What should I expect from a good criminal defense lawyer?

A good Fairfax criminal defense lawyer will work tirelessly to understand every detail associated with your case. Skilled criminal defense lawyers know they must absorb the facts of a case to understand how to protect their clients. All criminal cases can be lost or won depending on the facts and the witnesses connected to the case. A good criminal defense lawyer will zealously advocate for their clients and is unafraid to push back against Commonwealth Attorneys, law enforcement officers, and the occasional judge to protect them.

what to expect from a criminal defense attorney

Traits to look for in a good criminal defense lawyer

If you are threatened with the loss of your liberty, then you want to retain a skilled criminal defense lawyer who will protect your rights. Therefore, you want to make sure that your criminal defense lawyer is experienced. In Virginia, the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission certifies certain attorneys as capable of representing clients on misdemeanor, juvenile, or felony matters.  You should ensure that your attorney is certified to represent you on your charge.

Consistent communication

You should receive regular updates regarding hearings, motions, and conferences. Any development in your case has the potential to affect your rights. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will provide you with written communication that keeps you apprised of every case development.


A good criminal defense lawyer possesses years of experience. Although new attorneys can be skilled, talented, and ambitious, the lessons of experience add value to a lawyer’s skills over time.

Criminal defense lawyers must possess effective negotiation skills so they can attempt to get clients beneficial plea agreements. Also, trial experience will give a criminal defense lawyer the confidence and passion to pursue your case with vigor, patience, and dedication. If you expect your case to be resolved in a jury trial, seek an attorney who has jury trial experience.

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are also valuable to criminal defense lawyers and their clients. A criminal defense lawyer must be able to engage in persuasive oral advocacy to help their clients receive optimum outcomes. At the same time, criminal defense attorneys must be persuasive in writing, particularly within motions and briefs supporting your cause.

An effective criminal defense lawyer knows how to read jurors and when to strike unfavorable jurors. These are skills that develop over time. You should look for a criminal defense lawyer who has experience taking difficult cases to trial.

Referrals from past clients

A good criminal defense lawyer should also have outstanding references. By practicing over many years, criminal defense lawyers develop relationships with prosecutors, judges, and court reporters. These relationships can benefit clients. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who understands the politics of a courtroom and a geographic region can help clients protect their legal rights.


You should look for a criminal defense lawyer who has worked on many different types of criminal cases. Some criminal defense lawyers may only have experience representing clients in DUI cases, but you may need a lawyer who has experience representing clients in murder cases or fraud cases. The more diverse range of experience a criminal defense lawyer possesses, the more likely it is that they will be able to offer you excellent legal representation.

Time and other considerations in a criminal defense case

It can take months or years to resolve a criminal case in Virginia. In the meantime, a criminal arrest can significantly impact your reputation, career, and personal life. Even without a conviction, defendants can lose their jobs and certain rights, and suffer other consequences.

A good criminal defense attorney will work hard to mitigate the damage of an arrest and protect your best interests from the beginning to the end of a case.

Look for a criminal defense lawyer you can trust

By retaining a criminal defense lawyer who is direct, honest, and forthright with you about the status of your case, you will feel confident that you are doing everything within your power to protect your liberty.

Also, you need to be able to tell your criminal defense lawyer the truth without being afraid of being judged or ridiculed. You are the decision-maker when it comes to whether to plead to an offense, take a case to trial, and whether to try your case before a jury. It will benefit you to retain a criminal defense lawyer who you can trust will give you the best advice about your choices, and will fight zealously for you once you have made those decisions.

Contact Select Law Partners PLLC today

It can be difficult to know what to expect from a criminal defense attorney. You may feel alone, humiliated, and scared of losing your freedom. However, the best thing you can do to protect your legal rights is to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney.

A knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense attorney can provide you with exceptional legal representation. Call Select Law Partners PLLC at (855) 541-4867 to learn how we can help you with your criminal case.