. Conviction of drug charges in South Carolina can have a negative impact on your life forever and make things like obtaining housing, employment, loans or firearms extremely difficult, if not impossible. Meet or talk with a few different lawyers before making your selection, to be sure you feel confident about giving your case to that person. While you will be dependent upon their guidance throughout the case, you are the client and the customer. They should demonstrate a willingness and ability to listen without judgment, along with clarity of direction and honesty about what to expect. Your lawyer is your trusted advisor. They represent your best interests every step of the way throughout your case. Finding the best one is a combination of the right experience, reliable recommendations, the best fee structure, and your gut feelings about trusting them to represent your best interests.