How to Choose a San Diego Felony Defense Lawyer
If you are facing felony charges, you need to find a San Diego felony defense lawyer, and you shouldn’t procrastinate. Felony charges are the most serious crimes in California.
Unlike the slow progress of a civil lawsuit, the criminal justice system moves fast. Not only that, the penalties for felony convictions in San Diego could be imprisonment and/or large fines. With all this at stake, you shouldn’t attempt to represent yourself. You need to find a San Diego criminal attorney.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be able to have a San Diego County public defender represent you. If your income doesn’t qualify you for free representation, you need to find a private lawyer.
Finding a San Diego Felony Defense Lawyer
At first, the prospect of finding a San Diego criminal defense lawyer may sound daunting, but it’s actually a lot easier than you may think. You can ask around your circle of family members, friends and acquaintances. Perhaps there is someone you know that either knows a criminal lawyer or has used a criminal lawyer in the past.
Most helpful is the input from someone who has personally hired a San Diego criminal lawyer. You can get first-hand information about what it’s like to work with a lawyer and, if the experience was good, maybe your friend can recommend the lawyer to you.
If you strike out with your friends, you need extra names for your list of candidates or you’d rather not discuss your recent arrest with people you know, we can help. Attorneys.com operates a service that can connect you to a San Diego felony defense lawyer wherever you are in the city.
Just call us at 1-877-913-7222, or complete the short form on this page. We’ll have a few questions for you. Then, whether you are in Kearny Mesa or Ocean Beach or any other part of the city, we will forward the name of at least one criminal attorney near you.
Feel free to contact the attorney directly, or he will get back to you within two business days.
Preparing to Meet with San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys
Hiring an attorney without meeting first is not advisable. The world of criminal law is big, and you want to make sure you hire someone who has experience representing clients facing charges similar to your own. It’s also good to get a handle on how an attorney might handle your case and how much legal representation costs.
You can find out all these things at a first meeting attorneys call initial consultations. Most criminal lawyers in San Diego offer these meetings for free. They view it as a chance to introduce themselves and win your business.
Before you head off to your first initial consultation, it’s important to prepare. Think about the kinds of questions you want to ask. For example, you’ll want to find out if the San Diego lawyer has experience with felony charges like your own. What is the extent of that experience? With felony charges pending, you don’t want someone just out of law school or who is dabbling in criminal law.
Write down all your questions on paper, so you don’t forget to ask anything. San Diego criminal lawyers will also find it helpful if you bring certain documents with you, such as:
- Any paperwork that mentions your charges and your next courtroom appearance
- A copy of the police report, if you have it
- Your bail papers
- Any other paperwork the police may have given you, such as a search inventory list
Include the documents with your questions and throw in some extra writing material, so you can record the answers. Also compile a list of anyone connected to your case, including witnesses, victims and co-defendants.
Meeting with San Diego Criminal Lawyers
Arrive for your initial consultations on time or even early. Criminal defense lawyers in San Diego are busy people.
When you first sit down, allow the attorney to lead the conversation. Some San Diego criminal attorneys may ask you a lot of questions before hearing your version of events. Their goal is to better understand the evidence the prosecution may have against you.
As you answer the questions, withhold nothing. Even before you hire someone – even if you hire someone else – you enjoy attorney-client privilege with all lawyers you meet for initial consultations. This means nothing you say will ever be repeated to the authorities. San Diego felony defense lawyers are bound by strict confidentiality rules. You may speak freely at your initial consultations.
Hiring a San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you have finished interviewing all the attorneys on your list, it’s time to hire one. Choose the one who put you most at ease, whose advice you liked best and who had the most on-point experience for you. Break any ties by calling former clients and getting some feedback about what it was like working with those attorneys.
When you have found the San Diego criminal attorney, you are ready to face the criminal justice system.