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How to hire a criminal lawyer

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Updated: 6/17/2003 5:47 pm
If you've been arrested, you'll generally want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. You can hire a private attorney to advise and represent you, but if you can't afford to pay a private attorney, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you. If you can afford to pay an attorney, you'll need to find the best one you can afford. Attorneys can set their own fees, and these differ greatly depending on their experience, location, and the complexity of the case. Generally, an attorney will charge more to defend you on a felony charge than on a misdemeanor charge. If you don't already have a lawyer, you may find an attorney by asking friends or family for recommendations, or by checking the local listings in the public library. If you can't afford an attorney, you'll be required to provide financial information to show that you can't, and the court will appoint a public defender as your attorney. In some states, if you can afford it, you may be required to later repay a portion of the costs of a public attorney.

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