Have you been arrested or charged with a crime in Orange County? Regardless of how serious the situation is, you should talk to a criminal defense attorney today. A criminal defense attorney is trained to analyze cases and generate strategies in hopes of stopping charges before they’re filed or reducing the current charges. From evaluating your charges to hiring expert witnesses and everything in between, attorneys can help advise you during this difficult time.
But how do you choose the right criminal defense attorney? With so many attorneys in Orange County, it’s crucial to ask these five questions before selecting the right one for you:
1. What experience do you have?
One of the most important questions to ask your potential attorney is about their prior experiences. With such important consequences weighing on the horizon, you want to find a knowledgeable attorney who has experience in criminal defense. Ideally, you want an attorney who has had success with previous clients in similar situations to yourself. So ask your lawyer how much of their practice is dedicated to criminal defense and how many years of experience they have with criminal cases. Although there is no magic number, a criminal defense attorney with over 10 years of experience will most likely be familiar with navigating through criminal courts while staying up to date with the current criminal laws. To really make sure you’re getting the best criminal defense attorney fighting for you, ask the right questions to find an attorney experienced with the kind of charge you are facing.
The Law Offices of EJ Stopyro have over 14 years of experience in assault and battery, domestic violence, criminal threats, drug crimes defense, hit and run, theft crimes, resisting arrest, and more. Browse through our practice areas to learn more.
2. How much do you know about the court I’ll be going to?
Not only do you want an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense, but also someone who is knowledgeable about the local area. An attorney with local knowledge is important because he or she will be familiar with the court you’ll be going to and more likely to know the local prosecutors and judges. This can help because certain judges may be more strict or flexible when it comes to particular cases or laws so being aware of their tendencies beforehand can be advantageous. Further, ask your attorney about his or her experience with state and federal cases, depending on your charge, as the state and federal court systems follow different laws and procedures.
3. How much will this cost?
Many people don’t like asking this question up front, but talking about how much your potential attorney will charge you can prevent disputes in the future. Knowing the rates ahead of time can also help you choose your attorney. Ultimately, you want a high-quality attorney who charges fair rates within your budget. Ask whether your attorney will charge you an hourly or flat rate. With hourly rates, attorneys charge for the actual time spent working on the case, whereas flat-rate fees are a set amount of money for your case regardless of the hours spent. Many criminal defense attorneys charge flat rates, but it’s important to ask what exactly the flat rate covers and whether there will be any additional charges.
4. What defenses do I have?
Another way to help you decide if a potential attorney is right for you is to take advantage of free consultations. A good criminal defense attorney will offer prospective clients a free consultation. This is a great opportunity for you to get a feel for the attorney and see whether or not you will work well together. Think of the free consultation as a test-run and get your questions answered without feeling obligated to hire the attorney. To make the most out of your consultation, prepare a list of questions to ask and bring all the necessary paperwork.
At The Law Offices of EJ Stopyro, free, confidential consultations are offered and encouraged. Mr. Stopyro will be happy to explain the charges, court process, and review the facts of your case for any possible defenses, procedural defects, or mitigation.
5. Who will be responsible for my case?
Although you may get along really well with the attorney from your free consultation, this may not be the lawyer working on your case. So ask ahead of time who will be responsible for your case every step of the way. This is especially important for law firms with multiple attorneys. Criminal cases can have life-changing results, so you want an attorney you can trust.
EJ Stopyro takes pride in handling each case personally. At our office, your case will not be “handed off” to an inexperienced junior Orange County criminal defense lawyer. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of legal representation and achieving the best possible result.
Need a criminal defense attorney? Don’t delay and call E.J. Stopyro today!