Nashville Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a crime or made the subject of a criminal investigation, you are faced with a big decision which often must be made quickly in order to protect your rights. While hiring a lawyer can seem like a daunting task, a few of the following considerations should make the process much more manageable in terms of helping you find the best Nashville criminal defense lawyer for you.
You want to make sure you hire an attorney with experience in criminal law. My practice is devoted to criminal defense. As a former prosecutor, I understand what it takes to successfully defend someone in a Tennessee Criminal Court. I previously worked as a prosecutor in Nashville and as a statewide special prosecutor which allowed me to be involved in criminal litigation throughout Tennessee. While there are a number of attorneys in Nashville willing to represent a person in a criminal matter, you may find it beneficial to work with an attorney who devotes his or her practice to criminal defense. The bulk of my practice is devoted to criminal matters which affords me the opportunity to fully dedicate myself to the needs of my clients. As you make your decision, remember that experience matters and should be at the top of your list of considerations.
In addition to experience in criminal law, you want to make sure you hire a criminal defense lawyer who is not afraid of or uncomfortable with a trial. Many lawyers simply do not enjoy trial work and avoid it altogether. You should consider whether your potential attorney has experience with criminal trials as it will likely be to your benefit to retain a criminal defense attorney who excels in the courtroom. Even if your case does not proceed to trial, it will likely benefit you in the negotiation process if the prosecutor understands that your attorney is an experienced trial lawyer. Moreover, you want the District Attorney’s Office to respect your attorney as a worthy adversary as this will help ensure that your position is given appropriate consideration in any negotiation.
Generally, you want to consider hiring an attorney who regularly practices in the county where you have been charged or are under investigation. While I have handled criminal cases in West, Middle and East Tennessee due to my previous work as a special prosecutor, most criminal defense attorneys focus their practice on a particular region. The benefit of focusing on a specific part of the state is that the criminal practitioner can become familiar with the nuances of a few select judicial districts. As a Nashville criminal defense lawyer, I typically practice in the middle Tennessee area; however, because of my unique experience as a former statewide Special Prosecutors, our firm is equipped to assist you with your defense anywhere in Tennessee.
MATT STEPHENS is a member of the Nashville law firm, Stephens Law, PLC. He practices almost exclusively in the area of criminal law.