If you live in the Kern County district area and are accused of a crime there, don’t put your freedom and resources at risk. You will need the services of a Kern County California criminal defense law firm with a record of success in criminal cases, and a criminal defense lawyer who effectively navigates clients through the often-confusing California judicial system.
At Strongest Defense, our Kern County lawyers recognize that the aftermath of an arrest can be very daunting. Our law firm has handled criminal defense cases for nearly three decades, providing clients with the staunch legal services they deserve. We are a full-service criminal defense law firm in Ventura County and throughout California, helping clients who are facing felony and misdemeanor criminal charges.
Our criminal defense attorney understands that just because you’ve been charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty or should be treated as a criminal. Our first priority is to safeguard your freedom, keep you out of prison, save you from having a criminal record, and get you back to work and your obligations as quickly as possible. Contact our Kern County California criminal defense law firm now and schedule a free case evaluation!
Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Kern County, California?
If you already know how important it is to have a good attorney while facing a criminal case, the next step is to find the best criminal defense attorney to help you. Not all attorneys are created equal, and choosing the right one could make all the difference in putting up the strongest defense case possible.
Taking the effort to choose the best defense attorney will guarantee that you are represented in the best possible light in Kern County court. Although choosing a lawyer can be overwhelming, especially when faced with the ramifications of a criminal charge, it is perhaps one of the most important steps throughout the entire case. Here are some tips on what to look for in a criminal defense attorney.
The Advantage of Choosing Local
A defendant should endeavor to get legal services from a lawyer who is familiar with the Kern County court where the defendant’s case is being held. Though the same laws apply across a state, procedures differ from one courtroom to another. For instance, the District Attorney in one county may have a no-plea-bargaining policy for a certain crime, while the District Attorney in a nearby county may not have such a policy. Alternatively, defense attorneys in one county may be aware of which prosecutors are more inclined to plead shortly before trial, as opposed to those who will negotiate in advance. Local lawyers are also familiar with the police officers and how they perform in front of juries.
Experience with the Charged Crimes
A defendant should also seek the representation of an attorney who has previously defended clients charged with the same or very similar crime. Because modern criminal law is very complex, many attorneys specialize in certain types of crime. One attorney may specialize in drunk driving, another in drug-related crimes, while another attorney in white collar crime (usually referring to nonviolent, money-related crimes like tax fraud or financial embezzlement).
It is totally appropriate for a defendant to ask about the attorney’s experience at the initial consultation. A defendant should not choose a lawyer who refuses to disclose their experience in detail or who provides vague, unrevealing responses.
Case in point: Zach Michaels, who has been arrested for DUI (drunk driving).
Zach may ask the lawyer he’s considering hiring the following questions:
- “Have you represented anybody accused of drunk driving?”
- “How much of your practice involves representing clients accused of drunk driving?”
- “Do you have certification as a specialist in DUI cases?” (Some states allow attorneys to qualify as specialists in specific areas of practice; others do not.)
- “How much of your practice entails appearing in the Kern County court to which my case will be assigned?”
- Since most private attorneys have years of experience in criminal law, either as a prosecutor or as a Public Defender. A defendant should not have to compromise quality in order to find an attorney who has local experience with their type of case.
The Personal Factor
A defendant’s lawyer acts as the defendant’s spokesperson throughout legal proceedings. Regardless of how highly regarded a lawyer is, it is equally important that the defendant be personally comfortable with the lawyer. The best attorney client relationship is one in which the client is a full partner in decision-making. Defendants should try to find lawyers who see them as partners, not just as a case file.
Defendants should consider the following questions when deciding whether to choose a particular lawyer:
- “Does this attorney feel like someone with whom I can work with and communicate freely?”
- “Does this lawyer explain things to me in a manner that I understand?”
- “Does this lawyer demonstrate personal concern as well as a sincere desire to help?”
- “Does this lawyer’s concern extend beyond the crime I’m charged with?”
- “Does this lawyer seem to be the kind of person who will instill confidence in judges, prosecutors, and, if needed, jurors?”
Is it Better to Hire a Private Attorney than a Court-Appointed Attorney?
Defendants may assume that a private attorney has a unique advantage over the overloaded public defender or panel attorneys who get paid a small fee. But do private attorneys actually provide superior representation compared to government-paid court-appointed defense counsel?
Many private attorneys have previously worked as public defenders or prosecutors. According to statistics from research comparing the outcomes of having a private vs court-appointed attorney, the results for defendants are mostly the same.
