Many of my new clients find me through internet searches. Someone gets arrested – either a friend or a relative or the client him or herself and then the inevitable happens – we look for answers on the internet. Google is often the answer to all of our problems. “What do I do when I am arrested for DUI”, “How do I find a good criminal defense lawyer in LA or Van Nuys or wherever the case is”. One of my favorite searches is: “How much does it cost to hire a good criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles?” Answer to all of these questions can be found on the internet. In fact there are some very helpful sites out there these days: Justia is a great source for law and legal information. On Avvo you can ask legal questions and have 12 answers within minutes or hours. Some of the lawyers who answer are actually local lawyers in the field. My old favorite restaurant site: Yelp is moving into a variety of other fields of service industries including the legal field and like Avvo will provide ratings on lawyers and reviews from past clients.
So then it’s easy to find the right lawyer? No. Please do not believe everything you read on any website. Please remember my advice: Whenever possible meet with the lawyer you are thinking of hiring – not his secretary or sales representative – but the lawyer who will be working on your case. Use the internet for information and do not be afraid to ask your lawyer questions to test his knowledge in the area. Then ask yourself a few questions: Do I feel comfortable with this lawyer? Was the lawyer able to answer all my questions? Do I like the way this lawyer speaks to me and how he explains the process to me? Does this lawyer have sufficient knowledge about the area of law I need help with? Does this lawyer practice/work regularly in the area of law which I need help in? Don’t be afraid to discuss legal fees and what they include. Are this lawyer’s fees too low or too high? Never be afraid to get a second opinion from another lawyer.
After you have done your research on the internet and after you have met with a lawyer you are thinking of hiring, then and only then should you make the very important decision of which lawyer to hire. And, while I hope that decision leads you back to my office, I know that I am not the right lawyer for everyone. For example, I am not the cheapest lawyer out there, nor am I the most expensive. However, if you are charged with a crime including DUI anywhere in Los Angeles or Ventura Counties, you are not likely to find a better lawyer for your hard earned money than me. I know that this is a very bold statement, but if you come into my office for a free consultation, you will find out for yourself.
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens, Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Vallens, APC