court attorney lawyer talking to magistrate in courtroom

Ineffective Legal Counsel Can Have Costly Consequences

Law Offices of Fisher Wise July 20, 2022

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, the most important thing you can do is find an experienced criminal defense attorney to work with. Criminal charges must be taken seriously since the consequences of a conviction can be far-reaching and devastating. 

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, there were over 127,000 people arrested in the state in 2020 alone. All of those people arrested deserve to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer representing their interests and protecting their rights, but all too often, people overlook how truly important it is to retain effective legal counsel. 

If you’re in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, area, reach out to me at the Law Offices of Fisher Wise to start talking about your options. I’m also able to help clients in Red Bank, East Ridge, Soddy-Daisy, Marion County, Rhea County, and Sequatchie County.

Ineffective Representation

The criminal justice system is designed to favor those who have experienced defense attorneys representing them, not those who choose to represent themselves. However, it can be equally as challenging for those who have ineffective legal counsel. If you have an unskilled or inexperienced lawyer representing you, they can make costly mistakes or overlook evidence, and this is even more important if you feel you’ve been wrongly accused. In the most extreme cases, this could mean the difference between a conviction or a dismissal of your charges. In other cases, an inexperienced attorney may fail in the pre-trial negotiations, resulting in longer sentences or heftier fines.

Private Attorney vs. Public Defender

Many people facing criminal charges may be curious about the difference between a public defender and a private attorney. While both of these lawyers will be skilled and competent in their field, there are some key differences you should be aware of as these could affect the outcome of your case. 

Public defenders must go through the same training that private attorneys do, but when they begin their practice, their day-to-day workload will look very different. Public defenders typically have a very heavy caseload since they’re assigned to work with different defendants by the state. This means they can become burdened with too many clients and may not be able to give your case the care and attention it needs. They also may not have access to the same resources that a private attorney may have due to budget considerations.

Lastly, clients usually see a difference in representation in the pre-charge and pre-trial phases of their case. Public defenders will typically wait until charges have been issued before they start investigating your case, whereas a private attorney can start working for you right away. This means there’s a greater chance they can intervene ahead of time to have your charges reduced or in some cases, thrown out altogether. 

Qualities in an Effective Defense Attorney

When searching for a defense attorney, there are some key qualities you should be evaluating them for. First of all, you want someone with extensive experience working with clients facing similar charges as yours. Just because someone is a criminal defense attorney doesn’t mean they have knowledge about cases involving all crimes. For example, if you’re arrested for assault or battery, you don’t want a lawyer whose main experience is with DUI defense.

You also want a local attorney who’s familiar with state and federal laws. You’ll need someone with knowledge of the local court system and this includes experience working with different judges and prosecuting attorneys. They’ll be able to use this knowledge and leverage it to your benefit. 

Finally, you want someone you can trust and feel comfortable speaking with. It’s imperative you’re 100% honest with your attorney, and if you don’t feel comfortable, you won’t be able to form a healthy attorney-client relationship. A good attorney should take the time to answer all of your questions and make sure you fully understand the charges and your options.

Don’t Risk Your Future. Call Now.

I started my practice, the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, because I believe in providing top-tier legal services to everyone, regardless of the charges they’re facing. If you’ve already been arrested, you don’t have any time to waste. Call my offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, today to start the conversation about your defense.