According to one research, defendants represented by private counsel and public defenders performed equally in terms of sentencing and conviction rates (however those represented by panel attorneys had it worse). Because of complicated factors, such statistical evidence may not always be accurate or clear. Clients represented by private attorneys, for example, often have few or no past criminal histories, but poor defendants are twice more likely to be repeat offenders. What is equally unclear—and one of the most significant uncertainties in the California criminal justice system—is if private attorneys negotiate better plea bargains than court-appointed lawyers.
Finally, the experience, abilities, and dedication of the specific attorney at hand—whether they are a public defender, a panel attorney, or a private attorney—are the strongest indicators of the quality of the representation.
Self-Representation (Pro se)
What is apparent is that having a Kern County attorney to represent you is generally the best option. Even with this, some criminal defendants represent themselves in Kern County court. In the end, the judge, not the defendant, decides whether a defendant may act as his or her own attorney. Judges are tasked with deciding on the defendant’s competency. This is because a defendant who is unable to present a competent defense would not be able to receive a fair hearing, even if the defendant is insistent about refusing the services of a court-appointed attorney. A judge will consider the following factors when deciding whether a defendant can proceed pro se:
- the gravity of the crime
- language skills and the educational background of the defendant
- whether or not the defendant is aware of the purpose of the proceedings, and
- if the defendant knowingly waives his right to counsel.
Kern County, California
Kern County has a population of 54.9% Hispanic as of 2020 and is California’s third-most populous Hispanic-majority county and the sixth-largest in the United States, with landscapes ranging from the stunning desert (Mojave) to the snow-covered mountains (Sierra Nevada), and the Kern River, which runs through the Kern Canyon, and vast oil and agricultural area. Kern’s county seat is Bakersfield.
According to SafeWise, one of the nation’s leading security resources, Bakersfield is one of the ten most dangerous metropolitan areas in the country. High rates of crime and theft, as well as the amount of money spent on law enforcement, are factors that come into play. Kern County’s judicial system is recognized for being conservative and hard on those accused of a crime. Some of these criminal cases involve Bakersfield residents or incidents that happen in or around Bakersfield.
A criminal arrest in Bakersfield is one of the most terrifying and stressful things that can happen to you since you could be facing life-changing consequences. Your reputation is going to be damaged, and your freedoms are going to be restricted. A criminal defense lawyer is your first line of defense in this case. If you are facing trouble with law enforcement and are potentially facing a criminal conviction, contact our Kern County California criminal defense law firm right now and speak with one of Strongest Defense’s experienced criminal defense lawyers concerning your case. An experienced legal team on your side will make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Speak with Our Experienced Kern County, California Criminal Defense Attorneys Now!
If you are facing criminal charges, you should consult with an attorney from our Kern County, California criminal defense law firm. A charge or conviction can make you lose everything in your life – your freedom, your job, your family, and your future.
One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with the California criminal justice system is its inherent unpredictability. Unfortunately, you cannot depend on police or prosecutors to provide you with accurate information about your case. It is all too easy to jump to the worst-case scenario. A criminal charge should always be treated seriously, but being arrested does not signal the end of your life.
Strongest Defense’s Ventura County criminal defense lawyers are here to help you every step of the way. We’ll be there for you every step of the process, ensuring sure you understand the stakes and what’s going on with your case. Our aim is simple and clear: to provide each and every valued client with the greatest quality of client care and legal services possible. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys represent clients in a wide range of criminal offenses, including:
Call the law office of Strongest Defense now and schedule an initial consultation with our criminal defense attorneys to get legal advice!
How To Visit Our Kern County, California Law Office
To get to Strong Defense law firm from Kern County, California:
- Head north toward Pyramid Rd
- Turn right onto Pyramid Rd (0.1 mi)
- Continue onto Rancheria Rd (3.6 mi)
- Turn right onto CA-178 W/
- Take exit 3 for Beale Ave
- Turn left onto Beale Ave
- Turn right onto Lincoln St
- Turn left onto the State Route 178 W ramp
- Merge onto CA-178 W/E 178 Fwy, Pass by Taco Bell (on the left in 1.9 mi)
- Use the right lane to merge onto CA-99 S via the ramp to CA-58 E
- Merge onto CA-99 S (22.1 mi)
- Merge onto I-5 S
- Take exit 172 for California 126/Newhall Rnch Rd
- Use the right 2 lanes to turn right onto CA-126 W
- Use any lane to turn sharply right to stay on CA-126 W
- Take exit 1C toward US-101 S
- Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Victoria Ave/County Gov’t Center
- Turn right onto S Victoria Ave
- Turn right onto Thille St
- Turn right onto County Square Dr
- Turn right. Strongest Defense law firm will be on the left.