How Do I Choose A Criminal Defense Attorney? Choosing a criminal defense attorney in San Bernardino, California may be one of the most important and vital decisions that you make during your lifetime. Depending on the crime, you could be facing expensive fines, a lengthy prison sentence, probation, mandatory attendance in a treatment program, mandatory drug and alcohol screenings, and/or several other penalties specific to the alleged crime.
A guilty plea or a criminal conviction results in a permanent criminal record that could keep you from getting the job that you want, living wherever you choose, and owning a firearm. The stakes are high; therefore, choosing an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Bernardino, California who has a record of obtaining excellent results, and who is experienced in criminal law, is vital to your freedom and your future.
Contact the criminal defense attorneys of Greenberg, Greenberg & Kenyon APLC immediately at (951) 274-0003 to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will guide you through the legal process and aggressively defend you throughout the judicial process.
Tips for Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whether you committed the crime in San Bernardino, California or in another part of the state, the criminal defense attorney you choose should focus and concentrate his or her law practice solely in the area of criminal law that applies to your case. This ensures that the attorney has extensive experience representing clients facing similar charges; therefore, the attorney has spent countless hours researching relevant statutes and case law so that he or she understands the best defense strategy for this type of crime.
Other recommendations for choosing a criminal defense attorney in San Bernardino, California include:
• Making a list of potential attorneys – Ask friends, neighbors, and family members for recommendations. If you are uncomfortable asking these individuals, ask other attorneys who they would recommend. Get as many names as possible to begin your search.
• Research your list – You need to begin narrowing the list by researching the attorneys. Read the information on each attorney’s website, note if they practice the area of law that applies to your case, note if they practice multiple areas of law (i.e. family law, real estate, personal injury, etc.). Again, you want an attorney who focuses solely on criminal defense. Read the attorney’s biography page — how long has he been practicing, etc. Begin narrowing your list according to the information you gain through your research.
• Call the attorneys on your list – Reduce the number of potential candidates by calling their office and asking to speak to them by telephone. If you are unable to reach the attorney because the attorney is “always” too busy to take telephone calls, this may be an indication of how difficult the attorney will be to reach once you retain him or her. This is not a perfect indicator because attorneys who are successful can be quite busy; however, it can help you shorten your list to just a few names.
• Meet with several attorneys in person – This is your life and your future; therefore, take the time to “interview” several potential attorneys before choosing an attorney to represent you. Does the attorney seem to care about your story? Is he interested in what you have to say about the events that led up to the criminal charge? Do you feel comfortable talking with this attorney? You must be able to trust this person and be comfortable communicating with this person. If you do not feel this connection, strike the attorney off your short list.
• Does the attorney have a strong support staff – A solo attorney may seem appealing because you will be dealing with the same person each time you contact the office; however, a strong legal defense often relies on a strong team of legal professionals, including investigators, paralegals, and administrative staff, to prepare your case for court. Ask to meet the staff that will be working on your case.
• Does the attorney have courtroom experience – Some criminal defense attorneys settle all of their cases without going to trial. This is not a good indicator of a strong criminal defense attorney. An experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer is a skilled negotiator and a strong trial litigator. You need an attorney who will not be afraid or hesitant to take your case to trial if that is in your best interest. Ask the attorney what his ratio is for settling cases versus trying cases in court.
Facing criminal charges is not the same as going to traffic court to pay a fine. You should not attempt to represent yourself in criminal court. The potential negative consequences of a criminal conviction are far too serious not to have an experienced criminal defense attorney protecting your freedom and your future.
For most people, one of the driving factors in choosing a criminal defense attorney is the cost. What you must weigh is the cost versus the potential outcome. Hiring a less experienced attorney may save you money, but it will likely cost you much more in the long run. Experience and knowledge may cost a bit more; however, it is well worth it if you are able to avoid going to prison and/or jail.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in San Bernardino, California
Being charged with a crime is a serious matter regardless of the offense. In order to protect your freedom and your future and help minimize the negative consequences of a criminal conviction, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands California’s criminal statutes and who knows the best way to defend you. You need a criminal defense lawyer who has extensive knowledge of the legal system and has extensive experience practicing before all of the California criminal courts.
Greenberg & Greenberg are the attorneys that you need on your side in your criminal case. We work diligently to favorably resolve your case. We will exert our best efforts at all times on your behalf. Contact our office to schedule your free initial consultation by calling (951) 274-0003 or by filling out the appointment request form at the top of the page.