Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I hire an attorney?
A: Being arrested for a criminal matter can be devastating. Being prosecuted can be significantly worse. It is precisely at times like this where so much of what you have worked for is being threatened that you need a professional to step in and take over. Hiring a local criminal defense attorney will ensure you peace of mind that your matter is being handled by someone who is familiar with the jurisdiction and its unique practices.
Q: What should I look for in an attorney?
A: You should be considering an experienced attorney, but also you should consider the attorney's particular background. An attorney with a background in law enforcement understands exactly how cases are put together and what the District Attorney's office is considering when prosecuting. Having a background in both policing and prosecuting cases has given me great insight into mistakes that are often overlooked or not considered by attorneys with non-law enforcement backgrounds. Each attorney's background makes them uniquely situated to handle your case differently, you must decide who you feel the most comfortable with.
Q: How much does an experienced criminal defense attorney cost?
A: It is fair to say that attorney fees vary as much as their backgrounds. At Wilfert Law, P.C., we charge reasonable rates which we can usually relay during the initial consultation often over the phone. We understand that no one expects or anticipates the hardship that comes with being arrested or having a loved one arrested and try to make every accommodation possible including offering payment plans and even accepting most major credit cards.
Q: When should I hire an attorney?
A: Absolutely as soon as possible! Any attorney you speak with will attempt to make it clear that the sooner he or she is retained, the sooner he or she is able to step into your shoes and begin protecting your rights. Realize this: by not hiring your attorney as early as possible, you handcuff his effectiveness in getting the case dismissed or in negotiating with the prosecution.
Often you limit his ability to effectively investigate the case and provide you with an effective defense. In a perfect world, I would want to be retained immediately so that I could immediately begin evaluating the police reports and tape-recorded interviews and have an investigator assist in preparing your defense while the District Attorney's Office is still evaluating prosecuting. With an aggressive early defense, I have found that it is possible to provide the filing Deputy the additional evidence he needs to make the correct filing decision- a “non-file” or “rejection” of the arrest.
Q: How are you different from other attorneys?
A: Every defense attorney comes from a unique background. I have been trained in just about every aspect of investigating a case at the street level. I have investigated thousands of criminal matters determining in certain cases that an arrest was appropriate while in others that an arrest was not the just outcome. I have “street level” experience that other attorneys do not.
I have also prosecuted cases for the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, very likely the same office you are now facing. I know how they make filing decisions, what facts they value and what they reject. I personally filed hundreds of cases for that office and rejected nearly as many after carefully evaluating the evidence provided by the police departments when they submitted the matters pre- and post- arrest.