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Find an Experienced California Defense Attorney

Choose a Professional California Criminal Lawyer - Right Now

Living in California does not guarantee a Hollywood ending. If you are facing criminal charges in the state your future could be in jeopardy. You need a defense attorney in California to ensure that the outcome of those charges is the most favorable for you. Even if you did commit the crime, you still need to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can help you in many ways: they will advise you on your options, ensure that you receive a fair trial and fizght for your rights. We will help you find a knowledgeable attorney that understands how to best defend your specific type of case.

Receive a Fair Punishment

Punishments for a crime can vary greatly. Having a defense attorney is important because they will try to secure the least severe penalty possible. For example a DUI lawyer may remind the judge that your DUI is a first offense and ask for a fine or treatment program in lieu of jail time. Your case may have mitigating factors that will reduce the seriousness of your crime and may allow for a more lenient sentence. Hiring a lawyer may help you to avoid harsher punishments and unnecessary jail time.

Contact a California criminal attorney today and get the help you need.

Fight for Your Rights

Guilty or innocent, you have rights. Your attorney knows what provisions you are legally entitled to and will help ensure that you receive fair treatment before, during and after your trial. The rights you are entitled to in California when you are charged with a crime include:

  • The Right to Remain Silent - You don’t have to say anything or answer any questions if you don’t want to.
  • The Right to Have an Attorney Present For Questioning - Don’t go into questioning without your attorney. Your lawyer will help you to determine which questions you can answer and which you should avoid.
  • The Right to Telephone Calls - You are entitled to three telephone calls shortly after arrest. You can call your attorney, a relative or a bail bondsman. If you are a parent with custody of a child you are entitled to two additional calls to make arrangements for your child’s care.

These are just some of the rights you have after arrest. Make sure you contact an attorney as soon as possible so that you understand all of your legal rights and make sure you have someone on your side.

 

Choose an Attorney with Experience with Your Specific Crime

Attorneys use various strategies to give their clients the best possible defense. These strategies vary based on the type of crime committed, so choosing a lawyer with experience defending your type of crime is important. We have access to lawyers with a variety of different backgrounds so you can find the lawyer you need. Our lawyers are experienced working with defendants with the following charges:

  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Domestic Violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual Offenses
  • Probation Violations
  • Weapons Charges
  • And much more.

California might be warm and sunny, but if you are caught in court without the defense you need, it can be a cold, dark place. You need a lawyer to plead your case, defend your rights and explain the legal process to you.

 

Don’t Delay – Contact a California Attorney Right Now

Whether you have been arrested or you may be facing criminal charges in the Golden State, contact an attorney immediately. We have trusted attorneys across the state in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and many others. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you can start preparing your defense. Contact a California criminal attorney today.

Are You Accused of a Violent Crime in California or Another Criminal Offense?

California recognizes three broad categories of crimes: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Of these, infractions are the least serious crimes and felonies are the most serious. Individuals charged with a misdemeanor face a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and fines determined by the specific crime. Felonies are punishable by incarceration in a state prison which can be as short as a year or two or as long as the rest of the defendant’s life. It is important to note that sentences can be harsh and will affect years of your life.

Building a strong and effective defense to any criminal charges requires a great deal of strategy and a good understanding of California’s criminal laws and court procedures. The definition and legal elements of each crime in California’s state law is set out in the California Penal Code. This comprehensive set of written statutes is divided into prohibited criminal activity based on the type of crime, for example crimes against public justice and crimes against property.

Building a strong and effective defense to any criminal charges requires a great deal of strategy and a good understanding of California’s criminal laws and court procedures. The definition and legal elements of each crime in California’s state law is set out in the California Penal Code. This comprehensive set of written statutes is divided into prohibited criminal activity based on the type of crime, for example crimes against public justice and crimes against property.

California’s Standard Sentencing Guidelines are important too, because they will have a direct effect on your future if you’re convicted. The Standard Sentencing Guidelines are a compilation of the recommended sentence for various crimes in California. An experienced criminal defense attorney will have intimate working knowledge of these rules and regulations, which is essential to build the strongest possible defense. But these guidelines dictate the maximum sentence for a particular crime, this is provided as part of the California Penal Code.

