Sigal Law Group Blog Wed, 02 Aug 2017 23:00:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hiring an Identity Theft Attorney in Los Angeles Fri, 30 Jun 2017 22:32:39 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Various Forms of Identity Theft

With the advent of electronic technology, identity theft has become a very common crime and as such, more and more law enforcement agencies are now taking active steps to prosecute people for various crimes involving identity theft. Often, these cases may be complicated and involve a vast paper trail of evidence that needs to be sifted through in order to properly present a defense. When you or someone close to you is charged with identity theft it is crucial to consult with a criminal attorney who has experience in handling these types of cases.

Identity Theft Defined

Identity theft is a general term that is used to refer to crimes where a person wrongfully obtains and uses the personal information of another to obtain something usually of value like money, goods or services. In other words, if a person pretends he is someone else to get something, that is identity theft.

Examples of Identity Theft

Identity theft can take many forms. The most common variety is when a person uses another’s credit card to purchase and item at a store. Other times, people will use false identification in order to work. This may be using a different person’s name or other identifying information such as a social security number. A person using a fake identification to cash a check may be charged with identity theft as well as forgery.

In recent times, people have been able to use computers to access various types of accounts and databases to obtain money or goods. These are usually referred to as hacking but a person accused of this can also be charged with identity theft.

Penalties for Identity Theft

Like all financial crimes, the penalties for identity theft can differ, depending on many factors. If a person uses a credit card to buy one item at a store, that person is facing exposure to a much lesser punishment than what a person accused of a fraud worth thousands of dollars would face. Likewise, the complexity of the fraud may have a bearing on how much time a person is exposed to.

Identity theft may be charged in either a state or federal prosecution and this affects the maximum punishment a great deal. Federal identity theft laws are much harsher than the laws of the state of California. The main reason for this is the fact that federal criminal laws have mandatory minimums that leave very little discretion to the judges.

The Right Lawyer Can Mean the Difference Between Prison and Freedom

As discussed previously, identity theft cases will sometimes involve a complicated set of evidence that must be thoroughly examined by a criminal defense attorney in order to first understand and then attack the prosecution’s case. That is why only an experienced criminal defense attorney can properly represent a person accused of identity theft.

Because identity theft has been on the rise in recent times, court and prosecutors have been coming down hard on identity theft Defendants. A criminal defense attorney must know how to navigate the system in order to properly represent his client charged with identity heft.

Vitaly Sigal is a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, California. He has been in practice for over 20 years and has defended countless cases in criminal court. For a free consultation and case review please call 888 335-6008 or email him directly.

Drug Trafficking Attorney – How Drug Sales Cases are Handled Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:18:52 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Drug Trafficking and the sales of narcotics has always been a highly contested topic of criminal law. The so called “war on drugs” has cost taxpayers countless dollars and has taken up a large part of the law enforcement resources both on a State and Federal level. For as long as people seek out drugs, the police will seek out those who sell them and initiate criminal prosecutions.

The type of prosecutions and the penalties for drug trafficking vary greatly on a case by case basis. That is why if you or someone close to you is facing drug trafficking charges, it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal attorney who has experience handling drug trafficking cases.

Drug Trafficking Laws

Drug trafficking is defined as a transfer of possession of such a drug to another for cash or some other item or service of value. Usually, the drugs are being sold for money but a person can still be charged with drug trafficking if they exchanged a service or other goods for drugs.

How People Usually Get Caught for Drug Trafficking and Sales

A typical drug trafficking arrest will involve an undercover police officer posing as a buyer make a drug purchase from an individual. Usually the undercover officer will be made aware that a person is selling drugs by an informant or a “snitch”.

Another common scenario where a person is arrested for drug trafficking is if they are searched by the police and it’s discovered that they had drugs packaged for sale. This can be having multiple baggies of drugs, scales, ledgers known as pay-owe sheets and messages on their phone regarding drug transactions.

