A criminal conviction leads to severe and life-altering consequences that you cannot get back. You can lose many rights, like voting, employment opportunities, and freedom. California has a three-strikes rule which raises the stakes even higher. You must have criminal defense lawyers that can build a strong case and protect your future.
You can face a misdemeanor or felony conviction, each with its unique challenges. You cannot trust anyone with your future. Call the Simmrin Law Group today to talk to a Palms criminal defense lawyer.
Our Practice Areas
The Simmrin Law Group handles a range of criminal defense cases, including:
- Drug offense
- Theft crimes
- White collar crimes
- Sex crimes
- Traffic cases
- Federal crimes
- Violent offenses
Our firm focuses on criminal defense and is ready to fight for your freedom.
For a free legal consultation with a criminal defense lawyer serving Palms, call (310) 896-2723
California’s Three Strikes Rule
Once you accumulate three felony convictions in Palms or throughout California, you will face additional penalties. The severity of the felony and whether it involves violence are contributing factors to your outcome. Once you reach your third strike, you can automatically be sentenced to anywhere from 25 years to life in prison.
If this sounds harsh, it is, and it has been the law since 1994. However, there was an amendment made in 2012 with two objectives. The first change is the third offense or strike must be serious or violent in order to qualify for the California rule of 25-to-life.
Repeat offenders can now also file a petition with the court to have their term reduced to a sentence under the second-strike category. These changes are vague, and many intricacies go into requesting a second strike sentence. Before you get to your third offense, you will see a first offense, and you will need to have a criminal defense lawyer in Palms, CA, that can fight for you from your first charge.
Palms Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Types of Criminal Offenses
There are three types of criminal offenses you can face in California, and depending on what they are, they will determine your defense and your life.
An infraction is a public offense that cannot be punished with time in prison. Examples include traffic violations, and you likely must pay a fine.
Since infractions carry fewer consequences, many people do not hire Palms criminal defense attorneys, which is a mistake. People charged with an infraction often are not privy to a public defender nor do they have the right to a jury trial.
Misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in prison and fines in the thousands of dollars. Examples of misdemeanors are trespassing, petty theft, and public intoxication.
The most severe criminal offense is a felony, which can result in life imprisonment or death. In rare cases, you can be put on probation. Examples of felonies are manslaughter, serious assault, drug offenses, domestic violence, and murder.
Wobbler offenses fall in between misdemeanor charges and felonies, and the final decision often depends on your legal representation.
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Finding the Right Lawyer
Finding the right Palms criminal defense lawyer is essential to your future. While you have the option of having a public defender, your better choice is to hire a private criminal defense lawyer. However, you should also choose the right private lawyer because not every lawyer can help you defeat a criminal charge.
When meeting with potential criminal defense lawyers, ask questions about their track record, experience, and cases similar to yours. A criminal conviction can make it challenging to get employment or housing, and these charges will stay on your record for years. Whenever you undergo a background check, your criminal conviction will appear, which will hinder your opportunities.
Do some research on hiring the best criminal defense attorney in Palms, CA, for your specific circumstances.
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The Criminal Process
The legal process for a criminal charge is challenging, and you must understand the steps you must take to secure your freedom. One mistake can take years to resolve, and you should not be left carrying the burden alone. The first part of the criminal process is your arrest and bail.
Once you are under arrest, you will be detained at a local police station and are held until your arraignment to be formally charged. You will then have a bail amount set based on the severity of your crime. You will make an appearance in front of a judge no later than 72 hours from the time you were arrested, and you should have a criminal defense lawyer by then to help you.
The judge can choose not to set bail for some crimes, usually involving capital murder or there is a probation violation.
During your arraignment, you appear before the judge, who will read your charges and ask you to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. When you plead not guilty, the judge will set a date for a preliminary hearing or pre-trial conference, depending on your charges. If you are set for a pre-trial conference, usually for misdemeanor charges, this is your time to negotiate a reduction or dismissal of your charges.
You can also work towards a plea bargain, and the process ends here. You can also negotiate your bail during an arraignment.
The Preliminary Hearing
Suppose you are scheduled for a preliminary hearing, usually for felony crimes. In that case, the judge will review the evidence and listen to all witness testimony to determine if they should send the case to trial. You have the right to this hearing within the first 10 days of your arraignment.
The standard of proof is lower for preliminary hearings, and you must retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Palms, CA, to provide solid evidence. After your preliminary hearing, you can be sent to trial. Here, you will have to fight and prove your case, get your verdict, and come back for sentencing.
Your ruling will depend on a jury’s decision, but your sentencing will depend on the judge handling your case.
Speak to the Simmrin Law Group Today
You must take swift action if you are arrested for a crime in Palms. The criminal process works quickly, and the deadlines will pass you by if you wait too long. Your future is on the line, and the Simmrin Law Group is here to help you during this challenging time.
Contact our law firm immediately after your arrest to discuss your options.