Introduction

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime the first thing you do is consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer.  If you can afford it, it’s probably a good decision to hire a criminal defense lawyer. But if you have to go with the public defender option just know that you’re taking a chance and although it seems like the least costly option, it can cost you big time in the long run.  Check out this recent article “Why hiring a public defender is a bad idea (most of the time)” to learn more. However, for those who understand the value of hiring a private attorney, the process of choosing your attorney can be a difficult one. Most people want to hire the “best” criminal lawyer” they can find at a reasonable cost. But what constitutes the “best” when it comes to criminal defense lawyers in St. Louis? Let’s take a look at the factors that come into play when evaluating the best lawyer for your particular legal problem.

Experience, Knowledge, & Creativity

Like most professions, criminal defense lawyers get better over the course of their careers.  A criminal defense lawyer who has just graduated law school is probably not going to be your best choice if you’re facing a murder charge. But at the same time, you probably don’t want to hire a criminal lawyer who is in the last few years of his career.  Ideally, you want a young, energetic, but experienced lawyer. 

Criminal defense law is a mixture of knowing the law and knowing how to apply the law under specific circumstances.  The good St. Louis lawyers have a wealth of knowledge about the law and HOW to apply it, while the best lawyers in St. Louis know all the loopholes in the law and know WHEN to apply them.  The law itself is something that is always up for new interpretations, and the best criminal lawyers in St. Louis can create new interpretations that are beneficial to their cases.  

A good question to ask any criminal defense lawyer during the interview phase is whether they think there are any loopholes within the law that would be relevant in your case.  This could be a process loophole where the police forget to calibrate the breathalyzer in a DWI case, or it could simply be an illegal search and seizure in a drug possession case.  Either way, the best lawyers will find these loopholes and take full advantage of them under the law.

Character, Attitude, & Personality

You have to be a particular type of person to want to practice criminal defense law.  It’s not something that every lawyer who comes of law school is equipped to do. If you have ever watched “Better Call Saul” you might think that all criminal defense lawyers are a little shady, and there is probably some truth to that in some areas of criminal defense law.  However, most if not all criminal defense lawyers are big defenders of “due process” and the right to a fair trial. That’s what makes our judicial system unique and criminal defense lawyers have a critical part to play in our system. The best criminal defense lawyers are the ones that get into criminal defense law for this reason.  They want to defend the defenseless, and although it’s not easy defending someone who committed a terrible crime, under our judicial system, someone has to step up and do it.  

But that’s not all you should look for when evaluating your “best” criminal defense lawyer.  You want to find someone who is confident with themselves but doesn’t have a major ego. This can be tough to find in the criminal defense lawyers in St. Louis.  You want a lawyer who is assertive, and not aggressive. Aggressive lawyers tend to shoot themselves in the foot with their clients, the jury, and with the prosecuting attorney.  An assertive attorney knows what he wants and knows how to communicate that to either the prosecutor or the jury he is trying to sway. The “best” attorneys are usually likable and positive in a natural way, and that can be their most effective tool when defending your case.

Winning Is Important 

Most criminal defense attorneys want to win every case, but that’s just not going to happen.  Over time they will win some and they lose some. After an attorney has been in his profession for a while he can become indifferent about the win or the loss in a case. However, the best attorneys are always wanting to win.  They have that competitive mentality and they don’t necessarily want to win for you, but winning is important overall. The best lawyers have this mentality and they will go the extra mile on your case because they want to win, not because you paid them an extra $10,000 or because they like you.  

When looking for a lawyer, evaluate his or her previous client reviews or testimonials.  The best lawyers have the best reputations. So try to find a lawyer who is still trying to be the “best” or maintain his reputation as the “best” and he will likely go that extra mile to get you the “best” outcomes in your case.

Building Personal Relationships With Clients

The last factor that you should look for when evaluating your “best” criminal defense lawyer in St. Louis is how much personal attention the lawyer gives to you as a client.  Choosing a criminal lawyer is an important decision if you’re facing some serious crimes. You’re putting your future and in some cases your freedom in the hands of another individual.  Invariably, you are trusting your lawyer with a lot, and you want to be able to be completely honest with him or her. This is not like hiring a mechanic to fix your car. You want to be able to create a quasi business-personal relationship with your criminal defense lawyer.  The best lawyers know how to bond with their clients while maintaining their moral and ethical codes. Defending yourself in a criminal case can become an emotional ordeal, so having a lawyer who can be attentive to your emotional needs will be important. The best criminal defense lawyers will help you as you go on the emotional roller coaster during your case.

Conclusion

If you do a Google search for  “Best Criminal Defense Lawyers In St. Louis” you will find all these websites that list the “Top 10 Best Criminal Lawyers In St. Louis” or the “Top 5 Criminal Lawyers In St. Louis”.  Unfortunately, these ranking sites don’t really know if those lawyers are the “best” criminal lawyers for your needs. Only you can decide who is the “best” lawyer for your particular needs.  At Combs Law Group we like to think that we are the “best”, but so does every other St. Louis criminal law firm. What we do know for sure is that if you value character, attitude, and personality, and you want a lawyer who values winning while providing you close personal attention, we are the law firm for you. We urge you to read through our long list of reviews from previous clients to see what makes us stand apart from other law firms in the St. Louis area.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

About Chris Combs

A St. Louis native and graduate of Saint Louis University Law School, Chris Combs has been recognized as one of St. Louis' top criminal defense and personal injury attorneys. He is passionate about getting positive results for all his clients and values personal communication above all.

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