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Orange County Criminal Lawyer

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Orange County, California Criminal Attorney

Anyone who is accused of a crime in the United States is innocent until proven guilty. Everyone who is arrested for criminal charges has the right to an attorney. These are two of the cornerstones of our democracy. Despite these protections, criminal charges are very serious and should be treated as such.

If you are arrested on criminal charges of any kind, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. Do this before you have any discussions with law enforcement or officials of any kind, even if you are innocent. Your words can easily be twisted or misinterpreted, which can harm your case in the long run. Having a criminal defense attorney helps preserve your case and ensure that you approach the situation correctly.

Our team of Orange County criminal defense attorneys can help you with any charges you may face. We work diligently to make sure that everyone has access to legal representation, regardless of the situation.

Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

U.S. Law Center: Your Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers

When you are looking for a law firm for your criminal case, look no further than our team at U.S. Law Center. We work diligently to help residents of California fight against criminal charges. We understand how much these situations can influence your entire life, especially if you are an immigrant in the United States. We welcome clients of all nationalities and backgrounds to use our services for their criminal cases.

Our passion is for fair representation and justice. We know that a small mistake can lead to large consequences in the United States, which is why we work so hard to make sure that our clients have the opportunity to tell their points of view. We will work tirelessly for your rights, regardless of your history, ethnicity, immigration status, or the nature of your case. We are a safe place for any clients to bring their cases. You can trust us with your story.

What Is a Criminal Case?

In the United States judicial system, you can be charged in civil court or in criminal court. Civil court cases involve one individual bringing a complaint against another individual. For example, if one person was responsible for a car accident, the other person could bring them to civil court to get them to pay for the damage. This is called a personal injury case.

Criminal cases, on the other hand, involve the government bringing a case against an individual for breaking the law. This is how the government enforces the law and holds people accountable when they break it. There are many types of criminal cases. Some common examples include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Murder, manslaughter, or homicide
  • Sexual crimes such as rape, sexual assault, and trafficking
  • Drug crimes
  • White collar offenses such as embezzlement
  • DUI, or driving under the influence, of alcohol or drugs

There are many other examples of criminal charges that an individual may face. Anytime you break the law, you can face charges in a criminal court. In general, the consequences of a criminal conviction are more severe than the consequences of a conviction in a civil court.

Dropping Charges

In civil court, the person who is bringing the charges forward can drop the charges at any time. In a criminal case, this is rare. The government is the prosecution, and the prosecuting attorney will only drop the charges if there is a serious change in the nature of the situation. For example, if new evidence is found that drastically changes the possibility of guilt, the prosecution may have no choice but to drop the charges and begin again with a new suspect.

Jury

Another major distinction between criminal and civil courts is the nature of the jury. Both types of court proceedings have a jury, but in civil court, the jury only needs to come to a majority to make a decision. In criminal court, the jury’s decision must be unanimous. In order to convict you of a crime, the jury must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime you are being charged with. If the jury cannot come to a unanimous decision, you have a hung jury, and there may be a mistrial.

Why Do I Need an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney?

Criminal charges are serious and can result in serious consequences. Some people go to jail or prison for many years because of criminal charges. Many people have difficulty finding good jobs, reliable housing, and ways to provide for their families after being convicted of a crime. The situation can absolutely change your life, which is why it is important to take it seriously. You need to give yourself the very best possible chance of being found innocent.

A criminal attorney can provide significant protection for your case and help minimize the damage. With the help of an attorney, many people see shorter or lighter sentences if they are convicted at all. Hiring a high-quality criminal defense attorney is crucial to preserving your freedom and future.

Categories of Criminal Charges

Within the umbrella of criminal law, cases may fall into different categories. Each category encompasses a different severity and set of punishments.

Infractions

Infractions are the least severe type of criminal offense, and they are very common. However, many people will get criminal infractions at some point in their lives. These offenses are actions such as speeding, making a U-turn when it is illegal to do so, parking in a restricted area, etc. Infractions do not require jail or prison time, but the offender usually just has to pay a fine.

Misdemeanor

Misdemeanors are crimes of moderate severity that require punishment but are not severe enough to be felonies. Punishments for misdemeanors generally include up to one year in a county jail, a fine, probation, or some combination of these three types of punishments. Examples of misdemeanors include trespassing, shoplifting, petty theft, and other similar offenses. Though many people have misdemeanor charges on their record and can still function, they may be slightly restricted in their ability to get a job or find housing. This may also depend upon the nature of their crime.

