Best Sacramento Criminal Lawyers

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney in Sacramento

Getting arrested or charged with a crime in Sacramento can be a scary and confusing experience. The consequences you’re facing – from steep fines to years behind bars – could damage your life forever. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to protect your rights.

But not all attorneys are created equal. You need someone who knows the ins and outs of Sacramento’s court system and has a proven track record of getting charges reduced or dismissed. Here’s what to look for when hiring a criminal lawyer in Sacramento:

Look for Substantial Local Experience

The ideal criminal defense attorney will have extensive firsthand experience practicing in Sacramento courts. They’ll be familiar with the district attorneys, judges, and unique procedures in Sacramento. An out-of-town lawyer who sends younger associates to handle local cases just won’t measure up.

For example, attorney Jonathan Gonzales is a former police officer who began his career in Northern California. After attending California State University, Chico, he opened his own firm in Sacramento. Gonzales has an undefeated trial record over the past four years and has successfully defended clients against charges ranging from DUIs to homicide.

Check Credentials and Awards

Look for lawyers who have received prestigious awards or recognition from legal organizations. For instance, attorney Chris Parkhurst holds the elite Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating and has been named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California. These honors are only given to the top echelon of attorneys.

Ask About Courtroom Experience

Make sure any lawyer you consider has extensive first-chair trial experience. There’s no substitute for the skills honed by regularly appearing in court and litigating cases before judges and juries. Beware attorneys who plead out most of their cases instead of being willing to take them to trial if needed.

For example, Parkhurst says he is in Sacramento courts defending clients every single day they are open. He has a proven ability to get charges dismissed pre-trial but also excels in the courtroom if necessary.

Consider Their Negotiation Skills

Even if you hope to avoid trial, your lawyer’s negotiation abilities are crucial. An experienced Sacramento criminal attorney will know how to work with prosecutors to get charges reduced or dismissed through plea bargains and pre-trial negotiations. They’ll also know which arguments are most likely to sway judges at sentencing.

Review Their Case Results

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to evaluating a criminal lawyer in Sacramento. Be sure to ask about their past case results and client testimonials. Have they won dismissals for clients facing similar charges to yours? Do clients say the attorney fought tirelessly for them?

For instance, Gonzales Law Office boasts of dismissing cases involving theft, drug crimes, DUIs, domestic violence, and more. The firm’s clients praise the attorneys for being caring yet aggressive.

Consider Their Resources

The top criminal defense firms have robust resources they can leverage for clients. That includes experienced investigators who can help build your defense by interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and more. Some firms also work with forensic experts who can discredit prosecution arguments.

For example, Gonzales Law Office partners with licensed private investigator Robert Hessee to build airtight cases for clients. Meanwhile, Parkhurst has funded expert witnesses himself when needed to protect clients.

Look for Empathy and Passion

This is your life and reputation on the line, so you want an attorney who truly cares and will fight with passion. The best criminal lawyers see you as more than a paycheck and will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

For instance, clients say Parkhurst is extremely dedicated to them even outside regular business hours. He’s known for visiting clients in jail late at night to ensure they feel supported.

Check Their Accessibility

You need a lawyer who will be readily available to answer your questions and concerns. Beware attorneys who are difficult to get ahold of or pass you off to assistants instead of handling matters themselves.

Top criminal attorneys like Gonzales and Parkhurst make themselves available around the clock. Their personal cell phone numbers are provided so clients can reach them anytime.

Don’t Choose Based on Price Alone

While everyone has budget constraints, you don’t want to choose an attorney solely because they’re the cheapest option. The saying “you get what you pay for” is often true when hiring a criminal lawyer.

Instead, look for someone who offers excellent value for their rates. Parkhurst Law, for example, provides elite representation that leads to case dismissals and acquittals for reasonable fees.

Trust Your Gut

Last but not least, listen to your instincts when interviewing potential Sacramento criminal defense attorneys. You need someone you feel comfortable confiding in and truly believe will fight for your best interests.

If a lawyer seems distracted, ambivalent, or rushed during your consultation, they may not devote full attention to your case. But if they listen attentively and describe specific strategies based on the details of your charges, that’s a good sign.

Act Fast to Protect Yourself

Don’t wait to retain a criminal defense lawyer after being arrested or charged in Sacramento. The sooner you have an attorney in your corner, the better.

An experienced lawyer can potentially intervene even before charges are filed. They may also be able to prevent you from making statements that are used against you later. The earliest stages of your case are when a lawyer can make the biggest difference.

So put your trust in a battle-tested Sacramento criminal attorney like Gonzales or Parkhurst. Their proven experience and devotion to clients can help ensure your charges are minimized or dismissed so you can move forward with your life.

The stakes are high, but the right lawyer by your side makes all the difference.