Facing criminal charges can be devastating and overwhelming, especially if it is your first encounter with the criminal justice system. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense in southern California, it’s crucial that you obtain an experienced attorney immediately.
Even if you’ve been charged with what seems to be a minor crime, you could still face a criminal record, jail time, fines, and other negative consequences for years to come if you are convicted. Not all lawyers provide excellent legal representation. The following factors can help you decide whether a California criminal defense attorney is the right one to handle your criminal case.
- Decide What Type of Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney You Need
The first step is determining the type of attorney you need to represent you. If you are facing federal charges, it’s crucial that you hire an attorney with experience in the federal court system. Similarly, if you’ve been charged under California law, you’ll need an attorney who is familiar with practicing in the court system through which you’ve been charged.
Most attorneys focus on either criminal or civil law. In a criminal case, the state of California is bringing charges against you for violating the criminal code and committing a crime. It’s essential that you contact attorneys with experience in criminal defense.
- Ask About the Attorney’s Experience
When you meet with an attorney, you should ask about their experience defending clients who’ve been charged with the same or similar crime in your case. Orange County attorneys focused on criminal defense are more likely to know how the California criminal court system operates.
For example, if you’ve been charged with a drunk driving case, ask how many drunk driving cases the attorney has taken in the last five years and how successful they have been.
- Ask About the Attorney’s Fee Structure
It’s also vital that you understand the attorney’s fee structure. If the attorney charges an hourly rate, ensure you clearly understand what that rate will be in your case. Ask the attorney how much time he or she will spend on your case versus how much time a paralegal or Legal Assistant will be spending on your case.
- Determine What Qualities Are Important to You
After criminal charges have been levied, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your criminal defense attorney. It’s important that you communicate well with your attorney and feel like you can speak freely to your attorney.
How will your attorney include you in the decision-making process, and what are their communication practices? You should also consider whether the attorney will engender trust and an effective working relationship with judges, prosecutors, and jurors.
- Consider Whether the Attorney Offers a Free Case Evaluation
There are many criminal defense attorneys in Orange County, and choosing the right one can seem overwhelming. Trusting your instincts when deciding on the right criminal defense attorney is important. This is your battle, and you’ll need the right attorney on your side.
At Bruzzo Law, we understand that clients may interview multiple attorneys to decide on the best attorney for them. We offer potential clients a free case evaluation so they can get to know us, ask us questions, and learn more about our law firm without the financial obligation of paying legal fees. Contact Bruzzo Law today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a Orange County, CA, criminal defense attorney.