I don't think it's the same with all lawyers. You want to retain an experienced criminal attorney. The Orange County Bar Association is one good source to find a certified specialist for a referral. AVVO is another. Find a good lawyer in Orange County or somebody you feel comfortable with. This is a serious issue and you need an experienced criminal lawyer. Find out how many cases similar to yours the lawyer has handled. Being a certified specialist is just one factor. If you find a non-certified criminal lawyer that has experience, you should go with the lawyer you feel comfortable with.