The Three Ls of Finding a Good Criminal Defense Attorney

Being arrested for a crime is an experience that can be very scary. Although you may not be thinking clearly at the time, it is important to understand that the police do not have your best interests at heart. As a result, regardless of whether you are charged with a minor crime or a serious crime like murder or drug charges, it is important to have an experienced criminal attorney by your side. However, what should you look for in an attorney?

When choosing someone to represent you, it is important not to hire the first attorney that you come across. Instead, there are three main criteria that you should consider when deciding the best person to hire.

Legal specialization

Some attorneys are general practitioners that practice in a wide variety of legal areas. Since criminal defense is a very complex area, it is wise to choose an attorney that specializes in this area. Attorneys that practice solely in this area are especially knowledgeable and would be more likely to be able to help you. Look for an attorney that has several years of experience handling the type of crime you are charged with. For example, do not hire an attorney specializing in murder charges to represent you with your DUI charge, as the two areas of the law are quite different.


When choosing an attorney, always hire someone that regularly practices in the geographic area (i.e. city or town) where you are facing charges. These attorneys likely already have established relationships with the local judges and prosecutors that will ultimately decide your fate.

Litigation experience

Many criminal charges are resolved by plea bargaining rather than trial. However, having an attorney with significant courtroom experience is invaluable in securing a favorable plea bargain, as the threat of taking the matter to trial is sometimes the only advantage you have during the negotiations. Of course, having an attorney with good courtroom experience is priceless if you are unable to secure a plea agreement with the prosecutors and need to proceed to trial.

If you are charged with a crime in Northern New Jersey, contact James. M. Porfido. As a former prosecutor with over 20 years of criminal law experience, attorney James Porfido is well positioned to work on your behalf to secure the most favorable outcome for you.

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