Searching for a Lawyer
What is a win in Canadian law? It could be a reduced sentence, bail release, time served included in sentencing, serving time on weekends, and plea bargaining. It can also mean being found innocent of wrongful charges. When your future is at stake, having a good Canadian lawyer to represent you against the crown’s charges or a suit brought against you, could mean saving your life.
If you’ve been charged and unprepared, you may think that a court appointed lawyer might be good enough. For suits that involve relatively low money amounts, such representation might suffice. If you’re charged with a DUI offense or assault charge, facing a divorce, or have been fired for no just cause, the consequences of a verdict against you may be ruinous. You need to take your time and find a lawyer who can present your case clearly and convincingly.
If you have a legal issue, you might be tempted to look online where you could find legal services that use a 1 800 line similar to those used by sex talk lines. This is probably not a good idea. The advice you get could send you off on the wrong tangent with contact with shady legal service providers. You should get a lead to speak to a real lawyer. Most services will want to get some info about your case, so don’t be shy about telling them. You’re probably in a hurry, but when speaking to a lawyer, there are key things you need to cover.
If you’re fighting criminal charges, or are threatened with the loss of your drivers license and being fired from your job, it makes sense to look for a reputable legal referral service. The price might be higher, but this is no time to go bargain hunting. You get the service pay for, so free might be the last solution you want.
Hiring a Lawyer
After you’ve been charged by police, you should not say anything more than you would like to confer with your lawyer. Remember that anything you say will be used against you. It’s standard practice so don’t doubt it. You could end up being your own worst witness. Prosecutors can interpret your words any which way when you’re in court. You’ll be horrified when your own words end up convicting you.
Hiring a lawyer early in the action against you can affect whether a criminal charge will be laid, whether you can achieve bail or a release pending the completion of the case against you, the quantity and quality of evidence collected by the police, and the quality of defence strategies you could use. Once you set sail on a particular legal defense, it may be impossible to change.
Your bail hearing is particularly important. If you are held in custody, there will be no way for you to assist in collecting evidence and testimony to exonerate you. It won’t take long for you to discover whether a lawyer can and will represent you well. Some of things you need to consider are:
> Does this lawyer practice this particular type of legal case you face?
> What is his experience and background in this particular area?
> What legal resources does this lawyer have access to?
> Does the lawyer show/explain he has listened to you and understands your case and questions?
> Has your lawyer discussed the charges against you with you?
> Has your lawyer discussed how the criminal justice system operates?
> Has your lawyer discussed what he hopes to do for me and my case?
> Will this lawyer keep you informed of what is and has taken place?
> Has the lawyer discussed fee structures and how your fee will be calculated?
> After discussing the case, do you feel confident of this lawyer?
> Is this lawyer truly interested in representing you?
> Can you reach this lawyers easily or is he always busy?
A few organizations have launched a lawyer review process but rating lawyers competence is difficult and sometimes not done in an objective way. A lawyer with a good winning record with few tough situations to handle in his cases might get a good rating, while others who have handle really tough cases might get a lesser rating. The human factor always comes into play in assessing a lawyer.
Ideally, what you need is a reliable lawyer referral service that takes care to contact and work with good quality lawyers with particular expertise and specialization in the legal areas that you will be involved in. When a referral service demonstrates its in-depth connection to particular law firms, it is a good sign of integrity. These firms may have a website with information on them that helps understand your situation and show they have the resources, knowledge and experience to help you.
Since your first experience in working in the Canadian Legal System is likely to be confusing and awkward, you need to work with someone you trust and who can devote the time to represent you well. A low cost or free legal service is always suspect because the lawyer won’t have time to research, prepare and represent you well.
There are a number of lawyer referral services available. Some are automated services where you fill out a form covering the details of your case and needs along with a contact number. If you like filling out forms and hoping someone contacts you, then you could try it. If you’re facing serious charges, you need a professional service with a direct line who can respond to your needs quickly. Time is of the essence. If you’re in need of a Vancouver Immigration Lawyer, or other Vancouver, check out Lawyershop.ca. They are the top rated Canadian lawyer referral service. They work with some of the most reknowned Canadian law firms and Vancouver lawyers.
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