1. Find a California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
The California State Bar offers all Lawyers the ability to become a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. The problem is that to become one you have to be qualified, pass your Board Examination and be throughly reviewed by Judges, Piers and an Independent Board. It is not easy and few have the qualifications to become certified. That is why in out of 225,000 attorneys in California only 300 or so are Certified Criminal Law Specialist. In Orange County there are only around 25. Most of these specialist are great lawyers and the ones to look to if you need a great lawyer. These Criminal Lawyers are all good but you are going to need more.
2. Experience Counts.
Nothing in the law can equal experience. That is why as a simple rule you should only hire a Criminal Defense Attorney that has a minimum 15 years of actual Orange County Criminal Defense Experience. Simply put you really do not want a Lawyer that is using your case to cut his teeth. It takes time to understand the nuances of Criminal Defense, especially in Orange County. Whether it is the Santa Court, Westminster Court, Fullerton Court or Newport Beach Court, you are going to want a local attorney that knows the Court well.
This is not as important in other counties but Orange County has a strong reputation for being an insiders court. You will probably be best served by an Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer with at least 15 years of practice in the very courtroom where your case will be heard. After all, when a Lawyer has been practicing that long in your specific court , it no longer is a practice - it is a part of him.
3. They Must Be Able to Win.
If you are facing the law you are going to need a Trial Lawyer that knows how to win in a Courtroom. Someone that has taken on big cases where life hung in the balance and their client is home right now because of the skill, dedication and toughness of their Criminal Defense Lawyer. So when you are looking at the Internet or talking to your prospective Criminal Lawyer - ask him if he has ever walked a client out the door on a First Degree Murder Case - That is like finding a Mountaineering Guide that has climbed Mt Everest. To win that kind of case you have to be great. Period. The bottom line is great lawyers know how to win when life is on the line, when the spot lights are in their face. And no matter how big or small your case that is the kind of Lawyer you need when you are facing the Law.
4. Hire the Lawyer you actually hire.
When you call a Law Office looking for the person you saw in the ad on the Internet you expect that that person is the one that will be in Court fighting for you. But this sadly is not always the case. Many Internet lawyers look great on the small screen but the truth is that they are marketing lawyers who lend their names and faces to a network of other younger and inexperienced lawyer. This means they can pretend to charge you less and give you the same experience you really need. They will dazzle you with terms like "Case Worker" or "Team of Lawyers" when what they are really saying is we pass our cases off to our own type of low level office bureacrats who have neither the experience or personal touch you really need.
Please do not fall for this type of nonsense. When you call a Law Office make sure the Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer you are hiring is the one that will actually handle your case in court for all proceedings.
5. Go Meet with the Lawyer.
Nothing will equal person to person contact. Pick up the phone and ask to either speak directly with the Criminal Defense Lawyer you called or to set an appointment to meet with them face to face. Every great Criminal Lawyer will offer you a Free Consultation to discuss your case. By sitting down face to face with that Lawyer you will be able to tell if this is the right Criminal Defense Attorney for your case. The best Criminal Attorneys after all not only have the experience, the credentials and contact with the court - they look the part. They really do.
While there is so much more to finding a great criminal defense lawyer, if you follow these five steps you are going to be a lot closer to having great Criminal Representation during these troubling times.
Orange County Criminal Lawyer
Huish Law Blog
Dyke Huish has been a Criminal Lawyer in the Orange Courts for over 20 years.
"Not Guilty of First Degree Murder with Special Circumstances was the rare verdict handed down by a Jury today for the client of local attorney Dyke Huish." NBC News, March 15, 2008
OC Crime Blog:
By Dyke Huish
Five Ways to Find the Best Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer.
Finding a great Criminal Defense Attorney in Orange County is not as hard as it might seem. While the law is the same County to County, there is no question that Orange County is different. The Judges are almost all Former District Attorneys and it still remains the most conservative county in the State. This is why you need to find a Criminal Defense Attorney that understands how Orange County Justice works. There is no question that there are many lawyers that have practiced in the Orange County Courts for years but that is not enough. But that alone is simply not enough. Too often lawyers get lazy and simply rely on the fact they have been around awhile. In the tough and hard nosed courts of Orange County you are going to need more. You are going to need the very best.
The Internet can make it hard to know who is good and who just has a good marketing director. But if you want a great Defense Attorney just look at these five basic rules: