Questionnaire: Choosing a Juvenile Defense Attorney

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

If you're looking for a juvenile defense attorney for yourself or for your child, making the right choice can seem overwhelming. There are many sources, like legal directories on the Internet, that can lead you to a variety of attorneys from which to choose. Once you've compiled a list, you may want to interview several, by phone or in person, to find just the right one for you or your child. After all, you have a lot at stake. The following questions can help you make an informed decision when choosing a juvenile defense attorney.

Choosing a Juvenile Defense Lawyer: Questions to Ask

What experience do you have representing juveniles?

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What experience do you have with the particular charges involved in this case?

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How long have you been practicing? _____ years

How much of that time has been devoted to juvenile law? _____ years

Is your practice currently devoted exclusively to juvenile law, or do you work in other areas? If so, what areas?

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What outcomes have you achieved for your clients in cases similar to this one?

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What are the possible outcomes in this case?

Clean Record _____ Dropped Charges _____ Community Service _____

Restitution _____Residential Treatment _____ Probation _____ Other _____

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What strategy do you recommend in this case?

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Will you be doing the work on this case, or will you delegate it to a less experienced attorney or a paralegal or law clerk?

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What are your fees?

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How much do you think this case will cost?

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How will you keep me informed of developments in the case?

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How long will it take to resolve this case? _____________________________

Have you ever had your license suspended? If so, please explain.

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Have you been the subject of disciplinary proceedings? If so, please explain.

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Have former clients filed complaints against you? If so, please explain.

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Other Questions/Notes

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In addition, ask yourself the following questions:

Is the location of the office convenient to my home and/or office? Yes _____ No _____

Are appointments available at convenient times? Yes _____ No _____

Does this attorney’s personality work well with mine/my child’s? Yes _____ No _____

Do I feel intimidated by this attorney? Yes _____ No _____

Am I comfortable asking questions? Yes _____ No _____

Do I feel confident that this attorney will do a good job? Yes _____ No _____

Choosing a Juvenile Defense Lawyer: Related Resources

For additional information and resources, please click on the links below.

Meet With a Juvenile Defense Attorney Today

Now that you have a helpful checklist to help in choosing a juvenile defense lawyer, it's time to put it to use. After all, there are many benefits to an attorney early in the process, including the ability to influence the evidence in the record and possibly enter into an agreement with the prosecution. Get a head start on your case by finding a local criminal defense attorney with juvenile court experience.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified criminal lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.

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