I believe that as an attorney, I provide a personal service to my clients. I also believe that my duty as a San Bernardino Criminal Defense attorney is to make certain that my clients receive the best defense possible under the circumstances. This includes the following:
- You are entitled to have all of your rights asserted.
- You are entitled to have all of the evidence challenged, by whatever meritorious motion or method is available under the law.
- You are entitled to know what is being said about you.
To achieve this goal, I do the following:
- I provide you with copies of all of the reports about all of the evidence against you so that we can intelligently discuss the case and prepare a defense.
- Although often a case may be “plea bargained” in your best interests, I am willing to go to trial and fight any case on your behalf. I do not rush out to negotiate a “Plea.” That is usually the last resort.
- If you are in custody, I visit with you on a regular basis. One of the worst things that can happen to a person accused of a crime is to sit in jail and wonder what his lawyer is doing, only to find out at Court. I have seen that happen far too often, and I will not let that happen to you.
San Bernardino, California and Federal Court Criminal Justice
The criminal justice systems in California and the Federal Courts are sophisticated and often harsh. A Defendant who is not prepared for the events that take place throughout the course of the proceedings will invariably feel as though he/she has been treated unfairly. For example, in California, since the passage of “Proposition 115” (the so-called “Victim’s Bill of Rights”) a Preliminary Hearing, which follows “Arraignment,” or the entry of a plea of not guilty, is often conducted by the prosecution calling a police officer to testify who has at least five years of experience in law enforcement. This officer can then testify to what all of the witnesses saw, said, felt, smelled, and so forth. The actual witnesses are usually not called, thereby preventing the defense from having an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses prior to trial. This procedure limits the opportunities to make a determination whether a witness is being untruthful, or has a poor memory, or a bias, or even whether the testimony and reports match what the witness told the officer(s). In most cases, at the conclusion of the Preliminary Hearing the Defendant is “held to answer”, which means that the Judge makes a determination that “there is a reasonable suspicion that a public offense (a felony) has been committed, and that the Defendant may have committed it”. It is not a finding of guilt, but simply that the Judge has entertained a “reasonable suspicion” of the guilt of the accused. Once that decision is made, the case is certified to the Superior Court, and the process begins anew. The Defendant is arraigned once again, and dates for motions, pre-trial conference and Trial are set. Without a waiver of time for a speedy trial, the case is set for trial within 60 days from that arraignment. There are numerous motions that can be filed on behalf of a Defendant, which include a Motion to Dismiss, a Motion to Suppress Evidence, and a Motion for Discovery. Depending upon the nature of the crime(s) alleged, and the evidence introduced at the Preliminary Hearing, the case takes on an entirely new atmosphere in Superior Court. To say the least, things get very serious at this point–not that they were not already.
Charged with a Felony in San Bernardino, CA
Most clients charged with a serious felony are in custody throughout the course of the proceedings against them. The bail schedules are so high today, that most people cannot afford to post bail. For example, in San Bernardino County when a person is charged with murder, the bail is set at a minimum of one million dollars.
Enhancements, like use of a firearm, increase the bail. Probably most lawyers would not be able to post that amount of bail. Regardless, this is a common bail amount for that kind of crime. Persons charged with spousal abuse often have a bail of $100,000. Therefore, and most often, the client wants to get the proceedings under way quickly. Although I understand that being in custody is not the ideal situation, preparing an adequate defense often takes more time than the sixty days from arraignment in Superior Court, and some cases get continued. I make certain that my clients understand what is taking place, and why I need more time, if that is the situation. I do not stall cases just for the sake of doing so. I do not take on more cases than I can handle, as I believe that my clients would suffer because I am simply too busy to serve them competently.
Personal Injury Cases
I will gladly assist anyone in finding a personal injury lawyer to assist them with a claim for damages arising out of motorcycle or automobile accidents or any other injury arising out of the negligent conduct of others.
Civil Rights Cases
The Civil Rights cases in which I have been involved are almost always filed in the Federal Courts. These cases take a great deal of time, and involve a great deal of “costs”, including costs of depositions, expert fees, travel, and other costs, which often make these cases too expensive to litigate. My clients must agree to pay all costs of litigation. I will gladly refer you to a lawyer who may be able to handle your civil rights case if I am unable to do so, or may even associate with another lawyer for the purpose of prosecuting such a case. There are several stages in the case, the first of which is the “discovery” process. Written questions (interrogatories), written requests for documents, and depositions (where a witness is sworn before a Court Reporter and asked questions about the case) are essential elements of preparation for trial. I do not handle a high volume of these cases, either. I am very selective in the filing of such cases, as the Federal Courts are sophisticated and demanding. A violation of one’s Civil Rights is not uncommon, but whether there is a remedy available is the key to successful litigation. I usually handle these cases with an initial retainer fee being paid to me, and the balance of payment on a contingent fee basis, which means that I only get paid if we win.