Facing Criminal Charges After an Arrest in California?
Call a Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Attorney with Experience
Being arrested does not necessarily mean that you are guilty. However, any criminal conviction can seriously impact your life for years to come. Depending on the charges, a conviction may mean a fine of thousands of dollars as well as months or years of jail time. Additionally, a criminal record may make it much more difficult to find work and a place to live. Finally, the damage to your reputation can severely affect you socially, psychologically and emotionally. Therefore, after an arrest or indictment in California, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Even if the charges are minor or you believe you will be exonerated, a lawyer is essential to ensuring that you have a solid defense.
If you are facing charges or need help after a loved one’s arrest, then contact a Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney from our law firm today. Arturo Angel Burga founded the Burga Law Firm to provide experienced, compassionate representation to residents of Southern California. We can work quickly to negotiate bail for your friend or relative. Then, we will take the time to fully investigate your situation and the criminal charges you face so that you can be confident that you have as strong a defense as possible.
What Are Common Types of Criminal Cases in Southern California?
A criminal defense attorney can assist you with your legal defense no matter what kind of charges you face. We have experience supporting clients through a wide range of criminal matters, including:
- Driving under the influence (DUI). A lawyer may be able to dispute unreliable roadside tests and breathalyzer results.
- Driving without a license or with a suspended license. You may be able to reduce the penalties for this misdemeanor, especially if you can produce a valid license later.
- Domestic violence. Your criminal defense lawyer can examine your history and details of your case; depending on the circumstances, you may be able to get your charges reduced to an infraction or dropped.
- Probation violations. There are a variety of defenses to probation violations, depending on the infraction.
- Drug crimes. These charges may include drug possession as well as distribution and intent to sell. Illegal and controlled substances include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and certain prescription drugs, among others. Although possession and use of marijuana is legal in California, you still may face charges for possession on school grounds.
- Sex crimes. These may include child sexual abuse, possession of child pornography, rape, sexual battery and indecent exposure. Prostitution and soliciting a prostitute are also sex crimes which may be felonies or misdemeanors.
- Assault and battery. Your lawyer can help you explore all defense options, including self defense, if applicable.
- Murder or attempted murder. Due to the severity of these charges and the associated penalties, you should always consult a defense attorney.
- Theft and property crimes. These offenses may include petty theft or larceny, grand theft, shoplifting, breaking and entering, and more.
- Juvenile crimes. Although the courts usually seal juvenile criminal records once a person turns 18, a conviction can still severely impact your child’s life. Therefore, you should find a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the unique aspects of a juvenile case.
- White collar crime. These non-violent offenses include embezzlement, fraud, identity theft and Ponzi schemes.
- Unpaid citations, failure to appear and outstanding warrants. If you have an outstanding warrant for missing a court appearance or failing to pay a citation, then a lawyer can help you face the judge and explain yourself.
- Expungements and having records sealed. Sometimes, our post-conviction relief attorneys may be able to wipe your criminal record clean or seal it. This is crucial, as you may be unable to find employment or housing with a criminal record.
- Prop 47 motions. In California, you may be able to petition the court to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor through a Prop 47 motion.
- Criminal charges and immigration issues. Our law firm focuses on both immigration and criminal law. Therefore, we can defend you against criminal charges related to your immigration status. We can also take steps to prevent criminal charges from affecting your right to remain in the United States.
Misdemeanor vs Felony: What Is the Difference?
The penalties that a conviction may carry will vary depending on the severity of the charges you face. In California, there are three general categories of criminal offenses, which are:
- Infraction. The least severe type of charge, an infraction is a minor offense such as traffic violations like speeding. Penalties are usually fines; you cannot receive a jail sentence for an infraction.
- Misdemeanor. You may face misdemeanor charges for offenses like shoplifting, disorderly conduct, simple assault, domestic violence, reckless driving, some drug crimes and DUI. Penalties may include up to six months or a year in jail, as well as a fine up to $1,000 (or $2,000 for an aggravated misdemeanor).
- Felony. In California, felony crimes include certain drug offenses, robbery, murder and some white collar crimes, like fraud. Penalties for these range from one year to life in prison, fines up to $10,000 and more.
In California, certain crimes may be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how the prosecutor pursues the case and what sentence a judge hands down. These crimes, colloquially called “wobblers,” are serious crimes that may or may not cause serious injuries. When the offense causes only minor damage or injury, then it may be a misdemeanor. However, when severe injury results, then the result can be felony charges. For example, assault with a deadly weapon (other than a firearm) is a wobbler; if the assault causes only minor injuries, then the offender may face misdemeanor charges, despite the seriousness of the general crime.
In some cases, a criminal defense attorney can take steps to reduce your criminal changes from a felony to a misdemeanor, or a misdemeanor to an infraction. The lower the severity of the charges, then the lower the fines and jail time.
Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? Call Our Rancho Cucamonga Law Firm Today
If your loved one was arrested or you have been charged with a crime in Southern California, then contact our law firm right away. A Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney can act quickly to get your loved one out of police custody. Then, we can craft a customized, thorough defense on your behalf.
Call (909) 321-9188 or contact Burga Law Firm online today to schedule a free initial consultation.