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Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Law

Q. Should I talk with the police?

A. Generally speaking, NEVER TALK WITH THE POLICE if you are under investigation.  Police are human beings and are just as capable of jumping to conclusions as anyone else.  Remember police have so many more resources available to them than you do. If the police are looking for you or wanting to talk with you, immediately contact me for a complimentary consultation. Never talk with the police until you have met with me privately in my office so you can learn your rights and how to best deal with the police.

Q. Aren’t I protected by Miranda rights?

A. The right to remain silent is great, but the police will do everything in their power to make you talk. They may even scare you into talking by implying that your silence is somehow an indication of guilt.

Consider this, if the police take you the police station for a “talk”, they are most likely recording your every move and word! Further, if they say you are not under custody and free to go, attempt to go and if you are asked to sit back down then you are in custody (per Miranda rights). You would then need to be read your Miranda rights if the police officer is to ask you any further questions (which is considered an interrogation).

Q. I’m in the back of a police car but the policeman isn’t there, is it safe to talk then?

A. No! If you and your buddy get arrested and are sitting in the back of the police car, chances are there is a recording device in the car. This is a common technique where the office will leave, giving you the illusion of privacy, only instead your every word is being recorded and can and will be used against you. Since the police aren’t asking you questions directly, there is no interrogation, and anything you say in the police car isn’t covered by Miranda rights.

Q. Do the police record calls I make from jail?

A. Absolutely. Each and every call. There is no expectation of privacy when calling from a jail. So when you call your friends and family to bail you out and they ask “what happened”, remember, you are being recorded!

Q. When do I talk with the police?


Get it? If you have been arrested then you have the RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT, therefore use it! The police are highly trained in various ways to get you to talk, the only way to avoid this trap is to REMAIN SILENT. I will share with you proper techniques how to talk with the police to avoid putting yourself in danger.

Q. Why exactly should I NEVER talk with the police?

A. Because you are not dealing with a level playing field.  The police can lie to you to extract a statement. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the police can lie to extract a confession (isn’t that absurd?).  The confession can still be used against you, even if the police lie to you. Does that sound like a fair, level playing field?

Q. How much is bail?

A. Bail amount is set by the Board of Supervisors in every county for every crime, whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony.  If you visit our website under the link “resources” you can review the latest, up to date bail schedule for the surrounding counties.

Q. How do I pay for bail?

A. Cash, Bail bondsman or Real Property Bond in lieu of cash bail.

For example, if the recommended bail is $50,000.00 for the crime of domestic violence, you would need to post a cashier’s check for $50,000.00 made payable to the County. Generally speaking, after the case is finished and you have made all your court appearances, your “cash bail” would be returned to you in full within 6-8 weeks by the County in the form of a check.

Q. How does using a bail bondsman work?

A. A bail bondsman is licensed by the Department of Insurance.  You pay a bail bondsman a premium, generally as high as 10% (of your total bail amount) for the bail bondsman to “post” bond guaranteeing your appearance in court.  If you don’t appear, and a bounty hunter can locate you within 6 months and a day after the court orders your bail bond forfeited. Some bail bondsman will charge a fee as low as 7% if you have hired a reputable attorney and you pay the entire amount of the bail bond premium in full.

However, I have an excellent relationship with several bail bondsman who will make your ability to get your love one out of jail fast and affordable.  In some instances the rates are low enough that you can hire BOTH an attorney and post bail at the 10% premium other bail bondsman charge.

Q. How much do attorneys cost?

A. There are several things you have to keep in mind: “Cheap attorneys are not good, and good attorneys are not cheap”. Whether you are an attorney or a client – never drive a “good deal” over attorney fees.  A “good deal” implies that it is “good deal” for one party and consequently a “bad deal” for the other party. A reputable person, both client and attorney, should drive a “fair deal”. A “fair deal” implies that it is fair to both sides.

