Frequently Asked Questions
If I am guilty, do I really need an attorney?
Yes. My office represents a significant number of clients who readily acknowledge
their guilt. Oftentimes, however, they are charged with additional offenses
they did not commit, subjecting them to harsh mandatory penalties disproportionate
to the crime they
did commit. In these cases, a good attorney can make a significant difference
in obtaining a probation sentence, a reduction in charges and a substantial
lessening of the severity of the punishment. You do not want to be in
the position of second-guessing yourself.
Always have an attorney.
I am in jail right now and cannot make bail. Will you come to the jail
and see me without first being hired by my family?
Yes, if you are in custody in the Vista jail (which is located a short
distance from my office) I will not charge you for an initial jail visit.
I cannot afford to pay a big retainer. Will you take payments?
It depends on the seriousness of the charges. On the less serious charges,
like misdemeanors, I can start the case for a smaller retainer and let
you make payments, but on the more serious charges, like felonies, I generally
will require a substantial retainer due to the time commitments on my
part to competently handle the case. Good lawyers are not cheap, but my
fees are not unreasonable. I will work with you.
What are the most important things I should look for in selecting an attorney?
After the attorney's level of experience and reputation within the
candor is probably one of the most important. An attorney should not promise
you more than he or she can realistically deliver. For example, clients
will typically ask me, "Will I receive custody on my case"?
On most misdemeanor cases, and in small quantity drug possession cases,
I can safely say "No", but on the great majority of felony cases
I cannot assure a prospective client that he or she will not receive any
custody without knowing more about the case. Any attorney that promises
a prospective client that he or she will not receive any custody –
when the attorney really does not know that – is doing a disservice
to the prospective client. All I can promise any prospective client is
my absolute best efforts in avoiding any custody or minimizing the amount
of potential custody. My track record speaks for itself.
Are private counsel better than the Public Defender's Office?
Most of the Public Defender's that I know are diligent and competent
attorneys and do a good job for their clients, but they usually carry
a very heavy caseload and you might not get the close personal attention
someone in private practice can provide you.
Why should I hire you as opposed to other qualified criminal defense attorneys?
I believe my level of experience and reputation in the North County legal
community is second to none. I consistently work hard to obtain the best
possible outcome for my clients, as demonstrated by the fact that past
clients refer many others to my office.