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 818 325-0570 you can also email the attorney directly here.