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How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney

Feb 16, 2018 | Firm News

Looking for an experienced criminal defense attorney can be hard if you don’t know what to look for. Some common questions might be: Where do I start looking? What should I look for and how do I know that lawyer is right for me? In this article, we will be covering some basics of finding the right criminal defense attorney for your circumstances. First, it’s important to understand that you are looking for a criminal defense attorney and not a civil case attorney. You need to find someone who understands and focuses their practice on criminal law.

Find a Local Attorney

There is a huge advantage to finding an attorney who is local to the courthouse of where your case is pending. The laws may be the same throughout the state but finding an attorney in southern California who understands how their prospective court and judge handles matters can make a big difference. Local defense attorneys may also know which prosecutors are usually likely to offer a plea agreement before trial and which ones prefer to take cases to trial. By choosing a local criminal defense attorney you may also find that the attorney you hire is familiar with the arresting police officer(s) and their work habits and personalities. This local knowledge will allow for us to be better prepared if your case goes to trial.

Find an Experienced Defense Attorney

Depending on the severity of the charges, you don’t want to seek out a “discount lawyer”. If you have the resources, this is not the time to bargain hunt. Hiring experienced attorneys who’ve worked on cases similar to yours can help alleviate the stress that comes along with being arrested and charged with a crime. How do you know when the attorney you hire has experience? You will want to make sure they are not only experienced with criminal law, but experienced in the area of criminal law that you are being charged with. It is ok to ask your potential defense attorney a few questions so you feel assured that you are choosing the right one.

Here are some questions you should ask before hiring any criminal defense lawyer:

  • “What percentage of your practice involves criminal defense?”
  • “How many times have you appeared in the court that my case will be assigned to?”
  • “Have you represented people who have been charged with similar crimes as me? What was the outcome?”

Be Comfortable

Always remember that your criminal defense attorney speaks for you and you have every right to make sure you feel comfortable with that attorney. Make sure your defense attorney is someone you can speak openly to and that they explain things in a way that you can understand. The best attorney-client relationships are ones where clients are a part of the decision-making process, with the attorney offering their experience and knowledge of the law, local police and judges.

Having an experienced attorney by your side is crucial during any criminal case. Make sure to find a criminal lawyer who is on your side to leverage your rights under the law. Committed to your defense The Law Offices of Michael A. Scafiddi has been providing professional advocacy in various types of civil and criminal matters throughout Southern California. We provide legal services for criminal defense matters ranging from misdemeanor to felony offenses. Call us today at 909-381-1000 to schedule a consultation.