When it comes to hiring an attorney to work for you in your case, there are essentially two things to think about.
- First, what qualifications should you be on the lookout for (of course, you want to hire an attorney with excellent qualifications).
- Secondly, what should you expect when you have hired the attorney?
Why Is It Important To Consider These Two Factors?
Remember, when you have hired the attorney, he/she would be the person to go to work for you to seek release for a loved one on your behalf and on their behalf.
What qualifications should you expect?
So you want to hire an attorney with excellent qualifications.
Obviously, many good criminal law attorneys are out there, attorneys who spend the most part of their lives in the courtroom.
There are not a lot of attorneys that practice criminal appeals near as much.
Hire an attorney with experience
There are very few attorneys that practice post conviction Writ work.
You should hire someone who has filed post conviction Writ applications.
Someone who has had some success with them is recommended (although you can’t measure it entirely by success, because each case bears on its own facts).
Board certification is important
An attorney who’s Board Certified in criminal appellate law can help show that he/she is qualified to do that kind of work because Board certification can only be earned through practice in the field, dedicating a percentage of the practice area to that, as well as completing a number of required tasks, being tested to show that you are competent in that area of law.
So board certification is an excellent indicator.
They should be easy to flow with
You also must go for an attorney that’s ready to talk to you and walk you through the process.
He/she should be someone that you can sit down with, or call on the phone and not someone that’s just going to blow you off or move on to the next case.
You want somebody who’s going to visit you and explain how they are going to help you.
The other thing is that when you do hire an attorney, what you should expect is that the process is lengthy.
So it’s impossible to hire an attorney and have results within a few days or months. It can take a very long time.
The length of time from case to case varies greatly as well because the fact is that some cases are older, some instances are newer, records are easier to gather in certain types of cases than in others.
The Writ attorney is going to gather records on your behalf, gather the trial transcripts, the clerk’s record.
They also going to gather any of the discovery materials that were produced to the defense attorney.
That includes videos, police reports, scientific reports, or any of those things that attorneys may have the opportunity to examine what is called the “real” evidence.
Real evidence items are the physical items that were taken into custody by the police if they’ve still retained those items.
The attorney will seek to get the prosecutor’s file. This can be challenging because from time to time, depending on the case, prosecutors’ offices can be hesitant to produce files, and they are entitled to keep certain files confidential, depending on the nature of the case, cases involving children, and things of that nature. Attorneys can also obtain information through public information requests.
In this process, an attorney is going to put that together and get a full picture of the case to know what happened. Of course, he’s going to have consultations with you to talk about what it is that you think are the grounds that could be potential for relief in your case. Furthermore, he’s going to search into the records and look for ways to find you relief.
Once all that information is gathered, then there’s a research phase where the law is researched, affidavits are put together of witnesses, and facts are presented in an application to the court. And it’s also briefed with the court. From there, the attorney would have a contested hearing potentially in the court or respond to affidavits submitted by the other side.
Then the case goes to the Court of Criminal Appeals. The Court of Criminal Appeals can request an additional briefing. The attorney would engage in that briefing.
These are essentially the things that your attorney would be doing. It’s a lengthy process because there are a lot of things you want to look for.
You should make sure that you leave no stone unturned so that you can make sure that you have asserted every possible ground because if you don’t assert every possible ground, as we’ve discussed previously, you can lose those grounds forever.
About The Attorney
Jacob Blizzard is board certified in both criminal law and criminal appellate law.
He regularly practices in the areas of state and federal criminal defense, criminal appeals, post conviction writs of habeas corpus.
In Texas, there are more than 100,000 attorneys licensed to practice, but only 7,450 are board certified.
In the entire State of Texas, as of the 2019 certification year, there were only 87 attorneys board certified in both criminal law and criminal appellate law, making Mr. Blizzard one of 0.087% of attorneys in Texas to hold both of those certifications.