How to Find a San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney
A San Jose criminal defense attorney is essential if the police have accused you of a crime.
The criminal justice system is complicated and moves quickly. This is no time to go it alone and try to “play” lawyer.
But at the same time, if you’ve never hired a lawyer before, you may not know how to go about finding a San Jose criminal defense attorney. This article will explain the hiring process.
First, if you truly cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you can apply to have a public defender represent you. You’ll need to detail your financial situation. If you do not qualify, you need to take the following steps to find a private San Jose criminal defense lawyer:
- Get a name or a couple of names of San Jose criminal lawyers
- Interview them
- Select the best one for you
How do you know which attorney is the best one for you? You probably need an attorney who:
- Has represented many other San Jose clients facing criminal charges similar to your own
- Offers you good advice and has a strategy for handling your case that you believe will get you results
- Charges a reasonable fee
- Is trustworthy
Getting Some Names of San Jose Criminal Defense Attorneys
To find some San Jose criminal attorneys, ask around your circle of friends, family members and acquaintances, to see if they know anyone who is a criminal defense attorney. Their input is even more valuable if they have personally hired a criminal attorney.
If they have, you’ll want to know all about the experience. What did they think of their attorneys’ performance? Did the attorneys work hard? Did their strategy work? Did they get the results they wanted? Most importantly, could they highly recommend their attorneys?
There are a number of reasons, however, why you may need to look beyond people you know for references. Maybe your friends don’t know any San Jose criminal defense lawyers. Maybe they can’t recommend a lawyer they do know. Or maybe you’d just rather not discuss your recent arrest with people you know.
Whatever the reason, there’s no need to stress. You have another resource at your fingertips. Attorneys.com offers a referral service that can put you in touch with a criminal defense attorney in your part of San Jose.
Whether you are in Little Portugal or Blossom Valley or any other part of San Jose, simply call us at 1-877-913-7222 or fill out the brief form on this website. After answering a few questions, we’ll forward you the name and contact information for at least one criminal attorney near you.
You may call the attorney yourself, or the lawyer will contact you within two business days.
Interviewing San Jose Criminal Attorneys
If you are accused of a felony in San Jose, you do not have a lot of time until your arraignment and following proceedings. Still, if possible, you should try to interview the lawyers you’re interested in hiring, to make sure the lawyer is everything you’re expecting.
Fortunately, most criminal defense lawyers in San Jose are willing to talk with prospective clients for a brief meeting called an initial consultation. At an initial consultation, you can:
- Find out the attorney’s background and experience to see if they are relevant to your needs
- Discuss your case, your options and possible strategy
- Decide whether this is the attorney you want to hire
To prepare for your initial consultations, the San Jose criminal lawyers would appreciate it if you could bring with you your bail papers, any paperwork the police gave you and any other documents that list your crime and next courtroom appearance.
Also take a moment to think of any questions you would like to ask. Good topics include ones about the attorney’s experience, legal fees and suggestions for your case. Put your questions to paper and bring them with you, along with extra paper and a pen to record the answers and any impressions you have.
Finally, write out the names of anyone else involved in your case, including victims, witnesses and co-defendants. Criminal defense attorneys can’t represent you if they have had a previous relationship with anyone else involved in your case. This is called a conflict of interest. Don’t waste time interviewing an attorney who cannot represent you.
When you meet with criminal defense attorneys in San Jose, answer their questions completely and honestly. You do not need to fear the attorneys' reporting anything you say to the prosecutors in your case. Even during a first meeting – even if you decide to hire someone else – you enjoy an attorney-client privilege with the attorneys you meet at initial consultations.
Making Your Choice
After you have interviewed the San Jose criminal attorneys on your list, it is time to decide which one to hire. Ask yourself which attorney:
- Most often represented clients with charges similar to my own?
- Gave me the best advice?
- Had reasonable legal fees?
- Put me most at east and gave me the most confidence?
The answers to these questions should point you to the very best San Jose criminal defense attorney for you. If you still can’t decide, call a few former clients of your best contenders and allow their feedback to break any ties.
Once you have hired your San Jose criminal defense lawyer, you are ready to face whatever the prosecutor has in store for you.