San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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It takes longer than 20 minutes to Find the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

A lawyer in my suite referred a potential client to me yesterday.  I spoke to the client and his girlfriend for about 17 minutes and 43 seconds.  They told me they were going to email me some documents to review.  A half hour later I told them I hadn’t receive any documents.  I received a text message back saying the client had already hired another lawyer.  The case was a multiple count, multiple defendant, multiple victim felony theft there where the client claims factually innocence.  How then is it possible for him to have hired another lawyer in under thirty minutes?

The answer is that he got sold.  He called another lawyer he found on the internet and that person quickly sold him a bill of goods.  He could not have had time to meet the other lawyer.  He could not have been referred to the other lawyer as he told me he was searching on Google to find lawyers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please don’t hire a lawyer you find on the internet.  Please don’t hire a lawyer you haven’t met.  Please don’t hire a lawyer that tries to close you in 20 minutes.  It’s simply not enough time to get to know the lawyer and for the lawyer to find out enough information about you and your case.

The best way to find a lawyer is to get a referral from someone you know and trust.  Most people know at least one lawyer, even if that lawyer doesn’t do criminal defense.  The lawyer you do know likely knows someone who practices criminal defense.  As an example, I know many lawyers.  I don’t know much about homeowner’s associations, but my new officemate has been doing that kind of work for over 20 years.  I’ve never done a divorce case, but one of my friends since law school has been doing family law for over 20 years.

What I do know is criminal defense and DUI.  I’ve handled some very large and complicated cases in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.  I handled one defendant in the largest worker’s compensation fraud case in the history of Los Angeles County.  Result:  Dismissal.  That’s right, an outright dismissal.  Not a DA reject.  My case got filed as multiple felonies with multiple defendants.  It was a multi-million dollar actual loss case.  The case went to preliminary hearing – 4 days worth.  My client was held to answer after preliminary hearing and about to face a felony trial.  I negotiated at outright dismissal of all charges.  Not a reduction, not probation, not diversion, but a full dismissal.

I handled one defendant in the largest welfare fraud case in the history of Los Angeles County with an actual monetary loss of almost thirty million dollars.  Result:  Probation and restitution.

I handled a $300,000 check fraud case in Van Nuys.  Multiple count felony filing.  Result:  Misdemeanor with community service.

A proper initial consultation with a lawyer takes at least an hour.  If it’s a complicated case, it could take several hours and may require more than one meeting.  I just scheduled a consult with a new client for Tuesday of next week.  We are anticipating the consult will take 90 minutes and that there will be the need for follow up after that.  And this is a guy I’ve known since law school.  For a client I’ve never met before, I need to know about his background, the facts of the case, I want him to have a chance to talk to me about my background and experience and make sure he feels comfortable with me.  These things take time.  Many lawyers don’t want take this kind of time to meet their client’s, learn about the facts of a potential case and generally invest much effort in a case before they get paid.  Unfortunately, experience has proven that when a lawyer doesn’t seem to have time for you before you pay him, he often has even less time for you after you pay him.  Be careful out there folks.  Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

If you or someone close to you was arrested for a criminal offense or DUI, call a lawyer that will give your case the time and attention it deserves.  I do have the time to talk to you about your case.  My job is to know more about my client and his/her case than the judge and the prosecutor knows. Knowledge is power.  Power means results.

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or email me at:

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