There are both state and federal laws that dictate how courts manage criminal offenses. Each state is given the right to create its own legislation detailing different criminal violations and their penalties. In California, the state formed what is known as the “California Penal Code” to outline its varying criminal offenses. The Penal Code also discusses minimum and maximum punishments for each offense and how to categorize them as misdemeanors, felonies, or infractions.
Within California’s state criminal law, there are a myriad of offenses. Just some of the criminal charges that our team can assist you with include:
Assault / Battery
Assault occurs when an individual attempts to or threatens to take violent action against another person, resulting in that person fearing for their safety. However, it’s essential to note that assault does not include physical injury or even physical contact. For example, if two individuals were in an argument and one of them attempts to hit the other person and misses, they may have assault charges pressed against them. In battery offenses, the defendant must make actual contact with the victim or injure them in some way.
Misdemeanor assault and battery charges can land you up to six months in county jail if you are convicted. Our team can help you better understand your constitutional rights if you are facing assault charges in Murrieta, CA.
Drug crimes include multiple offenses that involve the unlawful use, possession, or trafficking of controlled substances. Common drug crimes include illegal possession of paraphernalia or controlled substances, possession with intent to sell, and drug trafficking. While simple possession charges are most commonly misdemeanors, other charges, like drug trafficking, are considered felonies. Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony drug charge, make sure you talk to our lawyers for guidance.
Domestic violence occurs in intimate relationships and involves a myriad of violent, abusive, or controlling behaviors. All domestic violence charges are viewed as serious offenses by the state, and many of them can result in heavy penalties. Sexual abuse or violence, emotional abuse, physical abuse or violence, and financial abuse can all count as domestic violence in certain relationships. If you’re unsure of your rights in a domestic violence case, discuss your situation with our attorneys.
Being convicted of a DUI has the potential to transform your life forever. In California, it is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. While many first-time, non-aggravated offenses are still considered misdemeanors, the penalties are not light. DUI convictions come with jail time, possible license suspensions, fines, and more. If you are charged with a felony DUI, you may receive prison time, a license revocation, mandatory rehabilitation treatment, and other penalties.
There are many different theft offenses an individual may be convicted of in California. Generally, all these offenses are divided into two categories that are determined by the value of the property stolen. The first category is known as petty theft. Petty theft charges in California include almost any larceny offense that involved the stealing of property valued at $950 or less. These offenses are misdemeanors and can result in probation, up to six months in your local jail, and fines.
The other category of theft is known as grand theft. Grand theft occurs when an individual steals any type of property, or does not pay for services, that are valued at over $950. This excludes vehicles, as any time a vehicle is stolen, it is classified as a separate charge called grand theft auto. Grand theft is a wobbler charge, which means it can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the situation.
According to California’s Penal Code, robbery occurs when an individual uses force or threatens to use force to steal property from another person. Because robbery is considered a violent crime, it is also a felony in the state of California. This means that, if an individual is convicted of robbery, a judge can assign them anywhere from three to nine years in prison. People who are convicted of robbery may also have to pay large fines that can reach up to $10,000.
The offense known as burglary occurs when an individual breaks into a home, property, or vehicle with the intent to steal something or commit a felony. Burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. First-degree burglary is a felony and can result in up to six years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000. Second-degree burglary is a wobbler, which is why you need to hire a criminal attorney who can defend you against a strong prosecution. If your burglary offense is charged as a misdemeanor, you will face jail time instead of prison time and smaller fines.
Sex crimes in California include any offense that involves unwanted sexual contact, advances, or behavior toward another individual. There are a variety of charges that are considered sex crimes, including:
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual assault
- Child pornography
- Child exploitation
Because most sex crimes are also violent, they carry strict consequences and are prosecuted harshly. At My SoCal Lawyers, our team has experience representing clients in challenging cases like these and can offer you assistance.
Weapons charges, otherwise known as weapons violations, involve offenses where individuals are found to be inappropriately using, obtaining, or selling dangerous weapons. California has extremely strict weapons laws, which is why having a lawyer who can help you understand your case is critical. Common weapons charges include, among others:
- Unlawful possession of a firearm
- Illegally carrying a gun
- Brandishing a weapon
- Failure to register a firearm
Weapons violations are often wobblers as well but are commonly charged as felonies when other people are endangered.
The Importance of a Criminal Defense Attorney
In any criminal case, the defendant has the right to hire their own legal representation. This right is something that should be taken advantage of, as working with a skilled lawyer can often change the direction of your case. Whether you’re facing petty theft charges or you were arrested for a DUI in Murrieta, having a defense team that is committed to finding a resolution to your case is absolutely critical. Here at My SoCal Lawyers, our firm is comprised of accomplished attorneys who are willing to fight for their clients, no matter the case at hand. Hiring a defense team that listens to you and offers advice can also help relieve a bit of the burden that a criminal case can bring.
What Happens After You’re Arrested for a Crime in California?
All criminal violations follow meticulous legal proceedings to ensure that they are handled properly. Generally, the judicial process for a criminal offense occurs as follows:
- The defendant is arrested. (After this takes place, you should immediately seek legal representation.)
- Arraignment takes place, and a plea of guilty or not guilty is entered.
- The judge decides whether the defendant will have bail and what the amount of that bail will be.
- The case then enters a pre-trial phase, where the prosecution and defense gather information to build their cases.
- If a case makes it to the trial phase, the long process of meeting in court regularly will occur until all evidence has been presented.
- Once both sides have presented their cases, a judge will make their final decision on the case and sentence the defendant if they were found guilty.
Murrieta Criminal Defense Lawyer
My SoCal Lawyers is a firm that is devoted to each of our clients and their unique legal circumstances. We know that being arrested is an emotional, frightening experience and can leave you feeling vulnerable. With decades of experience backing our strategies, My SoCal Lawyers takes pride in offering defense representation that outshines our competitors. To discuss your legal concerns regarding criminal offenses in Murrieta, contact My SoCal Lawyers.