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Thomas Smith
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I’m an attorney and an entrepreneur.
I’m an attorney and an entrepreneur.

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Need a reliable Pittsburgh Criminal Attorney FAST? Then call our receptionist at our 24 hour emergency service at 412-312-4100 and we will get help to you right now.

That's 412-312-4100 and we’ll have a receptionist standing by for your call. Thank you for contacting the 24 hour emergency criminal defense lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA. We look forward to helping you.

We offer 24 hour emergency answering service for all of Greater Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

Should you go to the yellow pages and picking the lawyer on the first page of the Pittsburgh, PA attorney listings, or the law firm with a two page ad? We don't advocate any of those methods for someone charged with a criminal offense. The problem is that just because someone went to law school and passed the bar exam, doesn't mean he or she is effective and experienced in criminal defense.


WARNING: All Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Not the Same...

If You Need an Experienced Criminal Lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA Contact Our Firm NOW at 412–312-4100.


In the medical field there are doctors who specialize in certain parts of the body and so, too, many lawyers concentrate on just a few areas of the law. There are just too many types of law for someone to be an expert in every area.  Think of it this way. Do you really think that someone who spends most of their time writing and negotiating contracts for businesses would be as effective in the courtroom as a lawyer with decades of experience in criminal law?


What's more, when you hire an expert, you have to expect that the cost is going to be higher than hiring someone else with only a moderate amount of knowledge or experience.  That leads us to:


7 Key Questions to Find the Right Pittsburgh Criminal Attorneys...


1. The first question to ask would be simply, How many years has the Pittsburgh criminal attorney practiced criminal law? Someone with a fair number of years of experience, such as 10 years or more, would be most preferred. Your future is too important to hand over your defense to a new law school graduate.


2. The second question you'll want to learn the answer to will be how many trials has the Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney handled? This is important because your lawyer should be familiar and confident with the process. There are some so called "criminal lawyers in Pittsburgh” who rarely, or never go to trial and are known as "settling attorneys". Many times they aren't comfortable in trials, and even if it isn't best for their client, they find a way to settle without going to trial. The prosecution can sense that fear of going to trial, which can have a detrimental effect on possible plea bargaining for the client. Definitely, a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer who has tried 50 to 100 or more cases will maintain a stronger bargaining position.


3. Another thing you should determine is the number of jury trials the Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer  has handled. Additional areas of expertise are needed in jury trial with facets like selecting jurors, and knowing how to be persuasive to jury members. As you can probably guess, more experience with jury trials is better than less. If your Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney has handled 40 or 50 jury trials, he or she should have learned a lot about strategy in that area.


4. While you can certainly ask a potential Pittsburgh criminal lawyer about his or her experience, an even better way to determine that is is through a reliable certification process. Some states recognize specializations in different areas of law and if a lawyer qualifies according to the state's requirements, he can reflect that specialization in his marketing and advertising materials. However, many states don't allow specializations. Fortunately, there is a national certification available through the National Board of Trial Advocacy. This is a very rigorous certification process, requiring significant experience in criminal trials, a written exam, peer review and re-certification every 5 years.  If a lawyer has achieved this certification, you have an unbiased third party validation of her experience, instead of having to rely simply on what the lawyer says about her ability.


5. Something else you should ask about is how and when the criminal lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA will communicate with you. Use the first consultation (which is often free, however be sure to ask ahead of time) to assess whether you will be comfortable and confident handing your case over to this person.


6. Make sure to ask if the Pittsburgh criminal lawyer you think you are hiring will actually be the one who is handling your case. This is important because some firms will have you talk to a lead lawyer initially and then give your case to a newer lawyer in the firm to handle. I believe a criminal charge deserves an experienced and seasoned lawyer, not someone just out of law school.


7. Ask about the costs involved. Find out whether the lawyer charges an hourly rate or a flat fee. Obviously, it is better for you, the client, to get a flat fee. That way you know exactly how much you need to pay as opposed to being concerned that the lawyer is trying to string things along in order to increase his fees. Also, determine what is covered in the flat fee, such as does that fee cover fees for a trial or will there be additional costs for that?


Remember if the Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney’s fee is much lower than others that it could be a red flag...


A much lower fee can mean (s)he is not as experienced (not good for you), or he may handle a high volume of cases. The problem with the high volume situation is that he won't be able to spend as much time or attention on your case (also not desirable) as the lawyer who takes fewer cases but charges more.


We've also known of other criminal defense attorneys in Pittsburgh who entice clients by stating they will only charge a small amount such as $100.00 to go to court for you. However, they don't mention that you'll have to continue to pay them for every phone call or each document they do for you. And, pretty soon the total expense can be higher than a set fee charged by someone else.


A lower fee could also indicate that the lawyer is the "settling" kind of Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer as I mentioned before, who won't go to trial even if its in your best interest. And since he knows he won't ever be going to trial he can charge less, as trials involve significantly more work.


We believe these questions will allow you to become informed in this important decision making process so you can find a Pittsburgh, PA criminal defense lawyer, who will skillfully protect your rights and freedom.

