Hiring the right Attorney to handle your criminal or DUI case is the most important decision you will have to make if you are arrested and charged with a crime; use the following checklist as a starting point:
1. Does your Lawyer have an office – there are many Lawyers working out of their homes, apartments, their car, or out of some back-alley store front. Make sure the Lawyer you’re thinking about hiring is established in the community and actually has a Law Office where you can meet and discuss your case.
2. Will your Lawyer fight your case in a Jury Trial – there are many Criminal and DUI Defense Lawyers who have never been to trial and wouldn’t know what to do if they suddenly had a case that needed to go to trial. Lawyers who can’t or won’t go to trial will not get the same results as Lawyers who know how to fight (and win) a case in a Jury trial.
3. Is your Lawyer telling you the truth – if you tell your Lawyer that the cop lied when he said you didn’t stop at the stop sign, but your blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit, there are lawyers who will lie to you and say they’ll get the case dismissed. These Lawyers will say just about anything to get your business, and then once you’ve paid their fee in full they will tell you to just plead guilty. Also beware of Lawyers who say they “know the Judges” or “know the District Attorneys” and that’s how they are going to get you a great result – our system simply does not work that way.
4. Will your Lawyer personally handle your case – many Law Firms have a “Supervising Attorney” who does the interviews and then turns your case over to a beginning associate – you don’t actually work with the Lawyer you thought you hired. Also watch out for Law Firms who don’t have an office where your case will be heard – they are usually just referral services who turn around and sell your case to the lowest bidder.
5. Will your Lawyer be available to meet with you as your case progresses – trying to get your lawyer to call you back or meet with you after you’ve hired them can be extremely frustrating.
At the Law Offices of Michael Erpino and Benjamin Scarfe we handle all of our cases personally from start to finish. You’ll meet with your Attorney for a Free Consultation to discuss the charges against you, your side of what happened, and the likely options you will face as your case proceeds. We will always fight to get the best result in your case, and we will always be available to meet with you in person or return your phone calls.
You should know that the District Attorneys and the law enforcement agencies that work for them will use their vast resources to aggressively prosecute you if you are suspected of a crime. They usually do not investigate leads or bother to collect evidence that could show your innocence; they are not there to protect your rights and they don’t care if your side of the case is heard. You need an Aggressive Defense Attorney to represent you in Court when the Government comes after you.
If we can settle your case for a reasonable offer we will do so after we fully explain the offer to you, the consequences of accepting the offer, and your other options. We also know how to try cases with a jury, we have experienced investigators and experts ready to testify on your behalf if necessary, and we know our community and how to pick a decent jury. If you, a friend, or a family member is ever accused of any crime by the State of California, call us immediately at 530-898-1111 and schedule a free consultation.
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