How to Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer for You?

Posted by Ronald D. HeddingOct 10, 2022

This is a question that I'm sure is on many people's minds that are charged with a crime.  Whether you're charged in Los Angeles or anywhere in the country, you want to find the best possible criminal defense attorney.

How to Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer

I understand this because there's a lot on the line.  You probably lost control in the sense that you don't know what is going to happen with your case. 

The best attorney must have a skill set that gives them a lot of experience, having done criminal cases for many years and having a lot of local experience in the local courts

You want to get a champion to help you with an uncertain future.  The query here is that the best criminal defense attorney has to be with you, which is essential. 

Some people like to bargain shop, and I understand that, but you want the best defense lawyer. That's why you've done this query. 

There are certainly some general things you want to look for, but I think the best and most important thing in choosing a criminal defense attorney is somebody you feel comfortable with. 

So, you must sit down and meet with that person. Talk to them. Come in with some questions and get a feel for what they're saying:

  • Do they seem sincere?
  • Do you seem like they know what they're talking about?
  • Does it seem like they will try to help you and do the best job for you?

The first criteria I would look for is feeling comfortable with the attorney.  Let's examine this topic closer below.

Why is a Local Criminal Lawyer with Experience Important?

The next thing to look for is someone sitting in a position to help you.  What I mean by that is you want to try to get somebody, especially if you have to negotiate your case, that is, someone local and familiar with the courthouse in which your case is pending because that attorney will have to deal with the prosecute and judge.

Having somebody who has traveled the road in that courthouse is essential and makes much sense. The next thing I would look at, and it's more of general criteria, is experience and knowledge in the area you find yourself in. 

What I mean by that is, if you're charged with a sex crime, you want an attorney with experience dealing with your exact situation.  So, when you go meet with the attorneys, have questions about that:

  • Have you handled these types of cases before?
  • What are you usually looking at in deciding whether to take the case to trial or negotiate?
  • If you've already decided that your case will be negotiated, what success has the attorney had in negotiating with this prosecutor and with this judge in this courthouse?

So, look for someone with local experience who also understands the type of crime that you're charged with. 

What Are the Most Common California Crimes?

  • Vehicle Code 23152 PC – driving under the influence,
  • Vehicle Code 23153 VC – DUI causing injury,
  • Vehicle Code 23103 PC – reckless driving,
  • Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC – domestic battery,
  • Penal Code 273.6 PC – violation of restraining order,
  • Penal Code 211 PC – robbery,
  • Penal Code 311.1 PC – child pornography,
  • Penal Code 261.5 PC – statutory rape,
  • Penal Code 288 PC – lewd acts with a minor,
  • Penal Code 459 PC – burglary,
  • Penal Code 496 PC – receiving stolen property,
  • Penal Code 273.5 PC – corporal injury to a spouse,
  • Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC – assault with a deadly weapon
  • Penal Code 422 PC – criminal threats,
  • Penal Code 245(a)(2) – assault with a firearm,
  • Penal Code 32 PC – accessory after the fact,
  • Penal Code 271 PC – child endangerment,
  • Penal Code 415 PC – disturbing the peace.
  • Penal Code 602 PC – trespassing,
  • Penal Code 647 PC– disorderly conduct,
  • Penal Code 647(f) PC – public Intoxication,
  • Health and Safety Code 11350 HS – drug possession.

Criminal Attorney with a Well-Rounded Portfolio

The final thing I would say on this topic, as it relates to choosing the best criminal defense attorney, is that you want an attorney with a well-rounded portfolio.

Best Criminal Attorney in California

If I had a criminal case, I would never hire somebody who has been a prosecutor most of their career and switched to criminal defense because that person's perspective is very narrow.

They've usually been fighting with a whole cache of weapons as a prosecutor with the State behind them, money, police, and most of the judges being former prosecutors.

Me, I certainly would want somebody well-rounded who had experience in the prosecution's office, but I would wish that most of their experience be as a criminal defense attorney defending people just like me.

Having to be put in the position of battling it out for your client when the odds are against you – figuring out what it takes to get the best result for your client.

This, to me, is probably the most important criteria. Now, since I've given you these powerful tips on how to choose a criminal defense attorney, and since every word on this website was written by me, and the videos are me, and I write the books, I'm going tell you why I am the best for you:

  • I worked for the District Attorney's office in the early 1990s in east Los Angeles; before I became a criminal defense attorney:
  • I worked for a Superior Court judge as his right-hand man helping him craft his decisions in cases and working directly with the judge to get that perspective;
  • In 1994, I put out my shingle as a criminal defense attorney and have defended people like you.

I also worked for the state Bar JENI commission tasked to investigate and help the governor choose judges for the great state of California.  So, you can see that I've got much experience.  I've handled thousands of cases. If you want the best, pick up the phone and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you.