Must-Ask Questions When Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney Choosing the right attorney for your criminal defense case is not easy, but knowing the right questions may help improve your search. At DeSantis Law Firm, I want to help answer some important questions that anyone should ask me. What percentage of your practice involves criminal defense, and how long have you practiced criminal defense? I have practiced law for over 20 years, with a primary focus on criminal defense, and have handled thousands of criminal cases over the years in state and federal courts and tribal courts. These range from major felonies such as murder, rape and assault down to DUI and other misdemeanors. I have also handled capital murder cases and murder cases where the death penalty was in consideration. How many trials have you handled? I have taken over 150 cases to trial with a verdict. These include at least 36 jury trials to verdict involving major felonies such as murder, sexual assault, federal wiretap, conspiracy to sell kilo quantities of cocaine, arson, gun sales and more. Counting jury trials that resolved prior to a final verdict, the number is over 50. I am an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. This allows me to stay current with developments in the law as well as the trends in the practice of criminal defense. My decades of experience have allowed me to participate in hundreds of hours of continuing legal education throughout the country and to stay current by continuing to participate in continuing legal education. Are you a certified criminal attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocacy? I was certified as a criminal trial advocate in 2006 and re-certified in 2011. I was also named by The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers for the year 2013. This is a premier group of attorneys who practice criminal defense from the state of Connecticut. The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization of America’s top trial lawyers. Membership into the organization is by invitation only and extends only to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results and leadership in their respective states. Will you explain what is occurring on the case regularly and return your phone calls? I will stay in constant communication with you regarding the status of your case and address any questions or concerns that you have during the process. I base my practice on client-orientated representation. I believe that the client should be involved with the decisions that are made and be fully aware of all the options at each stage of the process. Will you give a flat-fee price or charge an hourly rate that can go on forever? I generally charge a flat fee, which allows me to focus solely on representation. This means that a client doesn’t have to worry about having to pay extra for meeting with their lawyer or talking on the phone with their lawyer. You know what you are paying for upfront. Can I trust your referral? Just because the person who referred you to a lawyer is not enough of a reason to trust that lawyer with your, or a loved one’s, freedom. It can certainly be a factor, but with something as important as your freedom or conviction that will remain with you for the rest of your life, one should carefully approach who they hire. It should be who is best for you, not who somebody thinks is best for you. See for yourself if you can trust me by scheduling your initial consultation at my New Haven office. Call me at 860-406-8569 or email me to schedule your initial consultation today.