If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, there is a lot at stake. The possibilities of jail, fines, other penalties and a criminal record are all real concerns. You will also have some serious decisions to make, and none is more important than your choice of defense counsel. The lawyer you choose is all that you have to protect your rights and preserve your freedom.

There are several different attributes to consider in selecting a criminal defense lawyer. Fortunately, there are powerful research tools at your fingerprints via the internet. Look at these essential qualities in deciding which lawyer to hire:

  • Background and experience — It is important that the lawyer you choose is a member in good standing of the Pennsylvania bar. Also, make sure the attorney concentrates his or her practice in criminal law and has experience defending against the types of charges you are facing.
  • Local practice  A defense lawyer who knows the local prosecutors and judges and how best to approach them is positioned to achieve the best results. A local lawyer will also have a working knowledge of the court rules and procedures that will apply in your case.
  • Skill as a negotiator — Whether in seeking to get charges dropped or reduced or in working for the best plea deal possible, negotiation is an integral part of a criminal lawyer’s role. The vast majority of criminal cases end in plea bargains.
  • Reputation as a litigator — A lawyer’s reputation for trying cases successfully can provide significant leverage in negotiating with prosecutors. Litigation skills are also vital if the case must go to trial.
  • Communicative manner — You need to be able to speak openly and honestly with your lawyer, and this must be a two-way street. Your lawyer must be accessible and responsive at all times and be willing to explain the progress and status of your case so that you can make informed decisions.
  • Strong client feedback — Check out the lawyer’s reviews and ratings to see what past clients have said about the quality of representation they received.

The law office of Matt Zatko, Attorney at Law, has for 25 years provided effective assistance to people charged with Pennsylvania criminal offenses. I have extensive experience representing defendants in a wide range of criminal matters. Using thorough investigative techniques and an aggressive approach to criminal defense, I have won acquittals and negotiated favorable plea bargains for clients in Somerset, Bedford, Cambria and Indiana counties.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, the law office of Mathew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law, is ready to come to your defense. I will fully explain your options and be there for you every step of the way. Contact me online or call me at 814-443-1631 for an initial consultation.