Our Approach to Criminal Defense in Southern California
Our firm founder Gregory D. Brenner is one of Los Angeles County’s best-known criminal defense attorneys. Before opening our law firm, he served as a public defender and has stood up for the rights of clients in courtrooms throughout Southern California for years. He is a compassionate, fair and honest advocate whose pugnacious spirit assists him in his fight to protect the rights of his clients. He provides the following information as a public service to those with questions about California criminal law and procedure. For specific information about a case please contact us today for a free initial consultation. For immediate assistance call our offices in Beverly Hills at 310-273-9050.
Do I need Counsel?
I can’t count the number of times over the course of my career that I’ve been in a courtroom and watched on as a defendant represented him or her self. They always have that same helpless look on their face which is no wonder since they have absolutely no idea what is really going on. They have no idea what impact their actions will have on their life. Please remember this: ONLY an attorney knows whether or not YOU need counsel. It really is not a decision you should be making on your own. A good advocate will tell you when representation is necessary and when it isn’t. When in doubt, seek the advice of a competent and trustworthy attorney. Yes, there actually is such a thing.
But I’m Not Guilty
Being innocent doesn’t mean you won’t still be charged and convicted of a crime. Our criminal justice system is very flawed. Innocent people get convicted every day. The truth doesn’t always come out. Justice often is not done. Police and prosecutors are human. Some are good. Some are bad. All of them make mistakes! You need an aggressive and experienced lawyer who understands the system and who will make sure that the evidence is presented fairly. You need an attorney who is able to say, “Wait a minute. This is wrong. Let me show you what’s really going on here.” You need an attorney who is not going to be bullied by some judge, prosecutor, or cop. You have rights that need protection. A good advocate will protect you and your rights to the fullest no matter what obstacles are thrown in front of him or her.
Talking to the Cops
Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.Generally, this is not a good idea. Many cases are made by the police only because the defendant chose to speak to them. You should not talk to the police and you should not put any statement in writing before consulting with a lawyer.
It’s a fact, police are permitted to use deceptive tactics and lies in order to get a person to say certain things. In many cases, those “certain things” make the prosecutor’s case. You should always consult an attorney before speaking with the police. The best scenario is to have counsel with you during all police encounters.
No Charges Filed
Charges get filed all the time that should not be. Police make errors. Prosecutors make errors. It happens. The time before charges are filed is a really important time. Most people don’t understand this. Having an attorney who can make sure that all favorable evidence gets preserved and investigated in a timely fashion is worth its weight in gold. Police and prosecutors are capable of being persuaded. You must have a lawyer who is capable of getting their attention. More important, you need an attorney who can persuasively communicate all mitigating information. A lot of this stuff is simply people skills. You NEED to have a defense lawyer with these skills. You’d be surprised at how few actually do.
Once charges have been filed, it is imperative to have counsel who is able to look at the state of the evidence and correctly determine whether the prosecutor can actually prove his or her case. You want to have a lawyer who will actually sit down with the prosecutor and present your version if it is appropriate to do so. You would be surprised to learn how many defense attorneys never do this. A simple meeting or phone conversation with the right person can result in the dismissal of all or a portion of your case.
If it is determined that the evidence against you is too strong to obtain a dismissal of charges, you have to have an attorney who is able to correctly determine whether a trial is in your best interest or whether a negotiated plea is. The more experienced an attorney is, the better equipped he or she is to make such a crucial decision.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can often get an offer for a client that is simply too good to pass up. You have to have an advocate with strong negotiation skills. Negotiation is an art. Hire an artist! Using private investigators and experts is often necessary to properly examine the prosecution’s evidence. Remember, the attorney you choose to hire is the one who will be responsible for choosing these people. Your attorney must know and use top quality investigators and experts in specialized areas such as forensics, psychiatry, DNA, ballistics, and fingerprints.
You would be surprised in the power of the pen. You need a lawyer with strong writing skills. Pre-trial motions are often necessary to get a dismissal or a better disposition.
Once a decision has been made to go to trial, you need an attorney with the experience and knowledge to effectively develop your case in order to persuade a jury that there is a reasonable doubt as to your guilt. Having counsel with the ability to argue effectively is critical.
To learn more about criminal defense and procedure in California please contact the Law Offices Of Gregory D. Brenner today. For immediate assistance call us toll-free at 1-877-273-9050 or locally in Beverly Hills at 310-273-9050.