Should I ever consent to let a police officer search my person, home or things?

No.  The police usually need probable cause to search your person, home or things (including vehicle) with some exceptions.  Do not let them search.  They are not there to help you if they are investigating a crime and think you may be involved. read more →

Do I need a lawyer who specializes in criminal cases?

Yes. Criminal defense is a specialized field. Criminal lawyers know criminal procedure, evidence, and usually are accomplished trial lawyers. Many criminal lawyers will try more cases in one year than most other types of lawyers will in a career. Another thing to make sure is that if you are charged with federal criminal charges, your attorney.. read more →

When should I hire a lawyer?

The sooner the better. Often, getting a lawyer when you first find out you are being investigated for a crime may be the smartest thing you do to fight your case, especially if the police or federal agents want to speak to you or you are subpoenaed to (or a target of) a grand jury... read more →

Do I have to appear at every court appearance?

Or can my attorney appear for me? In California state court, in felony cases, you can have your attorney file in your presence in open court a form called a 977 waiver for certain court appearances. Usually, in misdemeanor cases, you do not have to be present if your attorney appears for you. Most important.. read more →

How does a bail bond work?

In California state cases, bail bond agencies post a cash bond in the amount of bail. A bail bondsman will usually not post a bond until they show adequate collateral and pay a non-refundable premium of about 10% of the bond’s value. read more →

Should I get a public defender or a private lawyer?

Public defenders or court-appointed attorneys in state and federal court are usually excellent attorneys with a lot of experience practicing before the court in which they appear. On the other hand, they are often more difficult to communicate with, as they have busy caseloads, and you have not “bought” their time with a fee. Private.. read more →

How much do lawyers cost?

Criminal attorneys can be expensive. After all, your liberty is at stake. Good criminal lawyers in California state court can charge from $10,000 for a basic felony charge into six-figures for serious cases. Obviously, the attorney’s reputation, track record, and experience are significant factors in what the fee for his or her representation will be... read more →

How do I tell if I have a good lawyer?

A good lawyer zealously advocates for his client, charges a fair fee commensurate with the severity of the charges and which is reasonable for his or her level of experience, and communicates with his client. A winning track record is also important. read more →

Should I tell my lawyer everything?

When you meet with an experienced criminal attorney, or meet with a prospective criminal attorney you are thinking of hiring, only answer the questions that the attorney asks you. read more →

Do criminal lawyers win all of their cases?

No. No criminal attorney wins every case. The criminal justice system, and the odds, are stacked against defendants. But good criminal lawyers win more cases than they should. read more →