4 Qualities To Look For When Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a crime, finding a private criminal defense attorney best suited for you and your case is essential if you want a favorable outcome. There are thousands of lawyers practicing or claiming to practice criminal defense but like any other profession, there are stark differences in ability, experience, demeanor and success.

Exclusive Practice Area

A number of attorneys practice different areas of the law. It is not unusual for a firm to have lawyers who practice in such areas as personal injury, family law, criminal defense, and employment law while doing the occasional probate case.

While many are quite competent for small matters, having an attorney who specializes in one area of the law is always preferable to a general practitioner.

Specializing in criminal defense allows an attorney to become very familiar with the judges and prosecutors in the courts they frequent.

A specialist keeps the prosecutors and judges on notice that motions will be filed, sound and compelling arguments made and that any errors will be exploited to the attorney’s advantage, often forcing a judge to issue rulings that favor the defendant.

Changes In The Law

Specialists also keep abreast and are keenly aware of significant and relevant rulings in  cases similar to yours that set precedent or in changes in the law that can affect how your case is to be approached.

Experience Representing People with Specific Crimes

Another aspect of retaining a criminal defense specialist is finding one who has extensive experience representing people accused of specific types of crimes.

This includes an attorney who handles primarily white collar crimes such as bank fraud, blackmail, computer fraud, counterfeiting or securities fraud. Others may focus only on drug crimes including trafficking, conspiracy, and manufacturing.

There are specialists who mainly represent those accused of sex crimes or focus exclusively on DUI matters.

Advantage of Specialists

The advantage of specialists who represent people accused of specific crimes is that they are intimately familiar with the elements of the crime, in how to raise reasonable doubt in any of them, how trials in these cases are usually conducted and what defenses are most compatible with the facts and circumstances of your case.

In many white-collar crimes, familiarity with federal laws and regulations and how they apply to your case and which could offer a defense might easily escape the attention of a practitioner who only occasionally handles such matters.

If you have a DUI case, you want an attorney who can competently challenge blood or breath test results, present defenses that are relevant to your case, examine how the investigation was conducted and will exploit to your advantage any errors police officers might have made before, during or after your arrest.

Knowing The Prosecutor And/Or Judge

Understanding a prosecutor or judge’s particular abilities or views on certain types of cases and what alternative dispositions may be raised that a court will accept is very valuable.

Also, courts follow sentencing guidelines for particular cases but may depart from them if certain factors are present including deviating downward if mitigating circumstances are present.

Your attorney can discuss this with you as well as the Judicial Counsel Rules relating to felony sentencing, what realignment means for your sentence and potential sentencing options.

Membership in Criminal Defense Organizations

While it is not required that attorneys join or become members of legal organizations in their field of practice, doing so implies that the specialist is committed to keeping abreast of the latest rulings and developments. There are local, state and national criminal defense organizations where members meet, review and discuss current rulings and legislative changes. These organizations also lobby for changes in the law to ensure fairness and greater accessibility for defendants to obtain the best possible representation.

California also offers legal specialization in criminal law or board certification. Attorneys need to meet experience and education requirements in these areas before being qualified to take an examination. A specialist who is board certified is recognized as having special knowledge, skills, and proficiency in this area as well as peer acknowledgment. Board certification is one measure of the lawyer’s reputation for ethical behavior, character, and professionalism.

Choosing a criminal defense specialist who is an active member of various defense organizations assures you that the attorney is serious about his or her craft and is dedicated to representing you while utilizing the most recent case rulings and legislation that can affect how your case is handled.

Below are of a few of the most prestigious criminal defense and DUI organizations both in the country and state of California

Comfort and Trust with Your Attorney

People who feel comfortable and who trust their doctor often receive the best care and are more healthy since they are more inclined to follow advice, ask questions and seek treatment when certain symptoms appear. It is no less important that you feel the same way about your criminal defense specialist.

In criminal cases, there is little else that many criminal clients think about while their matter proceeds through the criminal system. With possible incarceration looming, evidence possibly linking you to the crime being considered and the consequences to your future in the balance, your attorney may be the most important individual in your life at this time.


You will want an attorney who can empathize with your circumstances and who is upfront and honest with you regarding the incriminating as well as exculpatory evidence in your matter and your opportunity for a favorable disposition.

Attorneys who understand the human elements and emotions in a case are the ones who are comforting and who will do all within their power and ability to provide you the best available defenses suited to your case,

Next Steps If You Need Help

If you have been arrested and would like to learn more about how attorneys charge.

If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.

If you would like to discuss a pending case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-351-9555 for a free confidential consultation.

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