If you have been accused of a crime, or even suspected of one, it is imperative that you know your rights. I’m Scott A. Matthews and I have been defending people just like you, accused in all types of crimes, from traffic violations to sexual assaults and homicides. I can help you protect your freedom.
Picking the right criminal defense attorney is vital. Making the wrong choice could mean paying a huge fine, having a criminal record, or worse, serving time behind bars. Here are some tips for you to consider when choosing the right attorney for your case:
- You need a criminal defense attorney who is an expert in your area of need. The biggest problem with large firm “satellite offices” here in Catawba County is they may seem they are experts, but often your case is handled by a paralegal or a low-ranking associate, but you pay a fee of an experienced attorney. When you hire me, you get me. Period. I have the experience that you need in nearly every area of criminal defense.
- Should you just hire a public defender if you think you can’t afford a private attorney? According to the Justice Policy Institute, public defenders have limited time, experience and resources to really work your case and the result is less justice for you. That may seem harsh, but that is reality. Public defenders may be very passionate about their job and their intentions may be good, but just going by sheer numbers, their case loads are just huge. You need someone like me who will focus on you and your case and give you the absolutely best defense you can have.
- Ask your friends, neighbors and co-workers for recommendations. This is key. This is your livelihood. This is not the time to hire your cousin Vinny. Think about it, you have been charged with a crime, which can cause you to have a criminal record for the rest of your life. You need someone experience and someone who comes recommended from someone you trust. Ask around. I am very confident my name will come up as a recommendation.
- Ensure you know who will be actually working on your case and what their experience is. Just as I mentioned above, some firms will give your case to a lesser qualified attorney, or even a paralegal to do most of the work, yet you are billed like an attorney is working on it. I don’t do that. I handle your case from start to finish.
- Discuss the actual facts of your case. Pay attention. Do they listen to you. Ask the right questions. No two cases are similar. I know this. I ask the right questions to ensure I can handle your case. Do I take every case? No. I am selective in who I accept and I ensure I do the very best job I can for you as if you are my only client.
- Beware of advertising slogans like “Best Trial Lawyer” or “Former Deputy District Attorney”. Often these “slogans” are just fluff and they really don’t have the experience they claim.
- Have they earned a Martindale-Hubbell rating. The highest rating is “AV” and that is what I am rated. This is based on the opinions of other attorneys and judges based on my ethics. If an attorney is rated “BV” or “CV” that is good as well.
- What legal organizations does the attorney belong to? I am a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Why is this important? This shows you that criminal defense is not just a hobby of mine, but my passion.
- There is no “official list” of the best attorneys. Don’t believe it. These lists are often generated by marketing companies and those listed have paid a fee to be there. Do your homework and meet with a few attorneys and pick the one that you feel will do the best job for you. It would be my honor to represent you in your case.