If you were just recently arrested on criminal charges, the very first place to start is to hire a licensed criminal defense lawyer right away. Without private criminal defense, you risk jeopardizing your rights, your freedom, and your future. One of the most common questions about hiring a criminal lawyer involves location. Defendants like you want to know whether or not they have to hire a defense attorney in the same county as their pending criminal case.
The truth is, the answer to this question is not so cut and dry.
Local Versus Non-Local Attorneys
The choice to hire locally or not is entirely up to you as the defendant. Your choice will be based on several factors, including your personal preference, circumstances of the case, appointed county prosecutors, opposing attorneys, judges, and much more.
For instance, if you are from a small town, you might want to hire locally because all the judges, attorneys, and prosecutors know each other well and have long-standing relationships, which could help your lawyer get you a better deal. Of course, this is not always the case in a small town. In an opposing example, if you are from a small town and facing serious criminal charges in a large city, you may choose to hire out of town in hopes of retaining a lawyer with better knowledge of big city politics.
What You Really Need to Know
The reality is that it does not matter where you hire your attorney. Hiring locally or out of town doesn’t make a difference for most criminal cases. It is the lawyer that makes the difference. However, the general rule of thumb is to hire an attorney in the city your charges are pending.
The most important part about hiring a criminal attorney is choosing one that is well-versed in the area of law you are dealing with, and one with extensive trial and litigation experience. They have the knowledge and resources it takes to build a strong and impactful defense against your criminal charges.