Facing criminal charges can be daunting.
A criminal conviction can impact your future, including employment prospects and travel opportunities.
Finding the best criminal lawyer is therefore an important decision, and not one to be taken lightly. We have outlined the key considerations and steps to follow to ensure you find a criminal defence lawyer who meets your specific needs, and will give you the best chance of getting a favourable result.
Step 1: Focus on firms that specialise in criminal law
There are a range of different types of law including family law, employment law, and criminal law. Be wary of firms that act across multiple legal fields – the chances are, they are not specialists in either of them! It is essential to find a firm that specialises in criminal law and understands the subtleties of all available offences, and the various legislative and sentencing provisions.
Step 2: Ask for help
Ask friends and family if they can recommend a good criminal defence law firm.
You can also contact the Law Society of New South Wales to obtain a list of lawyers that specialise in criminal law.
Step 3: Research firm reputation
Most law firms will have a section of their website outlining the awards they have won. Pay attention to whether the firm has won awards in a specific area of criminal law that applies to your matter, for example, white collar crime.
Look at online reviews of the firm, such as Google reviews. This provides insight into how satisfied recent clients were with the representation and may highlight key lawyers within the firm that stand out to you. If a specific lawyer sounds promising, you can review their profile on the firm’s website to get more information.
Step 4: Review lawyer expertise and experience
Each criminal law firm will typically have a section of their website dedicated to providing information about their lawyers. Read the profiles of each lawyer to see whether they have expertise and practical experience in the specific type of matter you need help with. Pay attention to whether you feel an affinity for them based on their profile.
Step 5: Factor in convenience
Look at where the firm is located – do they have a convenient location in the Sydney CBD where you can meet with them? Sometimes, a person living in regional NSW will prefer to retain a lawyer in Sydney due to the concentration of high calibre lawyers in this area. In this case, ensure that the firm’s lawyers travel to all courts throughout NSW.
Step 6: Schedule a meeting
The contact details for each lawyer will be included in their website profile. Contact them for an initial discussion about your case, and then organise a face-to-face meeting if they seem like a good fit. The meeting is a forum to discuss your matter in greater detail, including the court procedures and available defence strategies. Some law firms offer a free first consultation that you can take advantage of.
A meeting is also the ideal opportunity to get a feel for the personality of the lawyer, and whether there is a good rapport between the two of you. Depending on the nature of the case, you may be spending a lot of time with this person, and establishing a solid relationship is important to ensure that you receive the support you need throughout the process.
Nyman Gibson Miralis has over 55 years of experience in successfully defending all criminal charges.
Book a free consultation or call us on 1300 668 484 for 24/7 legal advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a criminal lawyer?
Criminal lawyers are specialists in defending people charged with a criminal offence. They are also known as criminal defence lawyers, and defence lawyers. Criminal lawyers deal with issues surrounding the arrest, investigation, criminal charges, sentencing, bail, appeals, and other post-trial issues.
A criminal lawyer is someone who has completed an approved course of study of law, usually lasting a minimum of four years, and has then been licenced by the state in which they work to practice law.
What is the difference between criminal law and civil law?
Criminal law differs from civil law in that a higher burden of proof is required, such as beyond a reasonable doubt, rather than on the balance of probabilities. This means that the prosecution’s case must be very strong for a conviction to be secured in a criminal court.
What is the difference between a lawyer, a solicitor and a barrister?
“Lawyer” is a general term for all legal professionals and applies to both solicitors and barristers.
A solicitor is a lawyer that is involved in the day to day management of your case. A solicitor can provide advice, represent you in court, and is trained in areas such as sentencing hearings and appeals.
A barrister is a lawyer who is specifically trained in representing clients in court, and who may be retained by a solicitor to provide legal representation in highly complex legal matters or to provide written advice on specific areas of law.
Where appropriate, the solicitors at Nyman Gibson Miralis work with the best barristers in NSW.
Do your criminal lawyers only work in Sydney?
While our team of criminal lawyers is based in the Sydney CBD, we provide representation and attend courts across NSW and the ACT.
We also defend clients who are facing charges in multiple jurisdictions, and often travel overseas to provide advice and representation in international investigations where there is an Australian connection. In such cases, we represent clients throughout all Australian states and territories.