San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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Twenty Years of Criminal and DUI Defense

Yesterday was my twenty year anniversary practicing law. May 28, 1996, I was sworn in as a lawyer, meaning that I was officially able to start “practicing” law. It seems appropriate that my swearing in occurred in a courtroom in Van Nuys, California. Since that time, I have appeared in court in Van Nuys courtrooms more than other courthouse.

But what does 20 years of criminal and DUI defense mean to you, the potential client? Quite simply, I’ve been doing criminal and DUI defense for a long time now. I am successful and I am good at what I do. Some lawyers simply go through the motions, holding the client’s hand while they walk them down the road to a guilty plea. Real lawyers actually try and work their cases, using the facts at hand and applicable law to find methods of putting their client’s in a position better than when they came to hire their lawyer. Some lawyers talk about helping clients on t.v. or radio. Real lawyers actually go to court with or for their clients and don’t spend their time on marketing campaigns and advertising.

At my office we seem to work harder with each passing year. It takes not simply experience but creative ingenuity to achieve the best results for each client. This kind of creativity comes from thinking outside the box of guilty or not guilty. These kinds of results come from constantly asking questions about the facts of a case. Thinking outside the box in criminal defense requires knowing more about your case than the prosecutor knows. In order to “beat” the prosecutor, the lawyer must know his own client better than the client knows him or herself. This often takes hours of meeting with the client, asking personal questions and getting inside the client’s head to help formulate a beneficial resolution to a case.

Judges are pushing lawyers harder every year to resolve cases faster. Laws are getting tougher every year, particularly in areas like DUI. A good lawyer MUST be able to stand up to a judge who tries to steamroll a lawyer into settling a case or going to trial. A good lawyer MUST utilize the law to his client’s benefit. A good lawyer MUST examine all the evidence even if it takes over ninety days to get that evidence and the judge is pressuring the lawyer to resolve the case. A good lawyer MUST work every angle of every case, both legal and factual in order to achieve optimal results for his client.

There are a lot of lawyers out there with fancy websites and great sales pitches. They come in all shapes and sizes: Old, young, male, female, lawyers, and salesmen for lawyers. Twenty years later please remember the words which I have been repeating time and time again: “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”, “If a lawyer promises you the world, run”, “If a lawyer tries to scare you to death, run”.

Please, please, please, if at all possible, meet with the lawyer you are thinking of hiring. Don’t hire your lawyer over the phone. Meet with the lawyer who will be working on your case, not his sales representative, secretary, paralegal, case manager or any other such person. Sit with the lawyer you are intending to hire and make sure you feel comfortable with that person. Bring a relative or friend with you to the meeting if that makes you feel better. Ask the lawyer questions. Make sure the lawyer does criminal defense every day. Make sure the lawyer is familiar with the jurisdiction. Ask family or friends for a referral to a lawyer they know or they have personally used. Only then should you consider hiring that lawyer.

Twenty years has gone by fast for me. During that time I have handled a lot of DUI and criminal defense cases. Every person and every case has been different. This is why I still love my job. I have met a lot of judges, prosecutors, court staff and clients. I have been referred cases from judges, prosecutors, court staff and of course other clients and lawyers. Long standing relationships with court staff, prosecutors and judges have truly helped me to achieve my businesses success and the tremendous results for my past clients which you can see on my website.

But, what is most important to me after two decades of practice is that my core values in my legal practice have stayed the same. I try hard in each case of mine to achieve the goals my clients’ desire. In fact, often times my goals for a particular case are set higher than my client’s own goals. Although I know no lawyer can achieve perfection in every case, I do know that I can and do try to meet or exceed my clients’ expectations in every single case I handle. I am sorry that I cannot represent every single client that comes into my office for a consultation. But, if you do hire me, I promise you will be happy with the effort I put into your case and the results we achieve together.

If you or someone close to you has been arrested or charged with a crime or DUI, or if you want a second opinion from a veteran defense attorney,

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

Email me at: or visit my sites for more info: or