Q. But how do you know if an attorney fee is fair?

A. First make sure that you are dealing with a reputable attorney.  Go to an extremely neutral and highly respected legal website like and insert the attorney’s name who you are thinking of hiring.  This reputable website will list every attorney in all 50 states. Scroll down to the name of the attorney (not the name of the law firm). You can also see the number of years of experience the attorney possesses. The attorney should possess either an AV rating, which only 10% of the attorneys in California possess.

Better yet, get an attorney who possesses the highest rating possible – AV Preeminent rating, which less than 1% of attorneys in California possess.  These ratings are based upon confidential evaluations by other attorneys, and more importantly, by Judges.

Since 2000, I have continuously possessed an AV Preeminent rating, 5.0 out of 5.0, the highest possible rating.

Q. What factors play into an Attorney fee?

A. The amount of an Attorney fee depends on several factors:
• Complication of the case.
• The amount of time the attorney will need to devote to the case in order to obtain the desired result.
• The amount of time the client is facing in jail.
• The type of resources the attorney is going to have to utilize to properly represent the client (such as, hiring a private investigator, expert witnesses or outside experts).

Additionally, what background and experience does the attorney possess in properly representing the client?  How successful has the attorney been in defending other defendants in other similar cases? These are but a few of the many factors that go into the equation of what an attorney will charge for attorney fees plus costs.

And remember, the DA is paid to build a case against you. A good Attorney needs to build a solid case for you. Obviously, this cost money but the alternative is spending 24 hours a day in a jail call for many years or possibly the rest of your life (or worse).

Q. How do I know the Attorney has actually handled cases like mine?

A. Obtain a list of cases and corresponding case numbers that the attorney has handled in the past.  With the case numbers, go your local courthouse and get a case history of the case (aka docket). The case history will cost you 50 cents a page.  The case history will tell you the charges, the name of the defense attorney handling the case at each court appearance, and the eventual result obtained. This is really the only way you can confirm an Attorney actually handled a case like yours.

Q. Aren’t past cases confidential?

Some attorneys try to avoid giving case names and numbers by telling prospective clients that this information is confidential.  Nonsense. I have pages and pages of case names and case numbers listed on my website – . Click on the “Results” link in the navigation bar and look at the case names and case numbers who have signed releases allowing me to use their information on my website.  Verify the case results that I have listed by going to the courthouse and purchasing a case history of any or all cases listed. You got to do your homework!

Q. How do I know whether an Attorney is reputable?

A. Start by carefully reviewing the attorney’s website.  Every reputable attorney should have a friendly, easy to navigate, informative website.  Is the website helpful? Or is it filled with an overload of meaningless information? If the attorney claims to have an AV or AV preeminent rating did you confirm this on (which is the only website that can verify that).

Consider this, a client was about to hire an Attorney when he read on his website that he had an AV rating. But when he went to the attorney did not have either an AV rating or the highest AV preeminent rating.  The attorney just flat out lied on his website! Again, you got to do your homework!

Q. What is your advice for evaluating a prospective attorney?

A. Does the attorney talk “with you” and not “at you”? Does the attorney make you feel comfortable?  Is the attorney knowledgeable and sensitive to your concerns? After talking with the attorney, do you leave the office knowing more about your case and the legal process than when you first walked in?  Was the person who first talked with you on the phone genuinely caring and helpful in addressing your concerns? When you arrived at the attorney’s office were you warmly greeted and made to feel welcomed and comfortable? After talking with the attorney, did the attorney directly answer all of your questions? These are some of the key points you should consider when evaluating an attorney.

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The Law Office of Tom R. Medrano

5-Star Rated Practice. AV Preeminent 5.0 out 5.0.

Our law firm specializes in defending your freedom and understanding every aspect of your case to give you the winning edge. We employ former LA Deputy Sheriff Detectives to work for you in building a strong defense. We have DOCUMENTED 1,000’s of case’s WE WON.

Don’t lose your freedom with a less experienced attorney and allow us to stop at nothing in defending you!