Amount of Drugs Necessary to be Charged with Drug Trafficking and Sales

The amount of drugs a person is found with can vary and the police can arrest that person for sales. The law is that it must be a usable amount, which the police and prosecutors define very liberally when it comes to charging a person with drug sales and trafficking. The amount of drugs found will, however have an impact on the punishment for drug trafficking.

Punishment for Drug Trafficking

There are many factors to what type of punishment a person being charged with drug trafficking faces. Those include:

  • Whether it is a State Case or a Federal caseFederal drug trafficking laws are a lot harsher that the laws of the State of California. There are mandatory minimums that require judges to sentence a drug trafficking Defendant to a certain amount of time in Federal Court. Sales of drugs in state cases can also lead to prison time however and are very serious.
  • The amount of drugs a person is arrested with-In both state and Federal drug trafficking cases, the amount of drugs being allegedly sold has a direct correlation to the possible punishment a person is facing for drug sales.
  • The person’s previous record-As with all cases a person’s criminal history will affect the maximum punishment in a drug sales prosecution.
  • Other factors-There are many other factors that can play a part in what the maximum sentence would be in a drug trafficking case. For instance, having a gun along with the drugs or selling drugs to minors or near a school may increase the punishment. Likewise, there are factors that can lower the possible punishment for drug trafficking. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney with experience handling drug sales cases can properly advise you.


Los Angeles Drug Trafficking Attorney

If you or someone close to you is charged with either sales, transportation or manufacturing narcotics, your first call is to an experienced drug trafficking attorney. Every case is unique and has its own nuances and possible defenses.

At our firm, we have been handling drug sales and trafficking cases for well over two decades. For a free, no obligation consultation with an experienced Los Angeles drug trafficking attorney call today at 818 325-0570 or toll free at 888 335-6008. You can also contact Vitaly Sigal directly by email here.

Local Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Fri, 09 Jun 2017 21:12:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 5 Things To Look For Before Hiring A Local Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Los Angeles area is a vast metropolis with availability of virtually every service imaginable. This is definitely the case when it comes to criminal dense lawyers. With so many criminal lawyers in Los Angeles, how does one know who the best criminal defense lawyer for them is? In this blog, I will discuss what to look for when hiring a local Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

Does The Lawyer Have Experience?

No amount of schooling will replace experience when it come to the field of criminal defense. An experienced local criminal defense lawyer will not only know the law but also be familiarized with court judges, prosecutors and court staff. This knowledge is irreplaceable and can mean the difference between jail and freedom for a person facing criminal charges.

Is The Criminal Lawyer A Trial Lawyer?

Criminal cases go to trial more often than other types of legal cases. That is why it is important to find out how much trial experience a local Los Angeles criminal lawyer has before agreeing to work with that lawyer. Even an experienced criminal attorney may not have had a lot of trial experience so it is important to ask.

Even if your case will not end up going to trial, proper preparation for trial will always lead to better results. Only an experienced trial attorney can do this in a criminal case.

Does The Criminal Lawyer Have Experience With Your Type Of Case?

There are nuances and differences to every type of case and no one case is the same as the other. For that reason, only someone who has handled your type of cases before will know how to spot and handle various issues that arise.

For example, hiring a DUI lawyer to handle a murder case may not be the best idea and vice versa. Most criminal defense lawyers handle a wide variety of criminal cases, but make sure that you ask about the lawyer’s experience with your case before hiring them.

What Is The Plan For My Case?

An experienced criminal lawyer will be able to gather enough facts and the free first consultation with a client to come up with at least a tentative plan for the defense. Ask the criminal lawyer at that free consultation what the plan would be in the event you decide to work with that lawyer. This will also clue you in on how much actual experience a criminal defense attorney has in dealing with your particular type of criminal case.

How Does The Attorney Charge?

Having a criminal case is hard enough, you don’t want to be stressed out about unexpected expenses from your local Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. Ask in advance how the lawyer charges and if there are any additional expenses that may arise during the course of the case. Also ask about payment plans and forms of payment that the lawyer accepts.

