Being accused of committing a crime is a frightening and disorienting experience, especially if you have never been arrested and are unfamiliar with California’s criminal justice system. You and your loved ones are going through a difficult time right now, but you have an ally on your side: your criminal defense attorney.
Finding the right attorney can be difficult, but the task becomes much simpler when you know what to expect from a quality defense lawyer in California.
What to Look for in a Quality Defense Attorney After Getting Arrested in California
It goes without saying that you should expect respect and professionalism from your Ventura County criminal attorney. But what are some of the more specific traits and qualities you should look for when choosing a criminal defense lawyer in California?
- Accomplishment. A high-quality defense attorney will be able to point to an extensive history of courtroom victories and legal accomplishments, such as acquittals (verdicts of “not guilty”), case dismissals, sentence reductions, client testimonials, and professional accolades they have earned through providing superior client service — for instance, Super Lawyers listings and 10.0 Superb ratings on Avvo.
- Clarity. The justice system can be a very confusing place when you aren’t familiar with its inner workings. Unfortunately, criminal statutes, court rules, and legal forms are nearly always written using dense, jargon-packed “legalese.” This often creates a barrier to understanding, which only amplifies the intense stress and anxiety defendants already feel. Part of your attorney’s job is to simplify and clarify complicated legal concepts and court procedures so that you have a solid understanding of every detail and update in your case. Your attorney should give you clear information so that you feel comfortable making informed decisions. This brings up another important feature to expect, which is…
- Communication. The outcome of your criminal case affects the outcome of your future. You want frequent updates on the course your case is taking. A good criminal defense lawyer will stay in frequent communication by phone and email, even if it’s late at night or early on a weekend morning. He or she should be prompt and timely, never leaving you in the dark or “waiting for you to ask” before sharing important information with you.
- Empathy. A criminal case can take many months or years to resolve fully, particularly if it is a felony charge. You are going to be working very closely with your attorney for a potentially long time, so he or she needs to be a person who listens to you with compassion and treats you with dignity. In short, your Ventura County lawyer should be a person you feel you can get along with and be open with.
- Experience. Your freedom, career, reputation, and finances all hang in the balance while a criminal case is pending. You give yourself the best chance of beating the charges when you are represented by a highly experienced attorney who has personally handled the types of charges you are facing. For example, a personal injury lawyer would not be qualified to handle a criminal case, nor would a criminal lawyer who focuses only on state crimes be qualified to represent defendants who are charged with federal crimes.
- Focus. While public defenders are often highly talented and knowledgeable, they are hobbled by excessive caseloads and tight budgetary constraints, which has an impact on what they can realistically do to aid their clients. When you make the decision to hire a private criminal attorney, you should expect them to devote their full focus, attention, and resources to handling your case. That is one of the key advantages of being represented by a private firm rather than a court-appointed public defender.
Contact Our Ventura County Criminal Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation
The Ventura County criminal attorneys of Bamieh & De Smeth have more than two decades of experience practicing criminal law in California. With more than 250 criminal trials behind us, we have earned a reputation for trying more cases than any other law firm in Ventura County.
Our highly skilled California defense lawyers are firmly committed to providing aggressive legal representation for defendants charged with a wide range of misdemeanor and felony offenses. We have successfully obtained sentence reductions and case dismissals for clients charged with:
- Assault and Violent Crimes
- Drug Crimes
- Homicide (Murder, Manslaughter)
- Sex Crimes
- Theft, Robbery, and Burglary
- White Collar Crimes (Financial Crimes)
We offer free initial consultations, and will always keep your information confidential. We will answer your questions in a clear and straightforward manner while helping you understand your rights, responsibilities, and the legal options that may be available to you and your family. We’re also happy to supply you with a free copy of our guide to hiring the right criminal defense attorney.
To schedule your free legal consultation with Bamieh & De Smeth, call our law offices any time at (310) 853-8341, including nights and weekends. We proudly serve communities throughout and around Ventura County, including but not limited to Bell Canyon, Camarillo, Casa Conejo, Channel Islands Beach, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Piru, Port Hueneme, Santa Barbara, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks.