What Does a Defense Attorney Do?
A Riverside criminal defense attorney’s job is to represent their client in court. They spend time investigating the case and interviewing witnesses. They also work with prosecutors to negotiate plea bargains or settlements. In some cases, they may take the case to trial. When this happens, they present the evidence and make the argument to the jury that their client is not guilty.
Why Do I Need a Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyer?
My SoCal Lawyers is a private defense firm providing legal counsel to clients throughout the Inland Empire. While an individual accused of committing a crime has the right to secure legal counsel free of charge from a public defense attorney, private criminal defense firms like My SoCal Lawyers can typically offer a much higher level of representation than the average public defender can provide.
While most public defenders are skilled attorneys, they typically manage multiple cases at a time. They cannot provide the individualized attention that you could expect from a private defense firm. Private defenders may be skilled, but their heavy caseloads prevent them from offering a private defense attorney’s comprehensive, personalized legal counsel.
Can a Public Defenders Win My DUI Case?
Public defenders are generally just as effective as private attorneys. Public defenders could even have a slight advantage over private attorneys in some cases — they could have more experience in the particular court room where the case is tried and have more familiarity with the prosecutors of the case. A disadvantage of public defenders is that they do often have big caseloads and likely won’t be able to provide you with the personalized attention you get from a private attorney.
Every case is different, and no lawyer can guarantee a win. However, even if a public defender is your only option, it is undoubtedly worth taking over trying to represent yourself.
What Are the Different Types of Crimes?
There are three different types of crimes you could be accused of:
- Infractions are known to be the least serious type of crime and are typically punishable by a fine. Common infractions include traffic offenses and minor offenses such as trespassing. These types of offenses typically do not result in jail time but rather a fine.
- Misdemeanors are more severe than infractions but are still not as serious as felonies. Misdemeanors are typically punishable by up to one year in jail. Some examples of misdemeanors include petty theft, public intoxication, and simple battery.
- Felonies are the most severe type of crime and are punishable by more than one year in prison. Some well-known examples of felonies include murder, rape, and armed robbery. These are the most serious types of crimes and result in a prison sentence if you are found guilty.
It’s important to note that if you are accused of a crime, you are innocent until the court has proven you guilty. This means a prosecutor has the burden of proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If they cannot do this, then you will be found not guilty. However, you still want to have a criminal defense attorney to represent you.
It is crucial to contact a Riverside criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime so they can start building a strong defense on your behalf.
Cases Are Lawyers Handle
My SoCal Lawyers provides criminal defense representation for many types of criminal cases:
- Assault, including assault and battery or aggravated assault. “Assault” describes presenting a threat of violence against another person, “assault and battery” describes the completion of such a threat with physical force, and “aggravated assault” typically applies to a severe assault or assault committed with a weapon.
- Drug crimes, including possession, trafficking, and distribution. If you are charged with any drug offense, our team could argue for rehabilitation instead of incarceration or otherwise work to reduce your potential penalties.
- Weapons charges. California upholds some of the strictest gun laws in the US. If you are accused of any type of violation of California firearms laws, we can defend you.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. It may be possible to plead down to a “wet reckless” and avoid a conviction for DUI, or our team could find inconsistencies or invalidities in the prosecution’s case to have your charges dropped.
- Domestic violence. Any conviction for domestic violence could lead to fines, imprisonment, or loss of parental rights. If you are wrongfully accused of spousal or child abuse, we can help you build a robust defense.
We represent many types of fraud cases: disability fraud, insurance fraud, mail fraud, check fraud, and more.
Theft, including petty theft and grand theft. Stealing another person’s property can lead to severe penalties such as fines and jail time, and the severity of the penalty hinges on the value of the property stolen.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Accused of a Crime?
If you are charged with a crime, contact a Riverside criminal defense attorney. They can advise you of your rights and help you navigate the criminal justice system. Do not speak to the police without an attorney present, as what you say could be used against you in court. Your attorney can protect your rights and ensure you have a fair trial.
When you are working with a Riverside criminal defense attorney, they will thoroughly investigate your case and develop a strong defense. You will spend a lot of time working with your attorney to prepare for court. In some cases, it may be possible to get the charges against you dropped entirely. If the case does go to trial, your attorney is going to be by your side every step of the way to ensure you have the best chance of being found not guilty.
Potential Penalties for Criminal Conviction in Riverside California
Recently, California legislators enacted sweeping reforms to state criminal laws, and many offenses now carry much lighter sentences than they did a few years ago. However, this does not mean anyone should forego legal counsel when charged with a crime in the Inland Empire. If you have been arrested and charged with any criminal offense, it is vital to secure legal counsel from an experienced Riverside, California criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
California law separates crimes into felonies and misdemeanors. A felony conviction can lead to several years in prison, fines in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, loss of your constitutional rights, and long-term complications, including difficulty finding a job or securing financial aid. Though technically less severe than felony offenses, misdemeanor convictions can also incur heavy penalties, including fines, jail time, community service, and mandatory counseling or safety courses.
How to Defend Against a DUI Charge
If you believe you have been incorrectly charged with a DUI, there are a number of ways to counter the accusation, such as:
- The arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull you over.
- There was a flaw in the administration of the field sobriety or breathalyzer test.
- The breathalyzer machine was not properly calibrated.
- You were taking medication that may have caused you to appear intoxicated.
- You have a medical condition that may have caused you to appear intoxicated.
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the possible defenses for a DUI charge. It is crucial to speak to a Riverside DUI attorney to discuss the specific details of your situation and to determine what the best defenses are.
Best Practices for Working With a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are charged with a crime, following these best practices can help ensure a better chance of winning:
- Be honest with your attorney. A criminal defense attorney is only as strong as the information you provide them. It is important to be honest with your attorney about the facts of your case so they can develop the best possible defense and combat any false information the prosecutor may have.
- Do not discuss your case with anyone but your attorney. Once you have been charged with a crime, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. Discuss your case with your attorney and no one else, as your attorney is the only one who can protect your rights.
- Be on time for court. If you are scheduled to appear in court, it is imperative to be on time. The judge will not look favorably upon you if you are late, and it could negatively impact your case.
- Be respectful to the court. No matter how frustrating it may be, it is important to always be respectful to the court. This includes not speaking out of turn and following the rules of the court.
- Dress appropriately for court. You should always dress in professional attire when you appear in court. This shows the judge that you take your case seriously and that you respect the court.
By following these tips, you can give yourself the best possible chance of winning your case.
What to Expect From Your Defense Attorney
When you hire a Riverside criminal defense attorney to represent you in any criminal case, their first step in handling your case should be to closely examine the conditions of your arrest. If the police officers who arrested you failed to read you your Miranda rights or otherwise violated due process, it may be enough to have your case dismissed outright. The next step in your defense will be to challenge the evidence presented against you. The prosecution must prove that all evidence in play was legally obtained and use this evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense attorney’s job is to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, challenge the validity of the evidence presented, and present exculpatory evidence on your behalf.
Your defense attorney can also assist you with issues such as posting bail, potentially arguing on your behalf to have you released on your own recognizance after arrest until your arraignment. We can also coordinate with local bail bond agents to reduce your bail bond fee if bonding is necessary to get you out of jail until your court date.
Representing Clients in Riverside, California
If you face criminal charges of any kind in Riverside, California, a criminal defense lawyer is your best asset in defending yourself. My SoCal Lawyers offers robust and reliable criminal defense at every stage of your case. If you or your loved one has been arrested for any crime in Riverside, California, it’s vital to ensure one of your first phone calls is directed to our team. You can also fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation with an experienced Riverside, California criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.