F.A.Q. for Criminal Defense
No, the US constitution, as well as the Federal and State laws, do not require an individual who has been arrested to speak to the authorities. The decision of whether or not to speak to the police is a very important one and it should be evaluated with your attorney as soon as possible. Please do not make any statement to the police without first consulting me.
Many public defenders are highly passionate skilled attorneys. However, they have very high caseloads. That is, they can have over 100 cases at any given moment.
Whereas, I limit the number of cases I take on so I am able to spend a lot more time with my client for preparing the case. Time would probably be the biggest difference between hiring me and letting a public defender handle the case but it can be a big issue.
I ensure that I have plenty of time to make sure you and any interested family members are informed and up-to-date. This would often make a huge difference in making sure you are aware of everything that is happening.
At your arraignment, a few things occur.
First, I enter as the Attorney of Record for the case.
Secondly, I plead Not Guilty on your behalf.
Thirdly, we decide if we are going to “waive time” or not. That is, do we want the case heard on an expedited basis or can we set the matter out so we have a chance to negotiate the matter in a normal fashion There are occasionally some strategic advantages to not “waiving time”, but usually we will. You and I will strategize about that before the Arraignment.
In most cases, I can appear for you at the Arraignment. Most DA’s Offices in the Bay Area will provide “Discovery” at the Arraignment. Discovery is the Police Report and any documentation about the case.
Yes! Every county and every courthouse has its own way of doing things. The criminal court process in Alameda County, for example, differs significantly from the process in Contra Costa. But even within Contra Costa County, the procedures at the Martinez courthouse vary considerably from Richmond or Pittsburg.
By working day in and day out in the same places, I have developed trusting relationships with judges, prosecutors, probation officers and court staff. Moreover, I know how things work in particular courtrooms and with particular prosecuting agencies. I have learned whom to talk to, who has discretion, and the most effective ways to get the job done.
I handle all types of criminal cases. As a former Prosecutor and Public Defender, I have seen it all. I have represented individuals in over 100 DUI cases. I have multiple taken Domestic Violence cases to trial. I have had kidnapping cases, attempted murder cases and numerous other types of felonies.
F.A.Q. for Personal Injury
1. You should seek medical care as quickly as possible. Please see a doctor. If you are seriously injured take an ambulance to the Emergency Room. Injuries from car accidents are not always apparent right away. If you are feeling sore and injured the next day or a couple days later, do not hesitate to seek medical care. Please be sure to follow up and complete any recommendations your doctor gives you.
2. Do your best to obtain the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the incident. Be sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver.
3. If the police respond, be sure to get the police report number. Police officers will often (but not always) write a report about the accident. If they do you really want to get the police report number so we can obtain the report on your behalf.
4. Do not make any statements about the accident. Specifically, do not speak to an insurance company investigator or claims adjuster. Please also refrain from making any statements on social media as those could be used against you as well.
5. Please be sure to document your lost wages. That is, how much time you have to take off from work due to the accident or how much lost income you experience.
6. Please take photos of your injuries and also of the damage to your car.
7. I recommend speaking with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. I am here to assist you in any way shape or form should you need some advice in a situation like this.
In California injury cases, there are two types of damages: Economic and noneconomic. Economic damages include all expenses related to the accident or injury such as:
Medical bills, Medications, Therapy, Rehabilitation, Medical equipment, Home and vehicle modifications due to the injury, Lost wages, Car repairs.
You can also seek compensation for both past and future expenses.
Noneconomic damages cover the intangible losses that result from an accident such as pain, suffering and disfigurement. In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages meant to punish the offender and set an example for potential future offenders.