As if getting arrested for a crime wasn’t already stressful, now you have to go through the additional stress of finding a San Francisco criminal attorney. Sometimes this process is every bit as difficult as the arrest was. The trick is to stay calm and use you common sense.
Don’t fall into the thought process that just because you are planning on pleading guilty that you don’t need a criminal lawyer. There are several nuances to the San Francisco justice system and having a lawyer by you side will go a long ways towards ensuring that you are given a fair penalty and that none of your rights are violated during the process. Another perk to having a lawyer on your side is that they can answer any questions you might not be comfortable asking the judges or anyone else involved in your case. The rule of thumb is that it is always better to have a lawyer and not need them, than to not have one in a pinch.
One option that is always available to people who have been charged with a crime is the services of a public defender. This is a lawyer that the court hires to help guide defendants through the justice system. Most of the court appointed attorneys in San Francisco are young and have taken the position of public defender in order to gain both experience and resources before they go to work in private firms.
Since most public defenders are lacking mileage, if people can afford it, they usually hire a private criminal attorney. First they have to find one. Even if none of your friends or family members have never needed the services of a criminal lawyer, they probably know one, or know someone who does. You will also find a list of lawyers in the phone book.
The last thing you should do is hire the first lawyer you speak to. You are going to want to meet with a few of them so that you can choose the one which seems best equipped to handle your case. If the lawyer says that you will win your case, you should start looking for another attorney. There are too many variables in criminal law for a lawyer to guarantee a win.
The lawyer you hire should be able to look at your case and be able to give you a reasonable idea of your chances of successfully beating the charges. They should also be able to tell what to expect when and if you case goes to court. The lawyer should be basing their thoughts on similar cases they have previously tried.
Don’t be surprised if the lawyer you are about to hire asks you to pay their retainer right away. Lawyers know that they are expensive just like they know that if their client is found guilty they are a lot less likely to pay, than if they beat the charges. The lawyer should also provide you examples of how they will be spending the retainer.
When you use your common sense, you will find that there is a San Francisco criminal attorney who is perfect for you. Your upcoming days largely depend on this person. Choose your attorney carefully!