Asking the right questions before hiring a criminal defense attorney may assist you in selecting the appropriate attorney for your case.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. However, with so many attorneys to choose from, it can be difficult to know how to find the right one for your situation. Asking the right questions during your initial consultation with a potential attorney can help you make an informed decision about who to hire.
In this article, we will discuss some important questions to ask before hiring a criminal defense attorney, including questions about their experience, their approach to your case, and their fee structure. By asking these questions, you can ensure that you choose an attorney who has the skills and experience necessary to represent you effectively and protect your legal rights.
How often do you appear in the courthouse where my case will be heard?
How often an attorney appears in court varies widely depending upon the specifics of the case, the court, the prosecution and the strategies of the attorney. Court hearings are, in part, an opportunity for the court to gauge the status and progress of the case before deciding upon the merit of further court hearings. In general, more serious cases take longer and require more case hearings than do less weighty matters.
For instance, an attempted murder case will very likely require many more hearings than a case of Driving With Suspended Or Revoked License. That’s because an attempted murder case has more at stake, will likely require more evidence to analyze, more investigation to be undertaken, more witnesses to be interviewed, more discussions between the district attorney and defense counsel, and ultimately, more work to be done.
So, logically, judges are generally much more lenient about permitting a greater number of court hearings in cases such as Attempted Murder matters than they would in, say, a Driving Without a License case. The number of case hearings can also depend upon the temperament of the judge and/or the number of active case files the court already has. Some judges are show greater leniency about permitting more case hearings than other judges.
How long have you practiced criminal law?
Attorney Cyrus Tabibnia has practiced criminal law for over 17 years. When it comes to criminal law, experience is one key component a client should look for in an attorney. There are a lot of benefits to retaining a lawyer who has practiced for long time, represented a lot of clients and encountered numerous different legal circumstances. An experienced attorney will likely be more adept at guiding clients through all stages of the legal process, including helping clients deal with the many emotions they will likely experience during the course of the case.
A lawyer with an extensive background in criminal law will be better able to implement successful strategies as well as anticipating the tactics of the prosecution. An attorney with a relevant background and understanding of the law itself will likewise have a distinct advantage.
How do you build a defense for a client?
Building a defense for a client differs on a case by case basis. However, there are certain general principles. At the arraignment – the first hearing of the case – the the prosecution gives defense counsel a copy of the complaint (the document containing the charges) and the evidence that exists in the case thus far (this usually includes the Arrest or Police Report). After the arraignment, and over the coming weeks and months, the attorney reviews and analyzes the evidence. The attorney may also conduct his own investigation – interviewing witnesses and seeking to develop other, helpful evidence – while seeking to build a defense for his client. The attorney may also contact the prosecution and demand additional evidence be provided, assuming that such evidence exists.[/et_pb_text]
How much do you charge and how are the fees structured?
Attorneys fees are different for every lawyer. Attorneys often determine what they charge by considering a number of factors including industry standards, their own skills, reputation, and experience as well as the details and complexity of the case. Some attorneys charge cases by the hour (example: $400 per hour). Other attorneys may set a fee for the entire case (example: $5,000 for a DUI case). The severity and complexity of the alleged crime is one consideration. For instance, an attorney will likely charge a lot less for a misdemeanor DUI than they would for a felony assault case. The latter case will likely require more work; and the client will almost assuredly be facing more punishment in the assault case.
The defendant’s criminal record may also affect the fees charged by an attorney. A criminal record for a client may add complications and more work to the case.
What are the possible and likely penalties if I’m convicted?
How penalties in criminal cases are assessed is a convoluted and often complicated issue that would require a very lengthy discussion. Generally speaking, the penalties pertaining to a criminal case depend upon a number of factors: the charges the client/defendant is facing, what kind of criminal record the client already has, other elements pertaining to the defendant’s background, the priorities of the prosecutors and others. Technically, penalties are specified in the particular California Penal Code section that applies to the alleged crime.
For example, if you are charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, you face up to one (1) year in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. But, if you are charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon – a more serious crime – you face up to four (4) years in state prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. See, California Penal Code section 245(a)(1).
Check out What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony?
However, just because the penal code specifies these penalties does not mean that the defendant will receive the punishments. For most crimes, prosecutors – the government lawyers pursuing charges against the defendant – have a good deal of discretion in determining what punishment they will seek so long as it does not exceed the maximum set forth in the penal code. As an example, for the misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon case, the prosecution can pursue a punishment of no incarceration, 6 months jail, 1 year jail, etc. For the felony case, they can see a number of different punishments, up to four years in state prison.
How do you communicate with clients and how often?
At the Tabibnia Law Firm, we believe that communication with our clients is an important element to a successful and aggressive defense. We pride ourselves on keeping our clients informed and earning our clients’ trust. That trust is critical to our clients opening up to us, which, in turn, is important for an effective defense.
The nature of the communication may take several forms. Telephone calls, emails, faxes and even text messaging are all modes of communication that we use.
In general, we try to respond to our clients questions within a 24 hour time frame.
How often do your cases go to trial?
Trial is a structured legal process wherein the facts of a case are presented to a jury, or the judge, who then determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charges.
Trial becomes necessary when a case does not reach a plea deal or is otherwise not dismissed during the litigation process.
In general, it is somewhat rare for a criminal case to go trial. Approximately 95% of criminal cases never reach the trial stage, coming to a resolution prior to the trial stage of a case becoming necessary.
Get in Touch With Attorney
Finding a good criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles is difficult and time-consuming. But picking the right one is only half of the battle; you’ll still have to go through months or even years of trials. A good lawyer will make you feel confident throughout the entire process. These questions will help.
If you ask your prospective lawyers these questions, you can be sure to find one that’s a good fit for your needs. The more you know about your attorney and the way he or she does business, the better off you will be. If your attorney can answer these questions well, that will give you confidence and make an excellent impression on the jury. Now it’s time to get in touch with attorney Cyrus Tabibnia.
Don’t hesitate. You are well prepared, so should your attorney be. He is providing legal assistance throughout the state of California, covering a wide range of locations, Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Glendale, Torrance, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Pasadena, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Ventura, Manhattan Beach, Whittier, Downey, Orange County, San Fernando, Riverside, West Covina, Lancaster, Pomona, Burbank, Inglewood, Norwalk, Palmdale, Monterey, Santa Clarita, La Puente, Walnut Creek, Westlake Village, San Bernardino County