Criminal defense attorney Tina M. Barberi, PC

Law Offices of
Tina M. Barberi, PC

FAQ: Fresno Criminal Lawyer

Common Questions For Retaining a Lawyer

If you have a criminal, DUI, or traffic offense charge pending, you undoubtedly have questions. Browse through the questions that most clients have when they contact our office. If you have questions on your case, we are more than happy to answer them at your free consultation.

Q. I was arrested, so what is the first thing I should do?

If you or a loved one has been arrested, your first call should be to an experienced and hardworking criminal and DUI defense lawyer. If you are in custody, we will determine your options.  If necessary, we will get you in contact with a bail bonds company so you can quickly secure bail.

Q: I am innocent.  Do I need a lawyer to represent me?

Yes. If you are facing criminal or DUI charges, you need a criminal defense lawyer.  If you are innocent of the charges you are being accused of, you need to have legal representation that will advocate effectively on your behalf.  Innocent people are arrested and convicted all the time, so in order for you to ensure you are not convicted of a crime you did not do, contact an attorney that handles criminal, DUI and traffic offenses.

Q: I am guilty, so why do I need a lawyer?

Protect Your Rights. All criminal defendants need competent legal counsel to assist them in court.  As mandated by the constitution, the Sixth Amendment affords the right to an attorney and if you retain an attorney, you are given a choice of counsel. Because the prosecutor is an attorney, you need a strong advocate to represent you in order to ensure you receive the best possible plea, a lenient sentence, and to ensure your rights are being protected.

Alternatives to Jail or Prison. All misdemeanors and felonies can result in a jail or prison sentence, so pleading guilty without understanding the consequences can cost you.  We will creatively pursue other sentencing options, such as drug and alcohol treatment, community service, monitoring, delayed sentencing for an opportunity of a dismissal.

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Q. Can I see the police reports against me?

Yes. If you retain an attorney, we will provide you a redacted copy of the police report so you may review it with your lawyer.  It is always advisable to read the report in order to determine if the police report is accurate and complete. You should never plead guilty to charges until you carefully read the information the prosecutor is relying on to gain a conviction.

Q. I already entered a guilty plea, should I consult an attorney?

Yes. We regularly handle “post-conviction” cases, including expungements, early termination of probation, withdraw of pleas, clearing arrest records, and correcting sentences involving Proposition 47.  Before we start the process, we will make sure you qualify for the relief you are requesting.

Q. What are the advantages to hiring an attorney versus using a public defender?

Must qualify to use the public defender. In order to qualify for a public defender, a defendant must be indigent.  This means he or she lacks enough resources to hire an attorney. Even if you do not want to spend money on a DUI or criminal lawyer, the Court must find you have no available funds, or an opportunity to obtain funds in order to qualify for the public defender services. 

Minimal Qualifications and May Have to Pay for the Public Defender. The appointed lawyer need only be a member in good standing of the California State Bar.  Appointed attorneys need not be the best litigators or best attorney available, but merely competent enough to assure the defendant due process of law.  In most cases, indigent defendants receive the county Public Defender’s Office, where most attorneys are poorly paid, overworked, and are unable to devote as much attention to the case.  If the court finds the defendant is not completely indigent, the judge will require the defendant to refund the county the expense of the court appointed attorney.

Public Defenders do not handle DMV Hearings. If you are facing a DUI, you will also need an attorney at the DMV hearing.  You have the right to be represented by an attorney at the DMV hearing, but you must retain an attorney.  Because the DMV is an administrative matter and not a criminal matter, the right to an appointed attorney is not available.  The reasoning is that drivers do not lose their freedom if the decision and the right to drive is a privilege and not a right.

Public Defenders do not handle Traffic Charges.  The constitution only protects individuals that face jail or prison.  Because a traffic ticket results in fines and DMV points, public defenders will not handle your infraction case.

Ability to Choose the Best Attorney for You. While the constitution affords the right to an attorney, the person’s rights are not infringed if the person is not given a choice of counsel if the person uses the public defender.  If you retain your own attorney, you have a right to choose the attorney.  You can determine if the attorney will be dedicated to your case and give it the attention it deserves.  By hiring an attorney that best suits your needs, you can rest assured you will obtain a DUI or criminal lawyer that has experience, knowledge of the law, and will provide you with proactive strategies to obtain the results you need for your criminal case.

Q. Is there questions I should ask when looking for an attorney?

Before retaining a lawyer to represent you, you should ask yourself:

Q. How do I decide what attorney is hire?

When determining the DUI defense firm you should retain, there are numerous factors you should consider before hiring a criminal and DUI lawyer.

Free Consultation to discuss Your case

At the Law Offices of Tina M. Barberi, PC, we do not use scare tactics, false guarantees, or weight you into making a foolish decision when considering your legal counsel. Rather, we will clarify the criminal or DUI procedure, and you will have the capacity to get the best counsel for your specific case. 

When you contact our office, we will listen to you and give you sound advice. We work to give you quality representation throughout your criminal, traffic or DUI case. When you are facing charges, don't wait to call (559) 447-1240 or complete our free lawyer consultation evaluation form. We look forward to hearing from you.

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