Nobody looks for a criminal defense attorney unless they are in trouble. Since you are in trouble, my initial advice is: Do not talk to ANYONE about your case, ESPECIALLY THE POLICE OR THE PROSECUTOR.
A casual comment to a friend may be construed as an admission. Remember, the police and prosecutor are OUT TO GET YOU. They don’t need to read you your rights, unless you are under arrest, even when they intend to arrest you as soon as you’re done talking. So, that chummy police officer or district attorney investigator who pretends to be your friend, offering you an opportunity to “tell your side of the story,” is not trying help you, but is trying to get you to dig yourself into a hole you can’t get out of. Indeed, you are probably being recorded, and everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. As soon as they start questioning, tell them that you do not want to talk with them without your lawyer present, and refuse to talk. If you have been arrested, say: “I WANT MY LAWYER,” loud and clear. Do not try to talk yourself out of it.
If you don’t want to go to prison, do not talk to anyone, EXCEPT ME! You can call me, and everything you say is protected by attorney-client privilege. You have someone to talk to about all of your concerns. I will listen to you, provide you with support, and give you a free legal consultation.
If you retain me, and you have been charged, I will appear with you at your arraignment, where I will enter a plea of “not guilty” on your behalf. I may or may not assert your speedy trial rights, depending on the circumstances. These are rights that can accelerate the legal process.
Next, I will obtain and review the police reports, audio and video recordings, etc. We may also start our own investigation. After talking with you and reviewing the “discovery,” I will be in a position to determine if I can get the case thrown out because the prosecution overlooked something demonstrating your innocence. I will also be in a position to determine whether the police violated your constitutional rights in a manner that will result in evidence being suppressed or the case being dismissed through “motions.” Some motions can be made immediately, but many are made at the “preliminary hearing.”
The preliminary hearing is a court hearing where the prosecution presents its case to a judge to determine if there is probable cause to continue with the case. If the prosecution has no evidence, the case is thrown out. This frequently occurs when the police have illegally obtained evidence against you, have fabricated evidence, have coerced a confession, have entrapped you, or have violated Miranda. The preliminary hearing gives us an opportunity to get the case dismissed based on these and many other grounds. It also gives me an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses presented by the prosecution to establish inconsistencies and test their credibility.
If your case is not dismissed, it proceeds toward trial. In the meantime, more motions may be made, our investigation is ongoing, and we may have retained experts to evaluate different aspects of the case. We may be in negotiation with the prosecution to resolve the case with an outcome that is acceptable to you, or we may be preparing for trial, or both.
I prepare for trial in a scorched-earth manner, where every legal and factual theory is carefully examined in order to maximize the potential for success at trial. Nothing is left to chance. I have been trying cases before juries for over 30 years. I love practicing law, and I love trials! I know of no one who has a more successful track record than me at trial or, for that matter, through motions.