Regardless of the category or severity of charges against you, defense to a crime in California requires care, attention to detail, and detailed knowledge of California’s criminal procedure. Often, these skills are best possessed by an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the state.

Looking for California criminal lawyers? Start your search here.

Five Common Crimes Charged in California

The best way to learn about the specifics of any criminal charges against you is to contact a criminal attorney in California, but calling a California lawyer without some information or understanding of the criminal charges is intimidating. We want to help, and provide important information on California’s most common crimes.

However, if you have questions regarding the facts and circumstances of your case, call one of our California lawyers today.

Larceny/Theft

In Cal. Pen. Code § 484, larceny is defined as the intentional and unlawful taking of property belonging to another person. Following this broad definition, multiple statutes in Chapter 5 of the California Penal Code address prohibitions on larceny or theft, as these terms are used interchangeably in California.

The two most common are petty theft and grand theft. The difference between these crimes is the value attributed to the stolen goods. The intentional taking of property valued at $950 or less is considered petty theft, while taking property valued at $950 or more is grand theft. In cases of stolen property valued up to $50, the prosecutor can choose to charge the individual with an infraction, rather than misdemeanor petty theft.

Conviction of either petty theft or grand theft requires a prosecutor to prove four specific elements of the crime:

  • the defendant took or controlled the property of another person;
  • the defendant intended to take the property, either permanently or for an extended amount of time;
  • no consent to take the property was given;
  • and, the defendant moved the property, even a small distance.
  • According to the law, if even one of these elements is absent, larceny did not occur.

    Theft, except as an infraction, is punishable by jail time, fines, or both. Petty theft is a misdemeanor which is subject to less severe sentences, which may include three months probation, up to six months in jail, or a fine of up to $1,000. Grant theft, as provided in Cal. Pen. Code § 487, is a felony. An individual convicted of grand theft faces up to three years in jail.

    Looking for theft lawyers in California? Start your search here.

    Drug Possession

    The statutes criminalizing possession, manufacture, sale, and other activities involving controlled substances are found in the California Uniform Controlled Substance Act. This Division of the California Code isn’t in the Penal Code, but found within the statutes on health and safety.

    Cal. Health & Saf Code § 11350 and § 11352 divide the crimes related to drug possession into two broad categories. The first is simple drug possession, and the second is possession for sale or possession with the intent to sell.

    Under California criminal law, possession with intent to sell is the more serious crime, and it is a felony. This charge is brought only when the prosecutor has reason to believe the individual intended to deal in drugs. Evidence of intent to sell includes possession of a substantial quantity of a narcotic or dangerous controlled substance, packaging or sorting a quantity of the drugs into individual amounts, owning scales, and the presence of a large amount of cash.

    As of 2014, California reduced most drug-related offenses to misdemeanors. That means individuals serving sentences in California jails whose terms are longer than the maximum prescribed for a misdemeanor can petition the court for shorter sentences. As a result, although those convicted of drug possession or possession for sale are now serving shorter jail sentences, possession for sale can still equate to two, three, or four years in jail and fines as high as $20,000. The type of drug involved and the defendant’s record of prior convictions often determine sentence length.

    California drug possession laws consider marijuana differently from other controlled substances. In November 2016, the state passed a proposition that would legalize recreational marijuana and, once implemented, Proposition 64 will further change California’s drug possession laws. Adults over 21 will then be legally permitted to possess and consume up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana in their own homes or at a dispensary. It is important to remember, however, that the laws that regulate marijuana consumption while operating a vehicle or near a school remain firmly intact.

    Need a California drug possession attorney? Start your search here.

    Assault and Battery

    In Chapter 9 of the California Penal Code, the potential charges for assault or battery range from misdemeanor to serious felony, and their penalties reflect the degree of crime being charged. In California, the victim’s identity and relationship to the defendant also contribute to the specific charges a prosecutor will bring.

    All assault charges are defined in Cal. Pen. Code § 240 as the attempt to inflict serious injury on another person. Intent to harm is essential to support an assault charge. Assault charges do not require a victim to have actually been touched; however, battery is defined as intentional and unlawful use of force or violence on another person. Battery can be charged in cases of one person striking another person with fists, feet, or an object, as defined in Cal. Pen. Code § 242.