Our firm offers various payment options and is upfront about pricing. We never raise the fees for a case once we have agreed on a price. Not all local Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers do this so it is important to ask in advance.

Vitaly Sigal is local Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer and the founder and managing lawyer of the Los Angeles criminal defense firm the Sigal Law Group. He can be reached at 888 335-6008, 818 325-0570 or you may email him directly.

Los Angeles Felony Lawyer Fri, 02 Jun 2017 21:07:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]> What Happens When Someone is Arrested for a Felony

There are two types levels of crime that may be charged in a criminal case: misdemeanor and felony. In this blog, I will discuss what happens when someone is facing felony charges in a criminal court.

There are hundreds of felony crimes in the California Penal Code and almost all criminal conduct can rise to the level of a felony, depending on the circumstances of a case. When you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, always seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney prior to taking any type of action.

The Arrest

When someone is arrested for a felony, they will be taken to a police station, booked and held there in police custody until the first court date which is generally within 48 hours. The police will set bail for that person, depending on the nature of the crime.

The Defendant and his family then have the option of posting bail and getting the person released or waiting until the first court date to either lower the bail or get the person released without the need for bail. There are pros and cons for doing both and I discuss the concept of bail in detail in a previous blog that can be found here.

The First Court Date

At the first court date, the Defendant will be given formal notice of the charges against him and his attorney will be given the first set of evidence that will be used by the prosecution. Most people will plead not guilty and set the next court date.

After that, the judge will take on other matters that may come up in a case such as bail and issuing protective orders in domestic violence cases. This is a very important hearing and it is crucial to come to the first court date with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Preliminary Hearing

The preliminary hearing is usually the first time in a criminal case where the prosecution puts up evidence in court. This is a very important hearing as it will usually give an experienced criminal defense attorney insight into how the prosecution will proceed with the case. A more detailed account of what happens at a preliminary hearing can be found here.

Pretrial Hearings

After the preliminary hearing, if the court finds there is sufficient evidence to proceed with trial, the Defendant is arraigned again and then the case is scheduled for a pretrial hearing. There may be numerous pretrial hearings on a case, depending on the complexity of the case.

The pretrial hearing is when a criminal defense attorney would file any legal motions, such as a motion to dismiss or suppress evidence, while he prepares to take the case to trial. From the onset of the proceedings however, an experienced criminal defense attorney will also try to negotiate a favorable outcome for his client in a criminal case.


Trials in felony cases are usually held before a jury and may vary in length and complexity. Most felony cases will never go to trial but a good criminal defense attorney will still prepare all his cases for trial because that will lead to better outcomes for clients that do not wish to take the risk of trial.

No amount of legal research or blog reading will replace a consultation with a criminal defense attorney. If you or someone you love is charged with a felony I implore you to sit down and talk to a criminal lawyer in your area. Most criminal lawyers offer free consultations and are available on short notice. No matter what stage a felony case is in, don’t make any decisions or take any action before sitting down with a criminal defense attorney.

Vitaly Sigal is the founder and owner of the Sigal Law Group. He can be reached at 888 335-6008, 818 325-0570 or email him directly.

Domestic Violence Lawyer Los Angeles Fri, 26 May 2017 19:29:54 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 5 Things To Know About Domestic Violence Before You Go To Court

One of the most common cases that a criminal lawyer sees involves domestic violence. These can vary in severity from misdemeanor to felony, depending the nature of the alleged incident.

In the field of criminal defense, people will unfortunately get bad advice from the wrong sources. This is extremely common when it comes to domestic violence cases. In this blog, I will discuss certain issues that arise in domestic violence case and try to touch upon mistakes that I have seen people make so hopefully you will avoid it should the need arise.

For a more detailed blog on domestic violence cases, please go here and here. Please note that no amount of internet research will ever replace a consultation with a criminal defense attorney.

