Under California Penal Code 153, compounding a crime is against the law. When you have been accused of this offense, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances of your case.
It is important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to help you avoid the devastating impact of a criminal conviction. Here is more about California Penal Code 153 PC and how a conviction could impact you for years to come.
What Is California Penal Code 153 PC?
Compounding a crime under California Penal Code 153 means you are accused of agreeing to take or taking money or another item of value in exchange for refusing to prosecute a crime, withholding evidence of a crime, or concealing a crime.
Anyone who has knowledge of a crime and accepts a reward, gratuity, money, or any other type of bribe to conceal that crime or prevent the prosecution of that crime, could face criminal charges for compounding a crime.
- Defendants could spend up to one year in county jail if the crime in question was punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
- Defendants could spend up to six months in county jail if the crime in question was punishable by any state prison term other than life imprisonment.
- Defendants could spend up to six months in a county jail or a fine as high as $1,000 if the crime in question was a misdemeanor.
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What Are the Penalties of a California Penal Code 153 PC Conviction?
The criminal penalties you will face if you are found guilty of compounding a crime under California Penal Code 153 can vary depending on the type of underlying crime in question. The more severe the underlying crime, the harsher the penalties you will face.
Compounding a crime is considered a wobbler offense. This means it can be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific details of the case. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor under California Penal Code 153, the jail time and fines you will face may be less than if you were convicted at the felony level.
In addition to jail time and fines, the court may order you to participate in mental health counseling, anger management programs, group therapy, drug or alcohol treatment programs, and other types of rehabilitative programs.
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How Could Your Life Be Affected by a Conviction?
A conviction for compounding a crime could be as devastating as if you were convicted of the crime itself. The type of crime you are charged with will not necessarily determine how your life is impacted.
The fact that you were accused of committing and convicted of committing a crime will affect your life no matter what type of crime you were charged with. Some of the more common types of collateral consequences those convicted of criminal offenses face include:
- Possible deportation or issues with immigration and citizenship
- Temporary or permanent loss of gun rights
- Temporary loss of voting rights
- Disqualification from federal student aid eligibility
- Temporary or permanent loss of child custody or visitation rights
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
- Tumultuous relationships with family and friends
- A blemished criminal record
- Difficulty finding a good job or a safe place to live
Often, the ways your life is affected by a criminal conviction go well beyond fines and jail or prison time. Once you are released from law-enforcement custody, you begin to feel the fallout of your conviction. For this reason, it is essential that you defend yourself when you are facing charges under California Penal Code 153.
Can You Defend Against California Penal Code 153 PC?
Defending yourself against compounding crime accusations can be challenging. There are many types of evidence that the prosecutor may attempt to use against you, such as:
- Photos of interactions
- Video surveillance
- Witness statements
- Copies of communications exchanges
- Other related recorded communications
One of the most common defenses used to challenge California Penal Code 153 charges is the argument that the defendant had no knowledge of the underlying crime in question. If the defendant did not know that an underlying crime was taking place, they could not have expected any type of bribe or money for concealing the crime or aiding in the prevention of the alleged suspect from being convicted of a crime.
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How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You?
An experienced criminal defense lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Although compounding a crime may seem like a minor offense, a conviction could have devastating consequences. Your attorney could help you understand the magnitude of the charges against you, the potential consequences you are facing, and figure out which defenses are most likely to help you obtain the acquittal you need.
Do not rely on a public defender to represent you. Public defenders are often overworked and may not be able to give your case the attention it deserves, despite being otherwise talented legal advocates. By hiring a private criminal defense lawyer, you can take control of your defense strategy.
Your attorney will have access to the resources needed to challenge the prosecutor’s evidence against you, introduce your own supporting evidence, and hire experts to testify on your behalf. You can count on your private criminal defense lawyer to return your phone calls and provide you with case status updates in a timely manner.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney for Legal Advice Today
Defending yourself against compounding crime allegations can be overwhelming. But when you have an experienced criminal defense attorney advocating for you, you can rest easier. Your attorney could help you challenge the elements of the offense so you can avoid a conviction.
Find out how to best approach your defense strategy when you reach out to your criminal defense lawyer. You can complete our secure contact form or call our office for a confidential case review today.