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At any given moment in the U.S., approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, which is unfortunately the cause of many fatal car accidents. However, for those who cause accidents or are cited for distracted driving, the issue becomes a criminal offense.

Those individuals may need criminal defense attorneys to represent them in court, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about hiring a lawyer. If you’ve been arrested and charged with any type of crime, here are a few important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind before you hire a criminal defense attorney.

DO: Hire an Experienced Attorney
Before you hire any attorney to represent your case, make sure they’re experienced. There’s nothing worse than hiring a lawyer only to find out they’ve only worked a few cases and aren’t yet familiar with the nuances of the field. This is especially important if your case is particularly serious.

DON’T: Hire a Lawyer From Another Specialty
If you need a criminal defense attorney, it makes sense that you wouldn’t hire a divorce attorney to handle the case. The lawyer you hire should not only be experienced, but experienced in the field of your particular case.

DO: Meet in Person
Fortunately, most lawyers offer free consultations before any contracts are discussed or signed. This is extremely important, as a simple phone conversation often can’t cover all of the details of your case or give an accurate picture of your potential compatibility.

DON’T: Use the Public Defender
This is especially important to remember if your case is a serious one. A public defender already has a lot on their hands and often can’t afford the time to pay attention to the minute details of your case. It may be less expensive, but you’ll definitely end up paying more in other ways.

DO: Conduct a Thorough Search
The number one thing to remember when you need to look for attorneys is to conduct a thorough search. Using the first criminal defense attorney you find might seem easy, but it’s a strategy that rarely pans out well. Take the time to conduct multiple in-person interviews with a few attorneys you’ve done adequate research on.

Above all else, don’t hesitate to begin your search for an attorney. The sooner you begin your research, the better chance you have of finding a great attorney to represent your case.