U.S. citizens have the right to legal representation. The Sixth Amendment says that even those who are unable to afford an attorney should have a lawyer represent them in court, free of charge. The purpose of a criminal defense attorney is to ensure that their client’s rights, privileges, and processes are protected. These elements are not just part of courtroom litigation; they are also a part of the criminal justice process.
A criminal defense attorney can be there while you are questioned by police, if you are interviewed by a medical professional, or at any other time you request them. This is to ensure that you are not only protected from self-incrimination but also that the legal process is followed.
One of the many aspects of a criminal defense attorney’s job that is often overlooked is their preparation for trial, which includes helping you prepare for your role in your case. They can prepare you for the types of testimony that you will hear, prepare you for your testimony if you choose to give it, and help you understand plea bargains that may apply to or be available in your case. If the case goes to trial, your criminal defense attorney can present your case and provide specific evidence to combat the prosecution’s argument.
Finally, should you be convicted, a criminal defense attorney can help prepare any appeals that you may wish to present in the hopes of reversing the conviction. This could include arranging an independent investigation of the case. It might also involve challenging specific aspects of your case that may not have been handled legally or appropriately. In many circumstances, police or prosecutors fail to engage with a defendant legally. In other cases, evidence may not have been properly handled or collected, which could then result in the evidence being inadmissible in court. Such circumstances could result in the dismissal of your case.
What Is California’s Three-Strikes Law?
Criminal defense attorneys should be very knowledgeable about California’s Three-Strikes law and how various charges could impact you. Although controversial, this law requires a sentence of 25 years to life for any defendant who is convicted of a serious or violent felony and has two prior convictions that are deemed serious or violent. This law could also double your prison sentence for any felony not deemed serious or violent. Unfortunately, not all charges have to be serious or violent. A drug charge or simply possession of a weapon could mean an additional strike or a mandatory sentence under the Three-Strikes law.
However, the implication of the law is to not wait until the third strike before complicating the sentencing you could face. If you are charged with a felony crime and subsequently convicted with one previous felony on your record, your prison or jail time could be doubled as a second strike.
For defense attorneys, the implications of such convictions are detrimental to their clients. That is why many attorneys will seek to have charges reduced to a misdemeanor when possible and, when they are unable to, be dropped altogether. If convicted under the Three-Strikes law, defendants are ineligible for early release until they have served a minimum of 80% of their sentence as compared to 50% for those on a first or second offense.
Types of Cases We Handle
Our team has represented clients on a wide range of criminal cases. We provide a comprehensive and client-focused approach to ensure that the unique and individual needs of your case are addressed. The types of cases we handle include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI). These charges can be more detrimental than you may think. A conviction for a DUI can include the suspension of your license, jail time, fines, and more. These charges increase in penalties with each subsequent violation.
- Domestic violence. There are thousands of domestic violence cases across the country each year. In some cases, there are underlying motivations for the parties involved that could result in false accusations, a misunderstanding of circumstances, or more. Our team knows how to properly investigate such cases to ensure that the evidence is not based on falsifications.
- Theft offenses. When one person unlawfully takes the property of another, they are committing theft. The consequences for such a charge will depend on the circumstances of the case and whether that charge is filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. California tries to look for rehabilitative solutions for theft over jail time.
- Drug charges. While California may have eased drug-related charges and reduced the variety of possible offenses by decriminalizing some forms of drugs, drug possession, trafficking, and distribution still remain high on the list of prosecutorial offenses. Convictions can still include jail time, fines, and mandatory participation in substance abuse programs.
- Sexual assault. These can often be the most severe cases because prosecutors are less likely to enter plea deals for such charges. In these cases, you will likely face the potential for maximum penalties, which include prison, fines, and possible registration on the national sex offender registry. These types of charges could result in the loss of housing, employment difficulties, and much more.
While this list is not comprehensive, it does provide the scope of the variety of cases our firm can handle. No matter what type of criminal charges you may be facing, seek the help of an experienced attorney, such as those at My SoCal Lawyers. A criminal defense lawyer is an invaluable source of legal advice, allowing you to know the details of your charges. They can work with you to build your case based on your specific needs.
With our thorough approach to your case, we can ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is handled correctly, from the first contact with police through the investigation and into the trial phase.
Fontana Criminal Defense Attorneys
Finding the right criminal defense attorney can be difficult. When you are charged with a crime, it can be challenging to focus and make the decisions that are necessary for the betterment of your case. If you are arrested for a criminal offense, be sure to invoke your rights. Do not answer any questions or provide any statements without the presence of your attorney. For some, they believe that this makes them appear guilty because they are unwilling to talk, but it could also make a difference in the outcome of your case.
To help you through this process, contact our team at My SoCal Lawyers. Our team’s extensive experience with criminal defense helps us navigate a variety of circumstances to help our clients reach a desirable outcome. While we always hope for an acquittal, our team can work toward a dismissal or reduction of charges. We know that you have a lot on the line in your trial, and a conviction could drastically change your future. By providing you with a dependable defense, you can alleviate some of the anxiety of an accusation by understanding the law alongside us. If you need the help of a criminal defense attorney, contact My SoCal Lawyers.