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When you are facing a criminal charge in California it is a scary situation. You might not know what to expect or if you will spend years in jail. One of the most important things to understand is that you should never represent yourself in a criminal case. Your freedom and your rights are too precious to risk by trying your luck at the law. Today, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorney would like to share questions you should ask prior to selecting who will represent you in a criminal case.
It is wrong to assume that every criminal defense attorney has experience with all areas of criminal law. You must ask this question to find out if the attorney has handled cases involving the charges you face in California.
You don’t want to sign with an attorney who does not answer emails or phone calls. You are going to be stressed and have a lot of questions. It’s important to work with an attorney who has no problem answering multiple phone calls or responding to emails that you send.
Many lawyers will have their partners or other attorneys in their firm handle cases for clients. If you have met with an attorney and have a good relationship you will likely want them to handle your case. Make sure it will be them before you sign on the dotted line so you know what to expect.
This seems like there would be an obvious answer but many attorneys are able to negotiate a plea deal out of court. If this is the case, the attorney might not have a lot of experience in a courtroom setting. By asking this question you show the attorney that you want someone who argues for clients in front of a judge and jury often.
Ask upfront how fees are charged before picking an attorney. You don’t want any surprises when you receive your first bill. Attorney’s charge fees in various ways, including contingency, flat fee, or retainer. Then there are attorneys who might not charge a fee unless they win your case. Asking this question will provide you with plenty of information to make a decision.
The fee you pay to the criminal defense attorney won’t be the only fee on your bill. Criminal cases usually involve the testimony of expert witnesses. They do not make court appearances for free. Some charge a flat fee and others charge by the hour.
Try to find out ahead of time what the attorney will need from you to build a strong defense. It could be documents, evidence, a statement or anything else necessary to paint you in a good light.
When you are charged with a crime in California it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Contact Okabe & Haushalter today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.