It is important to note that misdemeanor offenses can be upgraded to felonies if there are contributing factors. For example, if you commit a misdemeanor with the use of a deadly weapon, your offense would be considered a felony charge rather than a misdemeanor.

Felony

A felony charge is the most severe category of a criminal charge. The consequences for these offenses often include time in a state prison for an extended period. In addition, a felony on your record makes it extremely difficult to find housing, get a job, and reintegrate into society once you have served your time. You also cannot vote if you have a felony record.

Felony offenses include crimes such as homicide, drug trafficking, rape, embezzlement, and more.

“Wobbler” Offenses

There are some offenses that are considered wobblers. This means that they can be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. DUIs are the most common example of a wobbler offense. If it is your first, second, or third DUI defense case and your actions hurt no one, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if you have four or more DUI offenses or hurt or killed someone with your actions, you will likely face felony charges.

There are several factors that the court takes into account when determining how to charge a wobbler offense. Some things the judge may consider are:

  • Criminal history and record
  • Age
  • Cooperation with police and other law enforcement
  • The severity of the offense
  • Strength of the arguments on both sides

Even though a wobbler offense may only result in a misdemeanor, you should still have a criminal defense attorney on your side. You want to take every precaution to make sure that your charges are minimized.

Criminal Charges and DUI Defense

One of the most common criminal charges is a DUI. DUIs occur when a person drives a car while under the influence of drugs or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. These charges are common because they are often an accident. Sometimes, drivers get behind the wheel of their cars believing that they are under the legal limit when they are not. Other times, they believe that they can safely drive regardless of their BAC.

If you are charged with a DUI, it is important to get an attorney right away. We can help you to fight against your DUI charges. Though the situation may seem helpless, there are quite a few defenses that work against a DUI charge. However, without an attorney on your side, it is extremely difficult to present these arguments. You need a qualified attorney to defend you.

Remember, DUIs can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending upon the situation. There is a lot at stake when facing a potential felony charge, and you should not leave those kinds of consequences to chance.

Criminal Defense Orange County FAQs

Q: How Much Is a Defense Attorney in California?

A: The cost to hire a defense attorney in California varies based on the firm you work with and the nature of your case. Many attorneys charge an hourly rate, which means that your final cost will depend on how long your case takes. There is also a wide range of rates that attorneys charge based on their experience. Always discuss finances with any potential attorneys, so you know what to expect when you get your bill.

Q: How Does a Defense Attorney Prepare for a Case?

A: Remember that the jury must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, so as long as they are not sure about your guilt, they have to find you not guilty. Your attorney will collect evidence, line up witnesses, and build your case with as much proof as they can. They will likely ask you lots of questions to determine which angle they want to present your case. Through these methods, they aim to present reasonable doubt to the jury.

Q: What Are the Three Major Categories of Defense Attorneys?

A: The three categories of defense attorneys are assigned counsel, public defenders, and contract systems. Assigned counsel is when a defendant hires a private attorney from a law firm, which is the most common option for defense cases. The public employs public defenders to represent individuals who cannot afford an attorney. Finally, contract systems involve legal professionals who are not as experienced. These situations aim to find a plea deal rather than go to trial.

Q: What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

A: It is a criminal defense lawyer’s job to create reasonable doubt in the eyes of the jury. Remember, defendants are innocent until proven guilty. This means that they technically do not need to do anything, and it is the prosecution’s job to build a strong case against them. Instead, the defense side pokes holes in the prosecution’s logic and case in order to make the jury unsure of what happened. If they are unsure, they cannot legally convict the defendant.

Q: Are All Defense Lawyers the Same?

A: No. Defense lawyers specialize in different areas of law. While some may be better at handling homicide cases, others specialize in white-collar crimes. When you are looking for an attorney, find one with experience in cases like yours. You will need to be specific in order to find someone who can properly represent you in court.

Contact U.S. Law Center

Our team is here to help you with your Orange County criminal case, regardless of your charges. We are experienced in a wide range of criminal defense topics and can provide you with reliable, comprehensive legal counsel. In addition, we are here to help individuals of all backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, genders, and races.

For more information about how we can help you, please contact U.S. Law Center online today.

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