The criminal defense attorney is the attorney that is approached to represent a person who has been accused of a crime. Each and every person accused of a crime approaches a criminal defense attorney for help from being declared innocent. Although a criminal defense attorney may cost the accused money, it is always better to hire one than to try and representing oneself in court. This is because it is very difficult for anyone to represent oneself in court.
Representing oneself in court is not at all easy; a good knowledge of all criminal laws is mandatory. So to get the best possible legal advice, it is better to hire a criminal defense attorney. In case you cannot afford the services of a defense attorney, the court itself will appoint a criminal defense attorney for you. This attorney is called a public defender. This is because according to the constitution of the United States, everyone has to be provided with a legal representation; even if the person cannot afford it. However, the court has to provide a criminal defense attorney to the accused only if the accused is likeable of facing jail or prison time. If a fine is all that the accused will be charged with then the court needn't assign a criminal defense attorney to the defendant.
The criminal attorney that is appointed by the court is either not paid by the defendant at all, or sometimes, at reduced fees. This point is decided by the income of the accused. People requesting the services of a criminal defense attorney through the court is made to fill out some financial documents to find out whether or not the accused is worthy of a public defender. It is through these documents that it is decided if the accused receives the services of the criminal defense attorney for free or at a reduced cost.
When a person is considered worthy of a reduced cost criminal defense attorney that is appointed by the court, it is called partial indulgency. In such cases, the defendant is required to reimburse the county or state for a fraction of their legal fees. However, don't worry, as these rates are usually much lower than the fees that the private criminal defense attorney charges.
To find the best defense attorney, it is better to search on the internet, yellow pages, the local bar association, one of your other attorneys, personal recommendations and the Martindale-Hubbell publications. Personal recommendations, especially from people you love and trust are generally the best advice to get to decide on the best criminal defense attorney. The Martindale-Hubbell has a list of practically every attorney in the US and is listed by the area.
It is always better to interview the attorney before actually hiring one. This is because some criminal defense attorneys charge by the hour while others charge by the case. There is no such thing as contingency fees to be paid for criminal cases as they are considered to be unethical and prohibited in a criminal case.