Tips For Choosing A Criminal Defense Attorney

Knox Law is a criminal defense law firm located in Uptown Charlotte & Lake Norman. Call Knox Law Center today to discuss your criminal defense matters with an experienced Charlotte criminal defense attorney.

Choosing the right criminal defense attorney is a daunting task that you may have never thought you’d need to do. Whether your search involves a criminal defense attorney for you or a loved one, your options for criminal defense attorney may be endless or may be very limited, depending on where you live. This search may be necessary when you are anxious, upset or frustrated by the events going on in your life. Below, we attempt to give you some guidance on how to narrow down your search and work with the right type of criminal defense attorney in North Carolina.

Choose Either a Criminal or Civil Attorney

There are certain characteristics your attorney should have if you want to be well represented in a criminal case. Most North Carolina attorneys have some knowledge of both civil & criminal law, but an attorneys focused in criminal law will have better experience with the specifics nuances of North Carolina’s criminal statutes. Choosing an attorney that takes most of their cases in criminal court will be more helpful in advising you towards specific decisions and the consequences of each decision to be made. Finding an attorney that focuses on criminal litigation is a better option than using the lawyer you used for other purposes.

Choose a Local Attorney

Equally important as finding an attorney that focuses on the right type of criminal law for your needs is finding a local attorney that knows the local court system. Modern criminal law is so complex that local lawyers typically focus on a small number of courthouses and jurisdictions, and become subject matter experts in cases within specific counties. This is extremely helpful to have a skilled navigator help move your case along in the best way possible. The knowledge of how the local court system works comes in handy when determining your legal options throughout the different phases of your case.

It is perfectly acceptable and encouraged to ask the attorney during the initial consultation about their previous cases and experience in the courthouse where your case will be handled. Ask questions like:

  • “Have you represented people who have been charged with this crime in Mecklenburg County?”
  • “What percentage of your practice involves alcohol or drug related crimes?”
  • “What are your results for other defendants in these types of cases?” (Some states allow attorneys to qualify as specialists and some states do not)

Experience Counts

Many successful criminal defense attorney have spent parts of their career as a prosecutor, judge or part of a prosecutor team, before they go into private practice. This allows experienced attorneys the advantage of a longer perspective and more time to understand all sides of a very complex justice system. A defendant directly benefits from this acquired knowledge and they should not have to sacrifice this experience for an attorney that does not yet have this perspective. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Find an attorney that understands the type of case you have and your odds of a better outcome may increase.

Choose An Attorney You Like

Just as important as experience, choosing a criminal defense attorney is a big decision, and with criminal cases, your freedom is at stake. To be able to help you, your attorney requires your trust in them to do their job correctly. Finding an attorney that you can speak with comfortably, that takes the time to understand your specific issues and offers timely guidance is just as important as the legal strategy your attorney will create for your case. Try and find an attorney that treats you as a partner in your case and not just a case number.


Knox Law Center is dedicated to effective defense of your rights in Mecklenburg & Iredell County. Our Charlotte law firm office is directly across from the courthouse and on the Gold Line streetcar. Knox Law Center has been in the Charlotte community for more than 60 years and was founded by former Charlotte mayor H. Edward “Ed” Knox. To learn more about the types of criminal defense law Knox Law Center offers, give us a call today.

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Our lawyers serve clients in eastern and central North Carolina (NC), including Charlotte, Cornelius, Denver, Gastonia, Concord, Kannapolis, Salisbury, Matthews, Monroe, Pineville, Mooresville, Lincolnton, Mecklenburg County, Lincoln County, Cabarrus County, Gaston County and Rowan County.

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