Do you need a solicitor to handle your criminal or family law case? Choosing the right solicitor can go a long way in ensuring the success of your case. The first consultation, in particular, will help you assess the solicitor's expertise and professionalism. Read this guide to know what you should discuss during this interview.

Your first task is to give a detailed explanation of the issue that you would want the lawyer to address. Provide accurate details. For instance, the lawyer will want to know the circumstances under which you are associated with the crime. For example, it could be that you were at the scene of the crime or you communicated with the victim of the crime. He or she will also inquire whether you have had another lawyer dealing with your case. If you are a co-accused, the lawyer will assess the prevailing circumstances and advise you whether you will require a joint defence team. At this stage, the lawyer may have a hunch about the outcome of the case. For instance, he or she can ask for a dismissal if the prosecution's case is too weak.

You will also need to examine the lawyer's experience. For instance, ask the outcome of similar cases that he or she whether he or she has handled. Every case is different. However, you would be more confident dealing with a lawyer that has a winning history. Lawyers affiliated with professional associations and those with post-graduate diplomas, accreditations and awards from legal associations will likely provide quality services.

Inquire about the lawyer's terms of hire. For instance, what is his or her availability? Complex matters such as murder, manslaughter and corruption require a lawyer with utmost dedication. Moreover, the lawyer may require paralegals and investigators to help him or her prepare for the case. The lawyer should inform you of his or her availability and working hours. Besides, he or she should provide you with office and personal contacts. 

Most solicitors will charge per hour. However, they may have a fixed charge for issues such as filing financial orders, seeking restraining orders or handling a personal injury claim. You may want to avoid lawyers with lots of hidden charges. It ensures transparency during billing. 

Once you are confident with the solicitor's services, he or she should formulate a plan of how to handle the issue. For instance, he or she could ask you not to comment on the case. The solicitor could request you to organise interviews with friends and family that would want to be witnesses in your case. Besides, you could be asked to provide your employment and bank documents.

To learn more, contact a solicitor.