Frequently Asked Questions

Why We Charge a Consultation Fee?

1. You will consult directly with Kevin, an actual lawyer! 

  • Very few law offices that advertise “free consultation,” allow you to meet with an actual licensed attorney before you formally retain their services.
  • Those other offices will direct you to assistants, case managers, and other non-lawyers.
  • However, at DCD Law, you will have the opportunity to speak directly to Kevin—who will be the Attorney representing you throughout the case!
  • Kevin is the only attorney that will appear on your case.
  • Kevin will answer all of your questions, provide a thorough explanation of the case process, and review the specific of your case.
  • The goal of the consultation is to assist you and your loved ones in getting a clear understanding of your case, and the important legal issues implicated by your fact situation.

2. The consultation is a learning tool for you, and not a sales pitch for us.

  • Too many times, lawyers who advertise for a “free consultation” use this as a sales gimmick to attract more clients.
  • At DCD Law, our consultations are intended to be educational opportunities for the prospective client, and not a “sales closing” for us.
  • The purpose of your consultation with any lawyer should be to gain knowledge about your legal situation and obtain insight about the strategies available for potential resolution.
  • The very fact that you want to meet with a lawyer means that you have determined that the problem is bigger than you, or beyond your level of expertise.
  • During our consultation, Kevin will listen to you, answer all your questions, sreview related documents, and understand your desired outcome.
  • You will walk away from our consultation feeling better and far more knowledgeable than when you walked in.

3. We are serious about understanding your legal issue, and unhurried in discussing it.

  • Because prospective clients schedule their consultations with us in advance, we are able to set-aside time to prepare for and conduct these initial meetings.
  • The nature of a criminal law practice requires significant expertise, and we are frequently asked to review documents in advance of a consultation.
  • Unlike law offices who overschedule free consultations, and are then hurried when a prospective engagement does not present an opportunity for profitability, we take the time to understand and explain the legal consequences of your circumstances.
  • We conduct one consultation at a time, and afford to the prospective client the opportunity to ask questions, and gain knowledge.

4. We want to ensure that you are serious about your legal issue.

  • DCD Law is an office with passion for the cases we undertake.
  • We have serious clients with legal issues of consequence.
  • The bottom line is that we obtain results and deliver value for our clients.
  • However, our clients also understand that practicing law is how we make our living, and support our families.
  • An unfortunate reality of the American legal system is that legal services, including attorneys’ fees can be significant.
  • Virtually all of the legal disputes that we handle involve the expenditure of thousands of dollars.
  • We believe that any prospective client that is unwilling to pay for the initial consultation lacks the seriousness that our relationships require.
  • Quite frankly, if you do not believe that your case merits a paid consultation, we are probably not the best law office for you.

5. The consultation fee will be credited to your fee if and when you become a client. 

  • If and when you become a client, the consultation fee paid will effectively be free, since we will credit the amount paid toward the balance due!

Do I Need a Private Investigator?

Once you become a client at DCD Law, our firm will conduct its own independent investigation into the charges you face. You do not have to hire your own investigator. Our firm has the resources to ensure that your case is fully investigated to uncover all of the facts that can be used in building a strong defense.

Do I Need to Show Up to Court?

The general answer is yes. If you are required by the court to appear, you must appear. If you fail to appear, a warrant may be issued against you. In some instances, your attorney may appear on your behalf and you won’t need to go to court, such as for traffic tickets. Your attorney will advise you on this and, at DCD Law, we will be by your side at all court hearings throughout the criminal proceedings.

When Do I Need an Attorney?

If you are under investigation by law enforcement, you should inform them that you wish to speak with an attorney. That is your Constitutional right and they should not ask you anything further until you have legal protection. Your attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and can advise you before you answer any questions. When arrested, call an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your case, bail requirements, and more. The sooner you have representation, the better.

Do I Have to Talk to the Police?

Whether you are under investigation or have already been arrested, you have the Constitutional right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions from law enforcement. It is important to understand that anything you say to them can be used against you. The only question you may have to answer is to identify yourself. If you are pulled over by law enforcement in traffic, you will have to show your license, registration, and proof of insurance but you do not have to answer any questions in that situation either. You cannot be penalized for this.

How Should I Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

There may be many factors to consider before hiring a criminal defense attorney. Many people prefer having one lawyer who will handle the entire case themselves rather than pass the client off to whatever attorney is available that day. Contacting a lawyer with a free consultation will also allow you to talk to the attorney to get a sense of their commitment to you as a client before deciding to hire them. Talk to your attorney to make sure they have your best interests at heart and will fight for you.

How Will a Domestic Violence Conviction Affect You if You're Not a U.S. Citizen?

For individuals with legal permanent residency, in the country legally on a visa, or unlawfully present, a domestic violence conviction may result in deportation. Domestic violence is considered a deportable offense. A conviction for domestic violence may lead to deportation or removal proceedings, even if the victim never wanted to press charges.

Should You Plead Guilty to a Domestic Violence Charge?

Many innocent people charged with domestic violence plead guilty because they think a jury will not believe them, or the prosecutor convinces them to take a plea deal rather than face the maximum penalty. However, before pleading guilty to a criminal charge that will affect you for the rest of your personal and professional life, including taking away your right to possess a firearm, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your legal defenses and how to fight your criminal charges.

How Do You Modify a Protective Order?

The individual subject to a protective order can petition the court to modify the order. This generally requires a formal court appearance and sometimes requires filing paperwork with the court and serving those documents to the appropriate parties. At the hearing, the court will hear from any interested party, including the alleged victim, the prosecutor, defense, and sometimes neutral third parties in order to determine whether the protective order should be modified. In some cases, the court may allow the protective order to be terminated.

What is a Protective Order or Restraining Order?

A protective order, sometimes called a restraining order, is a court order that requires an individual to avoid certain actions or take certain actions. In a domestic violence case, these most often involve restricting contact with the victim. This may include restricting physical contact, prevention from going to certain places or talking to certain people, and preventing someone from contacting another by phone, text, email, or social media.

Protective orders can be temporary or permanent. Violating a protective order can result in criminal charges, with up to three (3) years in county jail for felony restraining order violations. In addition, a defendant may be required to pay fines, counseling fees, and even give up their firearms.

What Are the Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction?

The penalties for domestic violence depend on the type of alleged conduct and injury, as well as the criminal history of the defendant. If charged as a felony, domestic violence may result in a maximum of 5 (five) years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.00. If charged as a misdemeanor, domestic violence may result in up to 1 (one) year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Prior convictions for assault or domestic violence may increase these minimum penalties. In addition, a conviction for domestic violence may require counseling, community labor, completion of a batterer’s program, anger management program, protective orders against future contact, and/or substantial court fines and fees.

Why Was I Arrested for Domestic Violence?

Many people are confused after they are arrested for domestic violence. Under California law, if the police suspect an individual may have injured an intimate partner or former partner, the police have to make an arrest. Even if the alleged victim suffered little to no physical harm, offensive touching may be enough to constitute a domestic battery. Unfortunately, this often results in the wrong person getting arrested for domestic violence.

In some cases, the victim is arrested instead of the aggressor. Other domestic violence calls come from an angry ex, or their family members who want to punish someone and wrongfully claim domestic violence. Some people even falsely claim domestic violence in order to try and get full custody of a child or children. Innocent people are arrested all the time for domestic violence. It is important to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney before deciding to plead guilty.