Custody and Release Before The First Court

When a loved one is in jail for a crime, the first reaction a person has is to bail them. In a domestic violence case this may or may not be a good idea. There are many factors that come into play in domestic violence cases. These factors will come into play and need to be considered before taking action, that is often irreversible.

For instance, if the family waits until the first court date, a criminal lawyer may be able to get his client released without the need for bail, they may save themselves a lot of money (about $5,000 in Los Angeles County) if they wait. Likewise, a judge at the first hearing may raise the bail, depending on the circumstances of the case, and then the Defendant will be re-arrested and the money spent on bail was wasted. Other times, it is a good idea to bail a person out as soon as possible for various reasons. That is why prior to taking any irreversible action on a domestic violence case, important to consult a criminal lawyer who will advise you on what the next step you should take is.

Charges May Be Avoided or Lowered With The Help of A Criminal Lawyer

The time between arrest and the first court date is a crucial time in a case. Often, we have been able to intervene for our clients and discuss the case with law enforcement. This has resulted in domestic violence cases being dismissed before filing or lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor.

There usually isn’t a lot of time, sometimes as little as 48 hours between arrest and arraignment. That is why it is crucial to contact a local criminal lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

It Will Do No Good For The Victim To Go To The Police Or The Prosecutors And Requests That Charges Be Dropped

This is one of the most common scenarios in a domestic violence case. The victim comes to court or goes to the police station and says he/she would like to forget the whole thing and work out the problem within the family. Unfortunately, the police will not listen to the victim and file the charges anyway. Later, a criminal lawyer will be able to take advantage of this situation but unfortunately the victim alone cannot stop the case from being filed and prosecuted.

The Court Will Issue A Protective Order But A Criminal Lawyer Can Keep The Family Together

In all domestic violence cases, the judge will issue a protective order. There are two types of orders. The first kind is an order telling the Defendant that he should only have peaceful contact with the victim and the second is a stay away order. It is the stay away order that causes the most problems for both the Defendant and the victim in a domestic violence case.

If a spouse is made to move out of the family home, every day family life will get turned upside down.  It is quite common that the victim of the domestic violence bears the brunt of from the fallout of this order and is often left to manage daily family life by themselves. Many times, we have been able to avoid a stay away order for our clients. The key is early intervention by a criminal defense attorney.

Never Plead Guilty Unless A Criminal Lawyer Has Been Able To Do Everything He Can On Your Case

I am often called by people who pled guilty to a domestic violence charge and now need to undo that mistake. As a result of pleading guilty, their life has been negatively affected in a drastic way. Once a person pleads guilty to domestic violence charges, there may not be anything that can be done to reverse the effects. That is why you should always have a criminal lawyer help you on your case and make every attempt to avoid life altering consequences from a hasty decision.

Vitaly Sigal is the founder and principal of the Los Angeles criminal defense firm the Sigal Law Group. He can be reached at 888 335-6008, 818 325-0570 or email him directly on this contact page.

Criminal Threats-Penal Code 422 PC Fri, 19 May 2017 18:44:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]> What Constitutes Criminal Threats in California

As a criminal defense attorney, I often defend clients who are facing charges for criminal threats. Formerly knowns as terrorist threats, Penal Code 422 criminal threats do not involve any actual physical harm to the victim but merely a fear of harm that was conveyed by the Defendant.

This often confuses clients because a person can be charged with a crime without ever lifting a finger to harm anyone. Many times, criminal threat charges will arise out of domestic violence cases or from a dispute that did not rise to the level of physical and often it is charged a crime along with crimes such as assault and battery.

The Law Regarding Criminal Threats in California

Criminal threats are covered by California Penal Code Section 422. Under Penal Code § 422 it is a criminal act to:

  • Willfully threaten to commit a crime to another person that will result in death or great bodily harm to that person or their immediate family.
  • With the intent that the statement is to be taken as a threat by the other person.
  • It makes no difference if the speaker does not intend to actually carry out the criminal threat.
  • The threat can be made by any means of communication, including electronic communications such as text, email or fax.

