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Do I Need More Than One Lawyer to Fight Criminal Charges?

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

Being charged with a crime is scary. Even the most minor crimes, including traffic violations, can cause serious life disruption. Most defendants get some comfort from retaining an experienced defense attorney, though some may feel that they need a whole team of lawyers.

Generally, depending on the severity of the criminal charges, a person won't need a team of lawyers. However, in some circumstances, an individual may need more than one type of lawyer, or may actually need a team working round the clock.

Immigrants, Foreign Nationals, Visitors and Tourists

Regardless of your immigration status, if you are not a US citizen, retaining an immigration attorney can be incredibly important. Taking a plea bargain to a minor crime, such as theft, could result in a deportation action, denied reentry, or denials of future tourist visas. The immigration attorney will not need to appear in court for the criminal charges, but you will want to keep them informed so that you can be properly advised about any implications to your immigration status.

Generally, anything more than a simple traffic ticket, or other infraction, will warrant at least a consult with an immigration attorney. If you are unsure whether or not you need an immigration attorney, just ask your criminal defense attorney.

Serious Felony and White Collar Crime Charges

If you are being charged with a serious felony that either carries a lengthy jail sentence, capital punishment, or just rather complex facts and laws, having more than one attorney on your side could be beneficial. Usually, most attorneys that take these cases will already have an associate or two they work with on these cases. However, sometimes you or your lead attorney may need the help of a specialist.

When a client insists that more attorneys be brought into the case, they should allow their lead attorney to pick the team the attorney wants and needs. When clients hire unassociated lawyers, or different firms, and require attorneys who don't normally work together to do so, disagreements and problems can result.

Second Opinions

Getting a second opinion from another lawyer can help ease a defendant's mind, or confirm suspicions, about how their current attorney is performing. Like any other professional service, getting a second opinion is reasonable, and your current attorney should not be upset, or attempt to dissuade you from doing so.

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