No case is too big or small… Call us NOW at 412-312-4100 for your free consultation with a top Pittsburgh criminal lawyer.
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24 Hour Criminal Defense Attorney Pittsburgh, PA | 412-312-4100 | Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney

Need a reliable Pittsburgh Criminal Attorney FAST? Then call our receptionist at our 24 hour emergency service at 412-312-4100 and we will get help to you right now.

That's 412-312-4100 and we’ll have a receptionist standing by for your call. Thank you for contacting the 24 hour emergency criminal defense lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA. We look forward to helping you.

We offer 24 hour emergency answering service for all of Greater Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

Should you go to the yellow pages and picking the lawyer on the first page of the Pittsburgh, PA attorney listings, or the law firm with a two page ad? We don't advocate any of those methods for someone charged with a criminal offense. The problem is that just because someone went to law school and passed the bar exam, doesn't mean he or she is effective and experienced in criminal defense.


WARNING: All Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Not the Same...

If You Need an Experienced Criminal Lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA Contact Our Firm NOW at 412–312-4100.

In the medical field there are doctors who specialize in certain parts of the body and so, too, many lawyers concentrate on just a few areas of the law. There are just too many types of law for someone to be an expert in every area.  Think of it this way. Do you really think that someone who spends most of their time writing and negotiating contracts for businesses would be as effective in the courtroom as a lawyer with decades of experience in criminal law?

What's more, when you hire an expert, you have to expect that the cost is going to be higher than hiring someone else with only a moderate amount of knowledge or experience.  That leads us to:

7 Key Questions to Find the Right Pittsburgh Criminal Attorneys

1. The first question to ask would be simply, How many years has the Pittsburgh criminal attorney practiced criminal law? Someone with a fair number of years of experience, such as 10 years or more, would be most preferred. Your future is too important to hand over your defense to a new law school graduate.


2. The second question you'll want to learn the answer to will be how many trials has the Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney handled? This is important because your lawyer should be familiar and confident with the process. There are some so called "criminal lawyers in Pittsburgh” who rarely, or never go to trial and are known as "settling attorneys". Many times they aren't comfortable in trials, and even if it isn't best for their client, they find a way to settle without going to trial. The prosecution can sense that fear of going to trial, which can have a detrimental effect on possible plea bargaining for the client. Definitely, a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer who has tried 50 to 100 or more cases will maintain a stronger bargaining position.

3. Another thing you should determine is the number of jury trials the Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer  has handled. Additional areas of expertise are needed in jury trial with facets like selecting jurors, and knowing how to be persuasive to jury members. As you can probably guess, more experience with jury trials is better than less. If your Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney has handled 40 or 50 jury trials, he or she should have learned a lot about strategy in that area.

4. While you can certainly ask a potential Pittsburgh criminal lawyer about his or her experience, an even better way to determine that is is through a reliable certification process. Some states recognize specializations in different areas of law and if a lawyer qualifies according to the state's requirements, he can reflect that specialization in his marketing and advertising materials. However, many states don't allow specializations. Fortunately, there is a national certification available through the National Board of Trial Advocacy. This is a very rigorous certification process, requiring significant experience in criminal trials, a written exam, peer review and re-certification every 5 years.  If a lawyer has achieved this certification, you have an unbiased third party validation of her experience, instead of having to rely simply on what the lawyer says about her ability.


5. Something else you should ask about is how and when the criminal lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA will communicate with you. Use the first consultation (which is often free, however be sure to ask ahead of time) to assess whether you will be comfortable and confident handing your case over to this person.

6. Make sure to ask if the Pittsburgh criminal lawyer you think you are hiring will actually be the one who is handling your case. This is important because some firms will have you talk to a lead lawyer initially and then give your case to a newer lawyer in the firm to handle. I believe a criminal charge deserves an experienced and seasoned lawyer, not someone just out of law school.

7. Ask about the costs involved. Find out whether the lawyer charges an hourly rate or a flat fee. Obviously, it is better for you, the client, to get a flat fee. That way you know exactly how much you need to pay as opposed to being concerned that the lawyer is trying to string things along in order to increase his fees. Also, determine what is covered in the flat fee, such as does that fee cover fees for a trial or will there be additional costs for that?

Remember if the Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney’s fee is much lower than others that it could be a red flag...

A much lower fee can mean (s)he is not as experienced (not good for you), or he may handle a high volume of cases. The problem with the high volume situation is that he won't be able to spend as much time or attention on your case (also not desirable) as the lawyer who takes fewer cases but charges more.

We've also known of other criminal defense attorneys in Pittsburgh who entice clients by stating they will only charge a small amount such as $100.00 to go to court for you. However, they don't mention that you'll have to continue to pay them for every phone call or each document they do for you. And, pretty soon the total expense can be higher than a set fee charged by someone else.

A lower fee could also indicate that the lawyer is the "settling" kind of Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer as I mentioned before, who won't go to trial even if its in your best interest. And since he knows he won't ever be going to trial he can charge less, as trials involve significantly more work.

We believe these questions will allow you to become informed in this important decision making process so you can find a Pittsburgh, PA criminal defense lawyer, who will skillfully protect your rights and freedom.

No case is too big or small… Call us NOW at 412-312-4100 for your free consultation with a top Pittsburgh criminal lawyer.
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