San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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How Do I Know When it is Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If I got arrested for some serious charge, like murder, I would likely want to hire a lawyer. But what if I am got driving on a suspended driver’s license? Do I need to hire a lawyer then? What if I am just under investigation for doing something wrong? Let’s say my boss thinks I stole a bunch of money at work. Do I need to hire a lawyer then? Can’t I just wait and see what happens? Maybe I can just “throw myself on the mercy of the court?” After all, I’m guilty, shouldn’t I just plead guilty?” So, how do I know when it is actually time to hire a lawyer?

First, I would assess my financial resources. Do I have the money to hire a lawyer now or at all? Some people do not have the financial resources to hire a lawyer. This means that a lawyer will likely be appointed to an indigent person at the time of their arraignment.

For those who do have the financial resources to hire a lawyer (and it may not cost as much as you think), do it as soon as possible. Criminal defense lawyers in our community almost always charge a flat fee for their services. This may be a fee for the whole case including trial, for the case without trial, or in the case of many felonies, just through the preliminary hearing. In any of these cases, the fee would likely be the same if the lawyer was hired during the investigative stage or after charges are filed.

There are many advantages to hiring the lawyer earlier, rather than later. First, the lawyer could help the client avoid making incriminating statements to police. Next, the lawyer could start his investigation sooner, and help obtain favorable witness statements before witnesses get tainted by law enforcement. Also, clients could be encouraged to make “self-help” efforts like seeking counseling, therapy or rehabilitation as necessary. Last, but not least, the lawyer could likely help with issues of bail or obtaining release from custody should the client ultimately be arrested and or charged with a crime.

If you have a question about whether or not you should hire a criminal defense attorney, the likely answer is that you already should.

If you or someone you care about has been arrested, or is being investigated for criminal conduct, call a lawyer who can help:

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 email me at: or check out the rest of my website for more information.