- Do I need an attorney?
- Should I use a public defender?
- How do I select an attorney?
- Should I hire an attorney before seeking help from a bail bondsman?
- Do you accept payments or credit cards for legal services?
- What is attorney client privilege, and how much should I tell a lawyer?
- There is no evidence against me. How can I be charged?
- Since I’ve been charged, am I going to jail?
- Will this go on my record?
Yes. Depending on the outcome of your case, your good name, future opportunities, employment, child custody, and personal freedom may be at stake.
You will need an attorney when facing criminal charges, a protection order, a child protective services (CPS) investigation, or an educational disciplinary proceeding.
You may believe that there is no evidence against you, and that the judge or prosecutor will agree and side with you. Please do not assume that your opinion of the evidence and the court system is accurate. You need a knowledgeable attorney who knows the people, rules, courts, and possibilities, and has the experience to stand by you and protect you in an intimidating court system.
If you do not have sufficient funds to pay for counsel, then perhaps you should use the public defender. Note that public defenders are not appointed for protection orders, anti-harassment orders, criminal charges that are under investigation, or CPS investigations.
If you have the funds, or the ability to borrow money, then you should retain the best counsel possible. You likely will receive more personalized attention, and greater resources will be applied to your case. Further, you can personally select your attorney as opposed to having a random one with unknown skill and commitment assigned to you.
We suggest reviewing the attorney’s experience, communication style, and fees. Can you trust the attorney? Do you understand him or her when discussing your case? Does he or she take an appropriate amount of time to explain what is going on with your case and the options available to you?
You want someone with good communication skills. If the attorney communicates well with you, then he or she likely will have the same rapport with the prosecutor, judge and jury. Experience is also critical. The number of years in practice is an indication that the attorney undoubtedly has handled hundreds, or thousands, of matters similar to your case.
After an arrest, the first priority seems to be releasing your loved one or friend from custody. Many people turn to a bail bondsman for help. However, I suggest first contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice. Doing so, instead of posting bond immediately, has several advantages:
- Posting a bond may be unnecessary. An attorney can advise you about the severity of the charge(s). For some cases, a person who has been arrested may be released on their own recognizance as soon as they get to court (often the morning after an arrest).
- Bonds may be less expensive if an attorney has been hired. Bail bonds must be insured by the bond companies. If an attorney has been retained, it often lowers the insurance cost, and the bond may be up to 20% less expensive. This can amount to a significant savings for you.
- An attorney may be able to negotiate the amount of bail in court. It is likely that the attorney can reduce the bail by skillfully negotiating with the district attorney and judge.
Yes and yes. Please contact us to work out an equitable arrangement to meet your needs.
As soon as you speak to an attorney about your case, even if you end up not hiring this particular individual, the attorney client privilege takes effect. This means that anything you discuss with the attorney is protected and privileged. The attorney is not allowed to share your discussion with anyone else, even his family or close friends. Also, this conversation cannot be used against you by police, prosecutors, or the courts.
Many cases are resolved by plea bargain and do not go to trial. You should always share accurate information about your case with your attorney. By not doing so, you place your attorney in a position where he or she may lose bargaining power with the district attorney or the court when it is revealed that your representative does not know all of the facts. Therefore, you put yourself at a disadvantage in obtaining the best plea bargain possible.
If there is truly no evidence, then you will not be charged, or the charges should be dismissed with some basic advocacy. However, what you may think is evidence may be much different from what is accepted as evidence in court. Obvious evidence includes photos, tangible items, and witness testimony. Evidence can also be the word of just one person – even one person who is of questionable background or character. People can be charged based on the word of one person alone. If no evidence against you exists, you still should have an experienced attorney represent you to help dismiss all charges.
Not if I can help it. All criminal offenses are potentially punishable by jail. However, it is reasonable in most juvenile offenses and misdemeanor offenses to avoid jail. Felonies are more challenging. Please contact me to discuss your specific circumstances as soon as possible to avoid this possibility.
If you have already been charged in court, or if a protection order has been filed, then a record already exists. A record is a document or database that contains information. Some records are private, but most are public. Court records, including juvenile offense information, are public.
Criminal or civil court proceedings result in the creation of a public record. The content of the record now becomes the concern. Our goal is for the record to reflect an accurate and favorable outcome for you – not guilty, charge dismissed, petition dismissed, case diverted, etc.