Being arrested and accused of committing a sex crime is grim situation for anyone to face. Aside from murder or manslaughter, being charged with a sex crime is one of the most serious cases you will encounter. Whether you are the person in this situation, or you have a close friend or family member who has been arrested, it is time to think about how to provide a defense for the individual in question. If you are in the Houston area, hiring a sex crimes lawyer in Houston is the only way to ensure that the rights and interests of the accused are made a priority during this process.
What Should You Know About Hiring a Sex Crime Attorney
- Hire Quickly
Even though you must take your time to vet the different attorneys who make your shortlist, it is still important to make the decision in a timely manner. When you are arrested for a serious crime, the wheels of justice will begin turning almost immediately. You cannot afford to take weeks to find the right attorney – the matter must be resolved in a few days.
- Civil Attorneys
Aside from hiring someone to represent you in criminal court, you may also need to hire a civil attorney. Because of the difficult nature of sex crime cases, these matters often end up in civil court – where the accused is sued by the accuser for damages and compensation. If you want to avoid being at the end of a heavy settlement payment to your accuser, it is important to hire a civil attorney quickly so they can remain on top of that side of your case. If you get lucky, you may find an attorney who specializes in both the civil and criminal side of a sex crimes case.
Do not be afraid to ask for referrals from anyone you know in the legal profession. Whether it is your neighbor, friend or family member who works as a lawyer or a paralegal, they can always refer you to someone they know who is an outstanding attorney. Getting personalized recommendations help a lot, because they give you some assurance that you will have a quality lawyer in your corner during the trial for your case.
- Check Bar Records
Do not hesitate to check the bar records of the attorneys who make your final shortlist. Their bar records will tell you whether they are registered to practice law in the state, how long they have been an attorney and the most recent cases they tried and/or settled.
- Interview and Make Your Decision
When you have narrowed your list down to two or three names, you can sit down with each of the attorneys for a 30 to 45-minute interview. You can discuss your case, ask them questions and allow them the same courtesy. Talking with an attorney in person is the best way to know whether you will gel with each other – both in terms of personality and professional goals.