What is a Criminal Defense Attorney and When Do You Need One? 

What is a Criminal Defense Attorney and When Do You Need One? A defense attorney is a specific type of attorney who defends people who have been charged with a crime. An attorney can be hired by the defendant, or appointed by the court system.

After an arrest, especially if it is the first arrest, you may be hoping the charges will go away without trouble. If you are innocent, you may think that as long as you tell the truth, you will not be convicted.

This is a dangerous belief to subscribe to, as thousands of wrongfully convicted people are serving time in prisons and jails.

How a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Following an Arrest

arrestWhen you are charged with a crime, you are facing consequences that can have an impact on your freedom, your relationships, your career, your finances, and your reputation. A criminal defense lawyer can help you protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.

At the Rodriguez Law Group, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers can help if you have been charged with any type of crime, including but not limited to:

Criminal charges can mean fines, prison time, and have the potential to change your future for years to come. You need a criminal defense attorney if you are under investigation for a crime or if you have been arrested. An attorney provides many valuable services to their clients discussed below.

Tailors a Customized Legal Defense To Your Criminal Charges

At the Rodriguez Law Group, when you hire us, we work for you. We will develop a legal strategy that is tailored to your goals, needs, and concerns. For example, if you are concerned about keeping a professional license, we will take actions to protect your legal rights in that area.

Because we are experienced in your legal issues, and in your jurisdiction, we have handled cases similar to yours before.

Although every case is different with unique facts, our experience and understanding will allow us to prepare you for all possible results of your case, both “best case” and “worst-case” scenarios.

We will identify the potential strengths and weaknesses of your case, and advise the available defenses.

Protects You and Support You from Day One – As Lawyers and as Humans

Two of the best things you can do to protect yourself are to exercise your right to remain silent and then hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Any criminal defense lawyer will advise you not to allow police to interrogate you. When you hire a lawyer, they can handle all communications for you, and shield you from nosey investigators, journalists, and media outlets.

Along with legal protections, the emotional support of having an attorney representing you can be a huge source of comfort as you are facing an uncertain future. Many people say they feel a huge burden lifted just knowing they have a lawyer on their side.

Criminal defense attorneys are not psychologists, but they are empathetic and they understand what you are dealing with. At the Rodriguez Law Group, when you hire us, our attorneys, our paralegals, and our entire staff is here to support you.

Saves You Money In the Long Run

Hiring a lawyer for a criminal case is not cheap, and your lawyer may also recommend extra add-ons, such as hiring a private investigator or expert witness. However, it is necessary to consider the costs of not hiring a lawyer, including court fees, fines, and money lost from being unable to work.

If you are facing years in prison, you could potentially lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages. Additionally, simply having a criminal record can devastate your reputation and prevent you from finding meaningful and gainful employment in the future.  

A criminal defense lawyer who is very experienced will be able to work as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. Perhaps more important than asking if you can afford a lawyer, is determining if you can afford not to have a lawyer. You can ensure the best value for your money. We offer a free consultation to answer questions about all of your concerns, including costs.

Investigates and Assesses the Merits of the Case

A criminal defense lawyer can look at the police report and immediately identify areas where further evidence may weaken a prosecution’s case. Evidence can be presented to reduce charges or get them dropped altogether. Your attorney can also advise on available defenses, such as innocence, mistake, provocation, self-defense, necessity, false confession, and alibi.

A lawyer with many years of experience handling criminal defense will be well-equipped to quickly identify procedural errors and constitutional violations that could get your charges dropped altogether.

Negotiates a Plea Bargain

An estimated 97% of criminal cases in California end in a plea bargain. There are many potential advantages of a plea bargain, such as being able to plead guilty to a misdemeanor instead of potentially being convicted of a felony. Although it is possible to reach a plea deal with prosecutors without a defense attorney, your best chance at a reasonable and fair plea bargain is with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.

A knowledgeable lawyer who regularly negotiates plea deals in local courts will be extremely familiar with the process, and will promptly confer with a prosecutor and present evidence that supports lowering charges and reducing punishments.

Professionally Handles Your Arraignment, Pre-Trial Motions, Trial, and Sentencing

If we are brought in early, we will have the opportunity to file pretrial motions which can improve your case. For example, a motion to strike in a DUI case can have the court disregard prior DUI convictions, which can mean a lighter sentence.

  • Motion to suppress evidence
  • Discovery motion (asking for evidence to be turned over)
  • Motion to change venue
  • Motion to dismiss
  • Motion to disclose identity of an informant
  • Motion to modify bail.

At the Rodriguez Law Group, we have good relationships with judges, prosecutors, and district attorneys. It is likely we’ve worked with the key players in your case before in other cases. Our reputation as being competent, ethical, and thorough puts us in the best position to advocate for our clients.

Get a Free Consultation with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

It’s important to take criminal charges seriously, and there is no better representative than a former prosecutor with many years of experience in Southern California courts. If you have been charged with a crime in Los Angeles, or know that police are investigating you for a crime, do not delay in speaking to the Rodriguez Law Group. Our attorneys are available seven days a week to discuss your case and answer your questions. Call us at (213) 204-9568 for immediate help.