    Dependant on the severity of harm, both assault and battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

    Simple assault is the least serious assault and battery charge under California’s penal code. The sentence for simple assault may be up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Penalties are increased if the victim is a healthcare provider or public worker, such as a firefighter, school employee, public transportation operator, lifeguard, doctor, or nurse who was trying to perform his or her job or duties.

    Simple battery is a more serious crime, and it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If committed during a burglary, an individual can face a wide range of sentences. If a defendant is charged with felony battery because the victim was a law enforcement officer, juror, health care provider, or school employee in the course of performing his or her duties, the potential punishment will include a sentence of from sixteen months to three years in prison, a substantial fine, or both.

    Looking for assault lawyers in California? Start your search here.

    DUI

    The California Vehicle Code covers traffic violations, administrative penalties, and provides criminal punishments for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. In Cal. Veh. Code 23530, DUI is the operation of any motor vehicle by an individual whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than 0.08%, provided the offender is 21 years of age or older. If a driver is under 21 years of age, then the offense falls under Cal. Veh. Code § 23500, which requires such driver’s BAC to be below 0.05%.

    DUI also applies to controlled substances that impair driving, including alcohol, marijuana, narcotics, and even high doses of prescription painkillers. If arrested for driving under influence of drugs, as opposed to alcohol, the offense is commonly called DUID.

    It is not uncommon to consider a DUI arrest and charges as a minor offense. However, California takes drinking and driving very seriously, and its position is reflected in the fines and jail sentences its courts impose. As do most other states, California pays particular attention to an individual’s prior record of convictions for DUI of alcohol or other controlled substances.

    First-time offenders are shown some leniency, albeit they are still required to pay a substantial fine and face jail sentences as long as six months. Someone whose record shows one prior DUI conviction in 10 years will serve a minimum of 96 hours in jail, and may be sentenced to as much as one year. Two prior DUI convictions in 10 years raise the minimum sentence to 120 hours in jail, with a maximum time of three years; and if the defendant has had three prior convictions within 10 years the minimum sentence will be from 180 hours to three years in jail. The jail sentences are irrespective and can be combined with fines of $1,000 or more.

    Other factors may either increase or mitigate a DUI sentence. For example, if bodily injury or property damage occurred because of the defendant’s drunk driving, a prosecutor is more likely to seek the maximum penalty for both DUI and any other charges. Excessive speed, a very high BAC, and endangering minors in the vehicle are other circumstances that will affect the severity of a convicted person’s sentence.

    Looking for DUI lawyers in California? Start your search here.

    Burglary

    Many people associate burglary with theft, but as defined by Cal. Pen. Code § 459, the crime of burglary can be very different from that of simply stealing another person’s property. In California, burglary is said to occur when an individual enters the home or building of another person with the intent to commit theft or any other felony. A burglary charge requires proof of intent of an individual to commit another crime inside the home or building.

    The two degrees of burglary are differentiated by location. First degree burglary occurs in a residential home and second degree burglary takes place in a commercial building or other non residential structure. First degree burglary is punished more severely and includes a potential jail sentence up to a maximum of six years.

    While second degree burglary is a less serious offense, someone convicted of second degree burglary still faces a maximum of one year in jail.

    Looking for burglary lawyers in California? Go here.

    Other Crimes

    The lawyers who comprise Criminal Lawyer are prepared to defend a variety of crimes. Our experience is not limited to the most common crimes in California. Rather, it extends to defense of federal crimes and appellate level defense. Whether you are seeking a criminal defense attorney to defend you against such serious charges as murder or a less severe misdemeanor such as petty theft, we can help.

    Importance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

    Criminal charges in California put much more at risk than just your finances. A criminal conviction could halt your upward mobility at your job,strain your relationships, and even cost you your freedom. By engaging a criminal defense attorney, you are assured of access to the information, advice, and support that can only be provided by a professional who is thoroughly prepared to handle your case.

    If you’re facing a criminal charge in California, your choice of a criminal defense attorney is the most important decision you’ll make. The lawyers within Criminal Lawyer understand that criminal defense is much more than simply appearing in court. It is important to our lawyers that you receive a robust defense, regardless of the specifics of your criminal charges and surrounding circumstances. You can find quality, fervent, and client-focused attorneys by clicking here.

    If you don’t know where to turn for defense against criminal charges anywhere in California, turn to us.

    [Disclaimer - this is not legal advice.]

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