Examples of Criminal Threats in California Under Penal Code 422

  • A person threatens to beat up or kill another person or his family during an altercation. The altercation takes place in person and is said verbally.
  • A person threatens to hurt another person via email or text message because of a dispute.
  • A person threatens to harm another person’s wife and kids if he doesn’t do what the speaker wants him to.

The Criminal Threat Must Be Specific and Immediate Enough So That The Listener Fears it Will Be Carried Out

There has been a lot of interpretation in the law regarding this requirement for criminal threats. It is definitely a criminal threat under California Penal Code § 422 if one person says to the other “I’m going to kill you!” but there are less obvious statements that may not qualify as criminal threats in California.

For example, painting a picture of a person shooting the threatened person may not be considered a threat. Likewise, saying “I’m going to get you” may or may not be enough to constitute a criminal threat in California depending on the circumstances.

That is why when if a person is charged with criminal threats in California, it is important that they consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney on their case.

The Person Hearing the Criminal Threat Must Reasonably Fear The Harm Threatened

It is not enough to merely threaten a person or their family with harm to be a criminal threat in California. The person threatened must actually and reasonably fear that this harm will come to be.

For instance, if a 12-year-old child threatens to beat up a heavy weight boxer, no reasonable person will think that the boxer actually had a fear of harm. Not only does the threatened person have to fear harm, but that harm must also be reasonable.

In the example that I cite, no reasonable person would think a 12-year-old is a threat to beat up a heavy weight boxer so there can be no charge of criminal threats. Most examples are not that obvious and it is always a good idea to consult with a criminal attorney regarding your specific case.

Punishment For Criminal Threats Under California Penal Code § 422

California Penal Code 422 Criminal Threats is a wobbler offense. That means it can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Many times, having a criminal lawyer take on the case at the earliest possible time can mean the difference between the two. This will make a huge difference in the maximum possible punishment for criminal threats, as you can see below:

If the criminal threat charge is a misdemeanor the maximum that a person can be sentenced to is:

  • Probation with a maximum county jail sentence of 364 days.

If the criminal threat is a felony, the maximum that a person can be sentenced to is:

  • If probation is granted, a county jail sentence of 364 days; or
  • If probation is denied, up to 3 years in State Prison.

When you or someone you love is facing charges of criminal threats in California, no amount of online research can replace a consultation with a criminal attorney. Having, an experienced criminal lawyer review your specific case and advise you on possible defenses and approaches to a criminal threats charge can be the difference between jail time and freedom.

Vitaly Sigal is a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. He has specialized in the field of criminal defense for over 20 years and is the founder and principal of Sigal Law Group. For a free consultation with Mr. Sigal call 818 325-0570 or 888 335-6008 or email him directly here

Best Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles Mon, 15 May 2017 22:37:17 +0000 Continue reading ]]> When you or someone you love is charged with a crime, you will want an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle the case in criminal court. An internet search for best criminal defense attorney Los Angeles will yield thousands of results of attorneys claiming to be the best. Knowing which criminal attorney to hire can be confusing and intimidating to someone who has little or no experience working with criminal lawyers and the criminal court system.

In this blog, I will list five things that you should ask from your criminal defense attorney before deciding if that attorney is the best one for your case.

How Much Criminal Defense Experience Does The Attorney Have?

Nothing can replace experience when you are trying to find the best criminal defense attorney. Finding an attorney who has the knowledge gained from years of practice is the biggest factor to finding the right lawyer for your criminal case. An experienced criminal attorney will be able to anticipate what will happen on a case because he or she has handled this type of case before. Likewise, an experienced attorney will also have earned a reputation with judges, prosecutors and other legal professionals and will be able to achieve a better result for his clients. When it comes to finding the best criminal defense attorney, experience is the most important factor.

