Criminal lawyers in Vista are often asked the same questions over and over. While many of these have been answered in our series on the most common DUI questions, our article on common domestic violence FAQs, and questions about the three strikes law, there are still more questions not covered in these articles as well. Here are a few of those most common questions.
Am I Better Off With a Public Defender or Private Vista Defense Attorney?
We already covered this to some extent when discussing whether you really need to hire a criminal lawyer in Vista, but since it comes up so often, it’s reiterating here. The important thing to recognize is that only those who cannot afford a lawyer are provided a public defender. If you aren’t experiencing financial hardships, you will either need to hire a lawyer or go without one, which is absolutely not a good choice.
If you have the option of getting a public defender, you should know that while many people mistakenly believe public attorneys aren’t as good as private ones, that’s really a myth. A hardworking lawyer dedicated to your case will help you whether he is part of the public defender’s office or a privately-hired lawyer. Unfortunately though, you cannot be assigned a public defender until you have been charged with a crime. If you are under investigation, a criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and this can make a major difference in helping you fight the charges if they are filed. A public defender cannot help you with this stage of the process since they cannot be assigned until after the charges are filed.
What’s the Difference Between an Infraction, Misdemeanor or Felony?
An infraction is something that you will get ticketed for, requiring you to pay a fine, for example, when you get a traffic ticket. A misdemeanor is a charge that can leave you in jail and can carry a sentence of no more than one year and $1,000. Felonies are the most serious criminal charges and can result in prison time.
How Can You Defend Someone You Know is Guilty?
This seems to be something everyone wants to ask criminal defense attorneys as soon as they meet them. Lawyers need to vigorously defend everyone, including the guilty, to ensure the government doesn’t convict people without solid evidence. Otherwise it would result in the innocent being snared in the system. The guilty are also entitled to a fair process which includes a just sentence and a lawyer fighting for their rights. Criminal lawyers are upholding these rights enshrined in our Constitution.
It’s also worth noting that, contrary to popular belief, a lawyer cannot ask a client to take the stand if he knows that person plans to lie. So even if an attorney knows the client is guilty, he cannot help that person commit perjury on the stand.
Can You Help With My Divorce/Lawsuit/Bankruptcy?
No. Just like a pediatrician wouldn’t be the right person to ask to perform anesthesia, lawyers specialize in certain fields and do not switch from one area to the other. A criminal lawyer is not the right person to offer legal advice for any other area of the law.
Have more questions? Vista criminal attorney Peter M. Liss can help. Simply call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Creative Commons Image by Milos Milosevic