Below are some answers to frequently asked questions in criminal cases. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, please feel free to contact us.
Should I hire an attorney for my criminal case?
Absolutely, having a lawyer is important to make sure you get a fair deal on your criminal case. An experienced criminal defense attorney is like a navigator through the legal system. They will help you understand all the details, so you can choose which route is the best for you. It is important to have an attorney to make sure that you receive a fair resolution of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to guide you through the criminal justice system. They will make sure that you know exactly what you are signing up for and work with you to ensure you are getting the best result.
Can I just get a public defender?
Will my criminal case go to trial?
In most situations, criminal cases do not actually go to trial. Basically, that means that both the prosecution and defense reach an agreement about how to settle the case. However, It is extremely important to understand the charges and evidence before making a decision to accept or reject an offer. An experienced criminal defense attorney is key. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of accepting an offer versus taking your case to trial.
Can I avoid jail?
Criminal charges carry the possibility of a jail sentence. No criminal defense attorney can make promises about the results of your case. However, there are alternatives to jail that we can negotiate depending on the circumstances of your case.
What is diversion and am I eligible?
Diversion is an opportunity to have your case dismissed after completing requirements set by the court. These requirements differ depending on the facts of your case. There are a few different types of diversion. Your eligibility for a diversion program will depend on various factors. These include but are not limited to your charges, military experience, mental health diagnosis, and criminal history. You can read more about different diversion programs here.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
A misdemeanor offense is a less serious offense that carries a maximum jail sentence of up to one year. On the other hand, felony offenses are considered more serious and can include a prison sentence over a year. In addition to these, there are other differences including bail amounts, immigration consequences, impact on ability to have firearms, and expungements.
What is a wobbler?
A wobbler is an offense that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. When a prosecutor decides to file criminal charges, they will make an initial decision to file the charge as one or the other. However, they can change this later before the case has resolved if they feel it’s appropriate.
What if the officer doesn’t show up?
When you are facing an infraction (an example would be a traffic ticket), on the day of trial, if the officer does not show up, the case against you is typically dismissed. However, in felony and misdemeanor cases, this is not true. In these cases, the prosecutor will subpoena witnesses, which includes the officer on your case. If the officer, or even another necessary witness, is correctly subpoenaed but unavailable, the prosecutor will request a continuance, to start trial at a time their witnesses are available. The court will normally grant this request if there is good reason a subpoenaed officer or witness is unavailable.
What if I miss court?
If you are cited to appear in court on a misdemeanor or felony charge, and you do not show up for court, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest. In some cases, your attorney can appear for you. If you have an issue on your way to court, you should contact your attorney right away. It is extremely important to communicate with your attorney.
Feel free to contact us for any questions we missed. You can also call to schedule a free consultation. We can better address your questions when we have more information about the specifics of your criminal case.