How Much Experience Does The Attorney Have With My Type of Case

There are many types of criminal cases and no one case will ever have an identical set of facts and circumstances. That is why it is important to ask any criminal defense attorney that you are thinking of hiring how much experience he or she has with your specific case.

For example, an attorney who has a vast amount of experience handling DUI cases may not be the best fit for a murder case or a complicated white collar criminal defense. Feel free to ask your criminal attorney questions about this because the stakes are high in a criminal case and you don’t want to end up with the wrong counsel.

How Much Experience Does The Criminal Attorney Have With The Court Where My Case Is Being Heard

When you are looking for the best criminal defense attorney, having a lawyer who knows his way around the court system is another important factor. Southern California is a big place and it doesn’t take long to drive from Los Angeles to Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino or even San Diego county.

While the criminal laws are the same throughout the state, various courts will have different procedures for how they handle cases. Knowing how each court works will benefit an experienced criminal attorney’s clients. That is why finding out how much experience a lawyer has with your specific court will help you find the best criminal defense attorney for your case.

What Is The Plan Of Defense For My Case?

Once you have determined that the criminal attorney with whom you are meeting has the sufficient experience and knowledge to properly handle your criminal case, you should find out the specifics of how the lawyer wants to approach your case. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation in a criminal case. At that free consultation, an experienced attorney will be able to evaluate your case and come up with at least a tentative plan for defending against the criminal charges.  Take advantage of the time the attorney gives you at the free consultation to find out valuable information about how that criminal attorney would handle your case.

How Does The Criminal Attorney Charge For Services?

The cost of a criminal defense attorney’s fees will be a factor for most people. Our firm offers affordable prices and we work with our clients regarding payment plans. We also have various payment options to offer our clients and are always up front about what the total cost of the defense will be. Not all criminal defense attorneys will have these types of policies and sometimes what may be a reasonable fee could turn into much more than anticipated. Many attorneys will request additional fees and then withdraw from the case if they are not paid even if the client has already paid them previously.

The only way to avoid running into problems regarding the fees is to ask the attorney to give you an exact amount of how much the legal services will cost. We put this amount in our retainer contract with our clients. Ask your criminal attorney to do the same. Facing criminal charges is hard enough without also having to stress about unanticipated expenses relating to your criminal defense. Asking direct questions about fees and costs from the start will ensure that you get the best criminal defense attorney for your case.

Vitaly Sigal is the principal and founder of the Sigal Law Group. He has extensive experience in handling criminal matters. To schedule a free consultation please call 888 335-6008 or 818 325-0570 you can also email the attorney directly here.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Free Consultation Thu, 04 May 2017 17:11:40 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Our firm offers a free consultation and case review for all our clients and potential clients. As an experienced criminal defense attorney who has been in the field of criminal defense for over 20 years, I can usually get a full understanding of my clients’ situation and formulate at least a partial plan of defense for their criminal case at the free consultation.

When you or a loved one are charged with a crime, the first meeting with a criminal defense attorney is a crucial step in the process. In this blog, I will discuss the best way to approach the free consultation with a criminal defense attorney to increase the chances of success in mounting a criminal defense to all types of criminal charges either felony or misdemeanor.

Be Honest and Tell Your Criminal Defense Attorney Everything You Know

Many times, people will try to downplay their role in a situation or make up a story all together when they meet their criminal defense attorney for a free consultation. By doing this you are only hurting yourself. If your lawyer knows the whole story, he or she can better help you get out of the situation you are in.

Your criminal defense attorney is bound by confidentiality and cannot disclose anything that is said in the free consultation. This is true even if you don’t end up hiring the criminal defense attorney to handle your criminal case. If your lawyer doesn’t know the whole story, he or she may create a plan of defense that can backfire when that story falls apart.

Remember it’s not what you did but what can be proven by the government. It is a much more effective strategy to attack the government’s case using the real facts of a case than making things up. Do yourself a favor and tell the truth to your criminal defense attorney at the free consultation.

