Looking for Legal Guidance When Facing Charges
If you're facing criminal charges, one of the best investments of your time is a criminal defense consultation. If you have an upcoming criminal defense consultation, be aware of the fact that not all attorneys are created equal. This is especially true in the field of criminal defense.
California's criminal laws and the criminal court system are fraught with complicated rules, seemingly insignificant details, and archaic practices. An unethical attorney who only wants your money will often try to tell you your case is easier than it is and that he or she can promise you will walk away without a conviction. In reality, a good attorney will be honest about your charges and the difficulties you face by telling you the following:
Even if you're innocent, you could still lose your case.
Your innocence or guilt isn't the only determining factor in your defense. Innocent people are convicted every day. And guilty people go free, too. It matters, but it isn't the only thing that matters. This isn't a courtroom drama. It's your real life, and the stakes are high. Don't risk everything on an attorney that falsely believes the system is always just. It's far better to be skeptical and cover all your bases. Always speak with an attorney about all your options for defending yourself against your charges.
You can still be convicted even if the officer didn't read you your rights.
Bad attorneys may promise your case will be dismissed if you mentioned the officer didn't read you your rights. In reality, an officer must read you your rights only before questioning you after an arrest. If the officer never arrested you or questioned you, it might not matter if your rights weren't read. If you were arrested and questioned without being read your rights, an attorney might be able to have what you said suppressed so it can't be held against you. Your rights only protect you so far, and even if they were violated, you must still take steps to enforce them.
You might have more than one option.
An attorney with your best interests in mind will clearly explain all your options for handling your case. Sometimes bad attorneys promise you certain outcomes to get your money. The truth is more options are better than one. Never trust an attorney who guarantees you will walk free. You may have a very good chance, but your attorney should go over a plan B, such as a plea bargain or trial.
The cost of your case can vary.
Some attorneys charge flat fees for their services while others charge hourly. But chances are, there are certain factors that can increase the cost of your case no matter the pay structure. For example, your flat fee might not cover the costs of a trial, which can be significant. Likewise, a good hourly-rate attorney should explain how he or she would bill those hours and what you can do to reduce the costs of your case. Transparency in pricing is important, but you should know that even the best attorneys might not always give you an exact estimate up front.
Every criminal case is different, and certain factors that can increase the cost of your case can arise after you've already retained an attorney. For example, you might need to call on an expert witness if you decide to go to trial. The cost of an expert witness can be significant, but you might not know you need one unless you've reached a certain point in your case. This is why it's so important to tell your attorney everything he or she needs to know up front. That way you will get the best results and your cost estimate will be more accurate.
If you are looking for a criminal defense consultation in California, make sure you speak with a few criminal defense attorneys in your area. A good attorney will be upfront about what they can do for you and give you a general idea of how much it might cost. A good attorney should also be clear about how you should handle your case and give you a plan B if plan A falls through.
Being accused of a crime is stressful, but experienced Visalia area criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens can help you face your charges. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can help you navigate the criminal prosecution process from start to finish and are not afraid to take your case all the way to trial. Martens has practiced criminal defense for over ten years and knows how to defend your rights. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.