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Practical Qualities to Look for in an Attorney Handling a Murder Trial

The unexpected death of an individual is a tragic experience that can be felt throughout a community. However, the tactics used by law enforcement to find justice for the victim and their family often create waves of destruction that can upturn lives, ruin reputations, and cost someone their freedom. A fundamental right in the U.S. is that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, but media coverage and public opinion have the ability to demonize criminal defendants to the point where they feel like there is no hope. Finding the right attorney can completely change the outcome of a case, which is why it’s so important to know what to look for when selecting legal counsel.

Experience Is Key

Murder cases are some of the most complex and stressful trials anyone can go through. An experienced attorney can obviously give effective advice that improves the defendant’s chances of a not-guilty verdict, but can also carry the defense with the poise and confidence to give the defendant and their family some peace of mind. When selecting a firm to handle a murder case, look for an attorney who has first-hand experience in murder trials. If they don’t have experience as a primary attorney on a murder case, they should have at least second-chair experience, as well as experience winning cases. 

You Get What You Pay For

It’s true that every person has the right to a court-appointed attorney, but there are many reasons that they will not be sufficient in a murder case. A court-appointed attorney may be skilled and highly experienced, but public attorney offices are notoriously understaffed and underpaid which does not give them the resources they need to effectively defend every type of client. A private firm with extensive experience in winning cases will have not only the resources to complete appropriate due diligence, but what others would consider going “above and beyond,” will be treated as standard practice. For example, an attorney should visit the scene of the crime and review all police documentation with a fine-toothed comb to check for inconsistencies or even find new evidence that is vital in demonstrating the defendant’s innocence.

Decorum In and Out of the Courtroom

Murder cases are not always common and the media finds them very attractive to sell news stories. The more interesting a case seems to media outlets, the more they will report on it, and unfortunately, high-profile cases have statistically negatively impacted defendant outcomes. Although an attorney cannot control everything that is shared with the media, a lawyer that is experienced in dealing with the media and handling cases with discretion will be viewed positively by the public. It may also be impossible to prevent jury members from consuming media related to the case, but an attorney’s presence in the courtroom can influence the jury to see the defendant as trustworthy and innocent. 

It goes without saying, for an attorney to be effective, they have to have the experience and tact to win cases. When someone’s life and freedom are on the line, there is no room to cut corners. If you or a family member are under investigation for a crime and need empathetic legal counsel who will fight for your future, contact the Snow Legal Group, PLLC today for a consultation.