With over a million lawyers in the US focusing on different areas of law, you might wonder if any given lawyer has trial experience.
Take real estate lawyers, for example. While some certainly do go to court, the majority of their work revolves around paperwork. A real estate lawyer could easily go an entire career without ever getting involved in a trial.
Whether you should hire a lawyer with trial experience depends on your circumstances. So let’s jump in and look at some situations where you need a lawyer.
Hiring A Lawyer With Trial Experience After An Arrest
Arrests happen every day in major cities like Houston. Some of the arrests are for minor offenses and some for serious crimes.
Regardless of why you get arrested, it’s always advisable to get a lawyer. A lawyer can help you in a lot of ways, including:
- Charge reduction
- Establishing if your rights got violated
- Procedure errors during the arrest
A lawyer with trial experience is especially helpful because they know what will and won’t fly in court.
Trial Experience Counts with Serious Criminal Charges
If you get charged with a serious crime, you want a lawyer who spends some time in court. Odds are good that you’ll face a trial with the potential for real jail time. Hiring a lawyer without that experience sets you up for a losing case.
Getting charged with a serious crime is a lot like getting diagnosed with a serious illness. When you’re life is on the line, you want a specialist doctor with a long, successful track record. The same thing goes for your lawyer when you’re facing a serious charge.
You Plan to Plead Guilty
It’s possible that you’ll take a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence. It’s a tricky business, though. A district attorney won’t offer a deal if they think they’ve got a slam dunk case.
You need an experienced lawyer for the negotiations. The better your lawyer, the more likely the DA will offer you a good deal.
Let’s say you’re setting up your will. Wills get challenged sometimes, but it’s fairly rare. More importantly, it’ll happen after you’re out of the picture.
In the case of normal estate planning, you don’t need a lawyer who’s represented clients in a lot of trials. You just need a lawyer who understands wills, trusts, and the relevant tax laws.
When it comes to your business, things get a little murky. Like real estate lawyers, business lawyers handle a lot of paperwork, such as:
- Incorporation paperwork
- Intellectual property
Since businesses get sued on a regular basis, though, it’s good if your lawyer has defended some clients in court.
In answer to whether you should hire a lawyer with trial experience, the answer is: usually.
In any criminal matter, you need a lawyer with experience in criminal trials. Inexperienced lawyers get their clients sent away.
For a basic will or real estate purchase, you can get by without a lawyer who argues a lot of cases. If you run a business, you want a lawyer who’s argued some lawsuits.
Vinas & Graham specialize in criminal law and serve the Houston, TX area. If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a crime, contact us today.