Why Is it Important to Hire an Attorney Specializing in Criminal Law?

Criminal Law Clearwater FLAre you facing criminal charges in Clearwater, Florida? If so, you’re probably overwhelmed by the task of having to hire an attorney. Attorney advertising is everywhere — on television, on the radio, on billboards — and your family and friends might have also started sending you attorney recommendations. Before signing a retainer agreement, you’ll want to make sure that the attorney has extensive experience handling criminal cases. Here’s why it’s important to hire an attorney who specializes in criminal law, versus one that focuses on civil law:

Different Rules

Courts apply different procedural rules to civil and criminal cases. The burden of proof, for instance, is typically much higher in a criminal case than in a civil case — the prosecution in a criminal trial must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, while the plaintiff in a civil trial must only prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. Certain evidentiary rules can also change depending on whether the court is hearing a civil or criminal case. When compared to attorneys who limit their practice to civil cases, attorneys who regularly practice criminal law will likely be much more familiar with the rules specific to criminal cases, and will be better equipped to represent you at trial.

More Severe Penalties

While criminal convictions often lead to imprisonment, civil liability is typically limited to monetary compensation. Except in very rare circumstances — such as where the defendant violated a court order — the court will not impose jailtime on the defendant in a civil case. This isn’t to say that liability in a civil case isn’t serious — civil judgments can often involve significant amounts of money — but it doesn’t impose on your freedom the way that a criminal conviction does. When you’re facing criminal charges, your independence is on the line, so you’ll want to partner with an attorney who’s well versed in the intricacies of criminal law.

If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney in Clearwater, FL, turn to Charles Holloway. He has devoted his entire career — spanning 30+ years — to the practice of criminal law, and he’s completed more than 100 jury trials. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.