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Questions You Should Ask a San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney

— October 26, 2020

The best way to protect yourself when facing a criminal charge in San Francisco is to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who’ll help you build your case and represent you.

Being charged with a criminal offense in San Francisco can be a daunting experience. Unless you’re a legal expert yourself, you certainly need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the criminal process you have to take to get out of this trouble. However, you should understand that not all attorneys may be the perfect person for you. As such, it’s important to ask the appropriate questions to make sure you find the one who can help you get the best possible outcome for your case. 

Luckily, this article will show you a few questions you should ask a San Francisco criminal defense attorney before you hire one.

  1. How Long Have You Been Handling Criminal Cases?

As mentioned, not all legal professionals are equal. Some are experts in civil and business law, while others specialize in criminal law. Because of this, it’s important to ask your prospective attorney in San Francisco how long they’ve been handling criminal cases similar to yours. That way, you’ll know whether they have a significant experience as a criminal defense attorney. 

Remember, the number of years they’ve been handling criminal cases will be one of your determining factors whether they can represent and fight for your rights and freedom in court. Therefore, if you’re looking for someone who can effectively defend your case in San Francisco, the criminal defense attorneys at Summit Defense can help you.

  1. What Are Your Professional and Educational Credentials?

Aside from their years of handling criminal cases, it’s also crucial to ask about your prospective attorney’s educational and professional credentials to ensure they’re the right professional for you. For instance, you can ask about where they graduated law school or to which bar associations or professional organizations they belong. 

By doing this, you can determine the legitimacy of your potential attorney in San Francisco. Also, when you ask about their credentials, you’ll find out whether they’ve been accused of or charged for misconduct. Besides, the attorney who should represent you must be in good standing in their legal profession.

  1. Who Will Handle My Case?

Just like other types of cases, dealing with a criminal offense can be extremely traumatic. More than anything else, you need someone who can devote their time to your case and ensure a favorable outcome for your situation. 

Thus, you shouldn’t forget to ask who will handle your case. Although you’re willing to work with other lawyers in the law firm, you want to hire someone who can dedicate their utmost efforts and energy to your case. That way, you can ensure that no vital information about your criminal offense will be missed out along the way.

  1. Can You Propose a Strategy for Handling My Case?

Typically, no attorney can give you the exact outcome you envision. However, it’s still important to ask your prospective legal professional about the strategy they’ll employ in handling your case. This means that your attorney should be able to come up with a strong defensive strategy and proper ways to proceed with your criminal case. They should also be able to explain to you the possible strategies they’ll take to improve your chances of winning your case.

Strategy meeting; image by, via Pxhere, CC0.
Strategy meeting; image by, via Pxhere, CC0.

Moreover, your criminal defense attorney in San Francisco should be able to make you aware of each strategy’s advantages and disadvantages. So, if you want to properly prepare for your case and get out of this mess as soon as you can, don’t hesitate to ask them about how they’ll defend you in court. 

  1. How Often Will You Communicate?

Since you may have plenty of questions about your criminal offense, you shouldn’t forget to ask your attorney about how often they’ll communicate with you. Given the complication of your situation, it’s important to ensure that you hear regular updates from them about the progress of your case. Also, be sure to regularly stay in touch with them by exchanging contact information. 

  1. How Much Do You Charge for Your Services?

Another important question to ask is how much your defense will cost. That’s because aside from the attorney fees, you’ll also need to pay other expenses, such as investigation costs, witness costs, and other fees that are relevant to your case. Hence, when you interview a potential criminal defense attorney, you should be upfront in asking their fee structure. 

Typically, most criminal defense attorneys charge a flat or hourly fee depending on the circumstances of your case. And, to know exactly how much you’re going to pay for their services, ask them for an estimate. That way, you can hire someone who’s within your budget. 


As discussed above, the best way to protect yourself when facing a criminal charge in San Francisco is to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who’ll help you build your case and to represent you in a manner that’s not only effective, but will also save you money. To do this, keep this list of questions in mind to ensure you get to hire the best attorney for your case.

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