This can be a very difficult decision to make, especially because you have never seen them in action and are just meeting them for the first time.  There are a few factors you can consider which will help you assess if the criminal attorney you are considering is the right one for you:

Experience – experience in handling your particular type of case is crucial.  Your criminal defense lawyer should be knowledgeable with court procedures, rules, case law, and should also have real trial experience with the charges you are facing.

In court, you have only two choices: take a plea agreement or go to trial.  If you choose to go to trial, it is absolutely necessary that your lawyer is comfortable in front of a jury, skilled at cross-examining witnesses, experienced at advocating to the judge, and confident in challenging the prosecutor on your behalf.  These criminal trial skills come with years of actual courtroom experience and an ability to craft a strategic defense.  You should also discuss possible defenses and strategies associated with your case with any criminal defense attorney you intend to hire.  The attorney should also have a sense if your situation requires the use of experts or investigators.  With a criminal defense lawyer, you will not be alone in defending yourself.

Comfort – Finally, you should consider your personal comfort level with this person.  The lawyer you hire should be tentatively listening to you about your situation. You should be very comfortable in confiding in your lawyer about the charges you are facing. You should feel that your attorney is confident that they can help you with all of the court proceedings and any other questions you might have.  All of these considerations are important in establishing your personal comfort level with a criminal defense lawyer.  As with any situation, you want to feel comfortable with the person who you are working with, especially when that individual may have your life in their hands.