What To Look For In A Criminal Defense Attorney

Here are some things to consider when faced with the difficult task of finding and picking the best criminal defense attorney to help you in your time of crisis.


Experience doesn’t mean experience with practicing law generally. Experience is about a lawyer’s track record handling your type of case in Wisconsin. Modern criminal law is so complex that many lawyers focus on particular types of offenses. For example, one may handle only drunk driving cases, another may dabble in family law matters as well as criminal defense, and another may only handle white-collar crimes. It is perfectly acceptable to ask during the initial consultation about the attorney’s experience and the extent to which they focus on doing only one thing. You should not hire a lawyer who refuses to specifically discuss their experience or gives vague or unrevealing answers. Try to find an attorney who has experience and success with cases like yours.

Ask if the lawyer has successfully defended your type of case before. Does the lawyer have a record of not-guilty verdicts? When was their last jury trial? How many do they conduct in an average year? How many have they won? How recently? Does the lawyer practice exclusively in Wisconsin?

Consultation Process

Many lawyers will offer a free or low-cost consultation to determine if they would be able to represent you effectively. Meet the lawyer in person, if possible, and determine if you have confidence in their skills. Don’t feel obligated to go with the first lawyer you speak with if you didn’t feel like they were a good fit. You may feel that you need to find an attorney as quickly as possible, but spend quality time to have consultations with as many law firms as you need to in order to find the best fit. The best lawyer for you is not always the first lawyer you speak to.

References And Testimonials

Do you know any lawyers? Do you work for a company that works with a law firm? Ask them for any recommendations they may have. Before you set up a consultation, do your own research. Look for testimonials from previous clients. Many law firms will have these on their website or available at your request. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the law firm for references either before or during your consultation. You may also want to ask whether the law firm receives referrals from other lawyers, or from other professionals in the criminal justice system with firsthand knowledge of who gets the best results.


Communication should be any trial lawyer’s bread and butter. Your attorney will need to effectively communicate your story to the decisionmakers in your case, and to persuade them to agree with the Defense. You can learn a lot about a lawyer’s ability to communicate with those decisionmakers based on their communication with you. This process is about you and possibly your freedom, so make sure you have comfortable communication with your chosen attorney. Your attorney should always be willing to answer your questions and never make you feel like you are bothering them. While they should definitely be taking the lead in your defense, you should still be one important part of the process.

Contact Nelson Defense Group Today

If you or a loved one is in need of a criminal defense attorney, contact us today to set up a free initial discussion. Please call 715-386-2694 or complete our contact form. Nelson Defense Group is located in Hudson and represents clients throughout Wisconsin.