Remember That in A Criminal Case, Your Criminal Defense Attorney Is Your Only Friend

In a criminal case, a person charged with a crime will encounter judges, prosecutors, cops, court staff and witnesses. There is only one person who is entirely on their side and that is their criminal defense attorney. An experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney will use all means to help their client out of a criminal case.

Once you have explained the situation to the criminal lawyer, ask questions regarding your specific case that will help you understand if this criminal defense attorney is the right one for you.

Some questions that you can ask at a free consultation are as follows:

  • How long have you been practicing criminal defense?
  • Have you handled this type of case before?
  • How much experience do you have with the court where my case is being heard?
  • How would you proceed with my defense now that you know the facts?
  • What will happen at the first/next court hearing?
  • Will you be handling my case personally?
  • What are some defenses that are available?
  • What about bail?
  • How do you charge for your services?

As Your Criminal Defense Attorney About Bail At The Free

People often make the mistake of posting bail before speaking with a criminal defense attorney. This is usually a mistake. Often, a criminal defense attorney will be able to make better bail arrangements for his clients. Make sure to ask your criminal defense attorney about this at your free consultation.

You can read more about how bail works in my blog here.

Ask About Fees and Payment Plans At The Free Consutation

Although you are getting a free consultation, a criminal defense attorney’s services cost money. Most criminal defense attorneys will charge a flat fee for their services. That means you will pay one fee for all work done on your case. Some will charge hourly and others will charge incrementally as the case goes on. What is best for you all depends on your financial situation.

I discuss how a criminal defense attorney will charge for their services in my earlier blog post here. Make sure you find out how your criminal defense attorney charges and what you can expect as far as costs are concerned at your free consultation before you decide to hire a criminal defense attorney.

Vitaly Sigal is the principal and founder of the Sigal Law Group with over 20 years’ experience in the field of criminal defense he offers a free consultation and case review on all criminal matters. To schedule a free consultation please call 888 335-6008 or 818 325-0570. You can also email the attorney directly here.

Affordable Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:16:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]> One of the biggest concerns for someone who is looking to hire a criminal defense attorney is the cost involved. It is a very understandable concern as usually hiring a criminal defense attorney is an unplanned event that occurs when something bad, such as an arrest or a visit from law enforcement, happens to them or their loved one.

In this blog, I will explain how criminal defense attorney fees are usually structured and how most people are always better off hiring an experienced and affordable criminal defense attorney to handle a criminal case.

Flat Fees Retainers

An affordable criminal defense attorney will work on what is called a flat fee retainer. This means that they will charge one sum for handling either all or a portion of a criminal case. This means that it does not matter how much time an attorney will spend on your case, the fee will not change. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to assess in advance how much time and labor will be associated with any particular case after an initial consultation.

This often relieves the stress for clients as they do not have to fear that they will get a call from their lawyer saying that the case took more time than anticipated and the lawyer needs more money. That can make an affordable criminal defense attorney no longer affordable.

At our firm, we have a steadfast policy to honor the fee quoted to a client. That means if we quote a price for a case, that is the price and not a dollar more. If the case takes more time than we anticipated then that is not the client’s fault and we do not charge extra. We pride ourselves on being experienced and affordable criminal defense attorneys who honor our commitment to our clients.

Prior to hiring a criminal defense attorney. Make sure to ask if the fees are fixed or subject to change. Only then can you be sure of what your cost will be and that you are in fact hiring an affordable criminal defense attorney.

Payment Plans

Our firm offers our clients various payment options, including the ability to pay for the cost of our services over time. Not every firm does and it is important to ask the attorney that question before making an appointment for a consultation. Some criminal defense attorneys will ask for all their fees up front on a criminal case. We also accept credit cards for attorney’s fees, but not all firms do. This is something that you can ask up front of any criminal defense attorney who you want to meet with regarding your criminal case.

