It is not difficult to locate a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. A quick online search or peruse through the Yellow Pages will identify hundreds of attorneys practicing criminal law throughout Los Angeles. While it is not difficult to find a criminal defense attorney, it is difficult and critical to find a highly skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated criminal defense attorney. Criminal cases are serious matters, and anyone seeking representation from a criminal defense attorney must be sure that their attorney is absolutely qualified to handle their particular case and aggressively represent them.
Three things (among others) one should consider when choosing a criminal defense attorney are:
- Does the attorney have experience handling my type of criminal case – Because there are so many different types of criminal cases, it is essential that your criminal attorney have experience handling your type of case. For example, if you are charged with burglary and an attorney has never represented a client in a burglary case, you likely want to hire another lawyer. This is especially important the more serious the alleged criminal offense is. You would not want a lawyer who handles mostly DUI cases to represent you in a serious felony matter.
- Does the attorney typically handle cases in the courthouse where my case is filed – Each criminal courthouse within Los Angeles County is different – different judges, prosecutors, court staff and courtroom rules and procedures. It is often highly advantageous if your attorney has strong relationships and a respected reputation within the courthouse in which your case is pending. Established working relationships can sometimes make an immense difference in a judge’s rulings, negotiating case outcomes, plea deals and preparing for trial. Make sure that your lawyer is not a “newbie” to the courthouse where your case is being handled.
Check the attorney’s professional background – Conduct an internet search of your attorney. See if there are any reviews about his or her reputation or the quality of their representation. Make sure that your attorney does not have a history of misconduct or state bar complaints. Research where your attorney attended college and law school. In short, act like a private investigator to ensure that the attorney you intend to hire has a strong professional background and is qualified to represent you in your criminal case.