San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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Finding a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles

I am constantly asked how a potential client can find a good criminal defense attorney. My answer is often the same: Meet with the lawyer whenever possible; Do you feel comfortable with the lawyer? Be worried about any lawyer who promises the world or any lawyer who tries to scare you to death.

Make sure you meet with the actual lawyer who will be handling the case. Make sure you are not meeting with a salesman or paralegal or any other such person who is not going to be your lawyer. Remember, if the lawyer does not have time to meet with you before he takes on your case, how much time do you think he will have for you after you pay him your hard-earned retainer fee?

Make sure your lawyer is someone who practices criminal defense every day. Many lawyers are quick to jump on a new criminal case because they know is can give them a much needed influx of cash. You need to know that the lawyer you hire is going to be involved in your case for the long haul, not just he short trip to the bank..

Be careful of lawyers that tell you they play golf with the judge or otherwise make promises that sound too good to be true. Promises that sound too good to be true are just that and nothing more.

Make sure your lawyer is not talking to you about a case settlement before he talks to you about the facts of your case. Many lawyers are looking to make the quick plea, often at the client’s expense, just because it is the easy thing to do. This is not to say that every case should go to trial, because they shouldn’t. This is to say that some cases need to be litigated or investigated in order to leverage the best possible deal for the client.

If your attorney’s fee is too low, you probably are not talking to the right lawyer. Many lawyers will quote a low fee in the hopes of roping in a new client. That fee is not sufficient to pay the lawyer to do the work that must be done on a case in order to get the best deal. I will not say that you get what you pay for, but if a lawyer tells you he will take your misdemeanor case for $1,000 (or less), he is probably not going to put the time into the case that you desire…how can he?

Many criminal defense attorney’s in Los Angeles will offer a potential client or their family member, a free consultation. Take advantage of this. However, give the lawyer as much information as you can. Please help them to understand as much about the facts of the case as possible. This will help the lawyer to make the best possible and most accurate assessment of the case for their potential client. Leaving things out or not being honest with the lawyer is not helpful.

Finally, you may be concerned about the cost to hire a lawyer. I say that any misdemeanor case is going to cost the client at least $2,500 or more. A felony will likely be that much or more through preliminary examination and it will usually cost more from their Trial in a misdemeanor or a felony is usually a daily fee between $1,500 and $2,500 per day of trial. Also, clients should be aware that expert witnesses or private investigators cost money and the client may have to pay those expenses too.

Don’t be afraid to question the lawyer about his fees. If he is too quick to reduce his fee, he may not be the lawyer you want. However, in this time of a troubled economy, many lawyers are willing to reduce their fees slightly upon request or set up some type of payment plan if the situation warrants doing so.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Does the lawyer sound like he knows what he is talking about? Is he familiar with the type of charges and the court location? Has he handled to completion other similar cases? What were the results? How many has he handled? Has he tried similar cases when necessary? What were the results? Is the lawyer in good standing with the State Bar of California ?

If you have questions about finding a good criminal defense attorney, call me:

(888) 764-4340 or (818) 783-5700 or email me at: or visit my site: or