Experience Counts

When seeking out an affordable criminal defense attorney, it is always a good idea to make sure that you are hiring someone qualified to handle your case. An attorney who is straight out of law school may be cheaper and seem like an affordable criminal defense attorney but in reality, that attorney may not be able to properly handle your case and will end up costing you much more.

Also, beware of “chop shop” law offices that will charge very little and in return offer very little back. If the criminal defense attorney works on volume and charges very little, it may seem like you have found an affordable criminal defense attorney, but the service that you are getting is not much better than what you would get from the public defender.

An Experienced and Affordable Criminal Defense Attorney

Having been in the field of criminal defense for over 20 years, we pride ourselves on our proven track record of success and happy clients. Part of our approach to criminal defense is not only to be great attorneys but to also be affordable to our clientele. Our best source of business is referrals from past clients and there is nothing that we hold dearer than our relationships with those clients. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime call us today for a free consultation and case review. We can be reached at 818 325-0570 or toll free at 888 335-6008 or by email here.

Arrest Warrants vs Bench Warrants Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:34:10 +0000 Continue reading ]]> If you have an open warrant, it means that you may be arrested by a law enforcement officer for a specific legal violation. While it may be tempting to try to dodge arrest by hiding or running away, this can have very serious consequences. Often, voluntarily turning yourself in or appearing before a judge to answer to the charges behind your warrant can have a much more favorable outcome. By working with an experienced criminal lawyer, you can have a thorough understanding of the type of warrant issued for you, the charges against you, and the wisest course of action for you to take.

Arrest Warrants

Most criminal offenses in California result in arrests by law enforcement officers who report to the scene of the crime or witness the crime. In some cases, however, time may lapse between the alleged crime and the identification of possible perpetrators.

An arrest warrant is issued when an individual is accused of a crime but was not arrested when the alleged crime was discovered or occurred. Such warrants may be requested by a law enforcement official or district attorney from a judge, and a specific protocol must be adhered to:

  • An official complaint must be filed with the court
  • Probable cause must be documented
  • The petitioner must make a sworn oral statement about the alleged crime

When an arrest warrant is issued, law enforcement officers are instructed to look for the accused person and place him or her under arrest. The defendant will be served with an arrest warrant that must contain specific information to be considered valid. If any of this information is missing or incorrect, an experienced attorney may be able to challenge its validity.

Arrest warrants are technically public documents, so it is possible for an accused person or his or her attorney to learn of the warrant before an arrest is made. If you believe you have a pending arrest warrant, it may be in your best interests to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can advise you on the wisest course of action. In some cases, individuals who voluntarily turn themselves in can avoid arrest and may be released until trial.

Bench Warrants

When a defendant is ordered to appear in court and does not show up, a bench warrant will be issued. This means that the defendant may now be arrested: either at his or her home or place of business, or if a law enforcement officer happens to come into contact with the defendant for another reason and his or her name appears in the database of open warrants (such as during a traffic stop).

While the most common reason for a bench warrant is a failure to appear at a scheduled court date, bench warrants may be issued for any transgression against a court. This may include failure to pay a fine or a failure to comply with other court orders.

As with an arrest warrant, individuals who have an open bench warrant may be well-served by working with a criminal attorney they trust. It may be possible for an attorney to schedule a new court date, and if the defendant honors that court date it may reflect favorably. In such cases, judges may reverse a bench warrant and release a defendant on his or her own recognizance, require that defendant to post bail before release, or even give the defendant a specific amount of time to post bail before a new warrant is issued.

If an arrest warrant or a bench warrant has been issued for you in the Los Angeles area, the best way for you to feel confident in a just outcome for this situation is to enlist the support of a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney. Vitaly Sigal, founder of the Sigal Law Group, has deep experience in representing individuals who have been charged with criminal offenses and a strong reputation in local state and federal courts. To learn more about your rights, contact Attorney Sigal to schedule a criminal defense consultation.