The California Penal Code covers the full range of criminal behavior, from small infractions such as trespassing to misdemeanors such as shoplifting to violent felonies such as murder. Though punishments for infractions are mild and do not create a criminal record, penalties for felonies and misdemeanor convictions in Walnut Park can, at the very least, disrupt your life. At the worst, a conviction could send you to prison for life.
Contact an experienced Walnut Park criminal defense attorney from Simmrin Law Group if you have been charged with a crime. Your lawyer will provide you with exceptional representation, to bring the best results possible.
Exercise Your Right to Call a Walnut Park Criminal Defense Attorney
Most people are aware of their “right to remain silent.” Unfortunately, people who are arrested often fail to exercise that right and say things, often with the best intentions, that are ultimately used against them. If you are arrested for a crime, use your right.
Do not respond to questions or speak to law enforcement regarding your alleged crime.
You also have the right to three phone calls within three hours of your arrest. Use your right and call a criminal defense lawyer from Walnut Park. Once you have secured legal representation, your lawyer will be present any time law enforcement questions you and will advise you on what to say or avoid saying.
For a free legal consultation with a criminal defense lawyer serving Walnut Park, call (310) 896-2723
How Felony Convictions Can Affect Your Life
In California, a felony is a crime punishable by a year or more in prison and $10,000 in fines. Sometimes, a judge might sentence the offender to felony probation, requiring the offender to spend one year in prison, at most. Violent felony convictions also count as a “strike” on your record under California’s three-strikes law.
A felony conviction has additional long-term consequences, including loss of professional licenses, loss of some civil rights, and limited employment and educational opportunities. A variety of factors determine the specifics of the penalties, including the seriousness of the crime, whether victims were hurt or killed during or because of the act, and the offender’s criminal history, among others.
Most convicted felons are given low-, middle-, or high-term sentences, and for some felonies, the California Penal Code establishes sentence lengths. For example, a conviction for first-degree burglary can carry a sentence of two, four, or six years. Judges consider aggravating and mitigating factors when determining the sentences.
You need a skilled criminal defense attorney in Walnut Park to argue against aggravating factors and present mitigating factors to keep your sentence low.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
Aggravating and mitigating factors are aspects of your character, situation, or crime that can affect the sentencing outcome. Aggravating factors work against you, increasing your culpability or the intensity of your crime. For example, if you commit a crime in front of a child, show no remorse, or have a prior criminal conviction, these aggravating factors may prompt a judge to issue a more severe sentence.
Mitigating factors have the opposite effect and work to reduce your sentence. For example, if you were threatened with harm if you refused to take part in the crime, have mental or emotional disabilities, or show sincere remorse and a desire to change, the judge may decide a softer sentence is more appropriate.
Walnut Park Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
How Misdemeanor Convictions Can Affect Your Life
Misdemeanor crimes are less serious than felony offenses and are punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. Usually, misdemeanor crimes do not involve violence or cause only minimal injury. As with felony offenders, judges may sentence misdemeanor offenders with probation, usually allowing the offender to avoid jail time as long as they honor all probationary conditions.
Crimes considered standard misdemeanors, such as petty theft and drug possession, generally produce sentences of up to six months in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines. More serious misdemeanors are classified as “gross” or “aggravated” and can add another six months to the jail sentence.
A skilled Walnut Park criminal defense lawyer will work to have your misdemeanor charges dismissed or argue for the lowest sentence possible.
When a Crime Is a “Wobbler”
While some crimes can only be charged as felonies and others only as misdemeanors, some crimes fall into the “wobbler” category. These crimes can be met with either felony or misdemeanor charges as determined by the prosecution or, less commonly, by the judge.
Just as you need an expert criminal defense attorney in Walnut Park to argue for mitigation for felony or misdemeanor charges, when you face wobbler charges, you need your attorney to fight to keep the charges low.
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What Your Walnut Park Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Do for You
When facing criminal charges, it is easy to feel completely isolated and terrified of what your future may hold. Your criminal defense lawyer in Walnut Park will make sure you know you have someone on your side and will keep you informed at all times. Your lawyer will:
- Communicate: Providing you with up-to-date information on the status of your case and all of your legal options.
- Investigate: Diving into the details of your case to find evidence furthering your defense, mitigating factors, or holes in the prosecution’s case
- Strategize: Creating a defense that best fits the specifics of your circumstances
- Negotiate: Arguing against aggravating factors or prosecutorial evidence and presenting mitigating factors. Your lawyer may also negotiate parameters for a plea bargain if that outcome is in your best interests.
- Represent: Advocating for you at every court date or legal proceeding should your case go to trial
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You Need an Expert Fighting for You
Once you are charged with a crime, the prosecution’s job and goal are to hold you accountable and win a conviction. You need someone whose job and goal is to defend you and fight against those charges. A Walnut Park criminal defense lawyer from Simmrin Law Group is exactly who you need.
We are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us and schedule a free case review today.
Call or text (310) 896-2723 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form