It can be terrifying to face a criminal charge of any kind, especially one that could affect your life for many years. Worrying about the penalties you face when you have been arrested is understandable. You may not immediately know the full scope of charges against you, or you could be distressed after being charged with a crime you did not commit. Whether you made a mistake and worry about the consequences of your actions or need to prove you did not commit the offense, the right attorney will be an invaluable asset in your criminal case.
Exum Law Office regularly defends clients charged with criminal offenses in the Riverside, CA, area. We understand that in most cases, the defendant’s top concern is the scope of the penalties they face if they are convicted. Our goal in every case our firm accepts is to help our client understand their legal options for defending themselves and to guide them to the best possible outcomes for their cases. If you have concerns about potential penalties for a criminal offense in California, remember that defense counsel you can trust is an invaluable asset no matter what your case entails.
Your Constitutional Rights After Arrest
Every American citizen has civil rights and constitutional rights the criminal justice system must observe and respect in every criminal case. Law enforcement officers who conduct arrests must do so according to the laws of due process. Any violation of a suspect’s civil or constitutional rights could potentially lead to the case being dismissed for procedural violations. Your defense attorney will be crucial for ensuring you do not experience any violation of your civil or constitutional rights after an arrest in California.
Two very important constitutional amendments apply to criminal cases in the United States. First is the Fifth Amendment, which preserves the right to remain silent after arrest. You are not legally required to answer any questions from the police once you are arrested, and doing so can work against you in surprising ways. The Sixth Amendment preserves your right to legal counsel. Every American citizen accused of a crime can have defense representation, even if they cannot afford to hire a private defense attorney or do not want to pay private attorneys’ fees.
Most California public defenders are hardworking and experienced attorneys but are compelled to manage several cases at once and can’t provide clients with much in the way of individual attention. Securing legal representation from an experienced private defense attorney typically offers more personal attention for your case and a greater chance of securing a favorable outcome.
Fighting a Wrongful Accusation
Some defendants facing criminal prosecution in California experience violations of their rights, complicating their cases in various ways. Others are wrongfully accused of offenses they did not commit. An individual can face conviction for a crime they did not commit based on erroneous witness testimony or an intentional and malicious false accusation. For example, it’s relatively common for divorcing spouses or partners in domestic disputes to make false accusations of domestic violence to gain an advantage in divorce or child custody proceedings.
If you are innocent of the charges against you, proving your side of the story may be more difficult than you initially anticipated. It’s possible that despite your innocence, the police and prosecution believe they have enough to press forward in pursuit of a conviction. If you are wrongfully charged with an offense you did not commit, do not fall into the trap of trying to explain your way out of the situation and hope the police will see your side of the story. Instead, speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible and say nothing until you have legal counsel representing you.
Plea Bargaining and Sentencing in California
A good defense attorney can help their client determine the best available strategies for their case. Therefore, be sure to provide your defense attorney with the information they need for a robust defense. Whether you committed the offense in question or have been falsely accused, your attorney needs all the information you can give them to do their best on your behalf.
Criminal penalties in California may include fines, jail time, and other punishments based on the unique details of a case. When a defendant has harmed any other party through illegal action, they will likely owe restitution to the victim. If they committed an offense under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they could be compelled into substance abuse treatment. Many defendants, especially first-time offenders, are offered probation instead of jail time for some nonviolent offenses.
When you know you broke the law and the prosecution has more than enough evidence to secure a conviction, a plea deal could be your best hope of avoiding a serious penalty. Prosecutors are sometimes willing to make plea deals with defendants. In exchange for a lighter sentence and/or reduced charges, the defendant agrees to submit an immediate guilty plea and proceed directly to sentencing. When a conviction is unavoidable, a good defense attorney can potentially help a client secure a plea agreement that entails a fraction of their original penalty.
Finding Your Criminal Defense Attorney
A criminal conviction can entail various penalties, from fines and incarceration to longer-lasting effects. A criminal record can interfere with your life in several ways. The nature of your criminal record can also influence prospective employers’ hiring decisions or interfere with your living options. The first steps you take after an arrest in California profoundly affect subsequent legal proceedings, so it is crucial to approach this challenging situation as carefully as possible.
Ultimately, it can be incredibly intimidating to approach the criminal justice system alone. Regardless of what your case entails, whether you need to prove your innocence or mitigate penalties when you have broken the law, defense representation will be essential for navigating your case as successfully as possible. The Exum Law Office can provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to approach your criminal case with peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about our legal services and how we can assist you in your criminal case in Riverside, CA.