How to Retain a Criminal Lawyer While in Jail in California
When you get arrested and taken to the county jail, you’ll feel alone and scared. All you’re going to want to do is see your family and deal with the arrest another time. Unfortunately, the arrest is real and it has to be dealt with immediately. The good news is that you can call a defense lawyer in California from the jail. Just like they show on television, you do get one phone call from jail. The problem is that you likely don’t have an attorney’s phone number handy. Your only option will be to call your family and ask them to get in touch with our office so we can come to the jail and find out what’s going on.
You Will Likely Go to Jail for a Little While
If you get arrested for something minor, like driving on an expired license, you may be able to pay bail and get out of jail within an hour or two. However, if you’re arrested for something more serious, you’ll likely have to spend at least a night in jail. If you get arrested on the weekend, you may have to wait until Monday when the judge is in his office to sign off on bail. The only thing you can do is stay calm and wait it out. Once your family gets in touch with a defense lawyer in California, they’ll do what they have to do to get you out on bail.
You May Not Be Able to Get in Touch with an Attorney from Jail
As mentioned earlier, the odds of you having a defense lawyer in California’s phone number in your cell phone are slim. The officers aren’t going to let you take time to google lawyers. You certainly won’t have time to check to make sure they’re a good attorney. That’s why it may be a good idea to call your family and ask them to do some legwork until they find an attorney they trust. You don’t want to hire an incompetent attorney because you didn’t have time to search for a seasoned defense lawyer in California.
You’ll Want a Defense Lawyer in California to Attend Your First Hearing
The major reason you’ll want to retain a defense lawyer in California as soon as possible is so they can do two things. First, you’ll want them to arrange bail for you. They can work with the prosecutor and the judge to get you out of jail quickly. They can also refer your family to a bail bondsman if necessary. The second thing they’ll do is attend the first appearance, also known as the arraignment, in court with you. This is where you must tell the judge and the court how you plead. You don’t want to handle this yourself and plead guilty without legal advice. You may be so scared and desperate to put things behind you that you agree to an unfair plea bargain. Let your attorney handle this for you.
You’ll Have to Formally Retain Your Defense Lawyer in California
Your family can call and help get a defense lawyer in California involved. However, you’ll have to retain them. Until you sign a contract, your attorney is not technically handling your case. You’ll also have to pay your attorney what the retainer is. For any case that involves possible jail time and excessive fines, the retainer will be rather significant. Make sure you and your family discuss this immediately. For now, if you have any questions or need an attorney, you should call our office and talk to one of our administrative staff.