Bear in mind that anything you say WILL be used against you so it is always best to remain silent and hire an attorney as soon as possible!!
If the case is a felony, there is also a preliminary hearing. This hearing requires the district attorney to present enough evidence to the court for the court to find that probable cause exists to believe that you committed this crime. This is a very low standard and most cases do proceed beyond preliminary hearing. You have a right to a preliminary hearing within 10 court days or 60 calendar days of your arraignment. This protects your right to a speedy trial.
There are also numerous motions that can be run throughout the course of any criminal case. The most common of these is a motion to suppress the evidence in the case based on an unlawful search and seizure. If the arresting agency violated your constitutional rights, the evidence must be thrown out which will result in the case being dismissed.
Bail in Federal Court is based on a completely different system.
In many cases people “waive time” or “continue” the trial so that they may conduct further investigation or subpoena witnesses. Sometimes people like to age a case for various other reasons such as scheduling conflicts.
If you are charged with a felony you have a right to a preliminary hearing within 10 court days or 60 calendar days of your arraignment. If you are “bound over” or held to answer for trial you will then be arraigned again in another court. (In Orange County this arraignment would take place in C-5 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.) Once you are arraigned there you have a right to a trial within 60 days of that date. Many times trials are continued to a later date. If your trial is continued past the 60 day time frame then you have a right to a trial within a reasonable time.
In many cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney can get misdemeanor charges reduced to infractions. An infraction is not punishable by imprisonment. A person charged with an infraction is not entitled to a trial by jury. Any trial on an infraction case would be decided by a judge.
A felony is a more serious offense. Some examples of felonies are possession for sale of narcotics, first degree burglary, rape and murder. A felony is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment in state prison. Prison sentences can run from 16 months to life in prison depending on the crime. It is possible to be sentenced to “local time” or time in county jail rather than state prison on a felony and in some cases, no time at all.
There are many crimes that can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor. These are called “wobblers”. Some examples of “wobblers” are assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft. If you are represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney they may be able to have the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to penal code section 17 (b).
The Law Office of Diane C. Bass has successfully obtained many reductions from felonies to misdemeanors and many misdemeanors reduced to infractions for her clients over the years. She has also obtained many dismissals on both felonies and misdemeanors as well as not guilty verdicts.
Most importantly, an experienced criminal defense attorney can often negotiate with the prosecution or the court to get charges dismissed, changed or reduced and can very often negotiate a reduced sentence. An experienced criminal defense attorney can also advise you of the possible alternatives to serving jail time.
You have many constitutional rights that you will have to give up in order to plead guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of these rights as well as the other consequences of pleading guilty.
If you are not a United States Citizen you could be deported, be denied admission to the United States or be Excluded from Naturalization.
Before pleading guilty to any crime it is always essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
You have a right to be represented by an attorney at all stages of the proceedings. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
You have a right to be presumed innocent. This means that you do not have to prove your innocence. The prosecution has the burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard of proof in our country.
Unfortunately, in reality, you do have to prove your innocence which is why you always need to be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney who can fight your case for you. Most jurors see someone who has been charged with a crime and they assume that “they must have done something wrong or they wouldn’t be here.” This is an uphill battle to fight you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to stand by your side to fight it for you.
You have a right to remain silent and if you choose to remain silent that choice cannot be used against you.
You do not have to testify at your own trial. You do not have to incriminate yourself. You do not have to give evidence against yourself. If you do not testify at your trial the prosecutor cannot mention that fact in their case against you.
You have a right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures.
When pleading guilty to a crime you will often have to give up the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures while you are on probation whether it is formal or informal probation. This means that if you are stopped by law enforcement officers while you are on probation you must advise them that you are on probation and they may search you or any container, vehicle or premises under your control, any time of day or night for no reason whatsoever.
Additionally, a lawyer will not be appointed to you until you show up in court for your arraignment. Therefore, you will not have an opportunity to meet your appointed lawyer or discuss your case with them until after charges are filed. By hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer from the moment you discover you are being investigated for a crime or from the moment you are arrested you may be able to avoid having charges filed at all. It is critical to be represented by a lawyer at the earliest stages of a case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help to reduce bail and can often discuss your case with the prosecution and convince them not to file the case or to file lesser charges.
Electronic Monitoring or Supervision
Electronic monitoring or supervision programs allow an individual to wear an electronic monitoring device or ankle bracelet to determine their whereabouts at any given time. It is sometimes used in combination with home detention although not always. This is used in lieu of jail time in some cases. There is a cost involved with electronic monitoring which varies from one provider to another. Electronic monitoring can also be used while a defendant is out on bail in cases where the court might not otherwise have released this individual.
Residential rehabilitation can be an alternative to a jail sentence in cases involving drug or alcohol addiction.
There are a large number of residential rehabilitation programs which allow individuals to live in the program while undergoing rehabilitation for drug or alcohol abuse. There are wide variety of programs ranging from 30 day programs to year long programs. The amount of time one spends in a program will often be determined by the court. Many programs use the 12 step approach to rehabilitation. Residential programs often involve group meetings, individual counseling and assistance with job placement. Many programs have a mandatory “lock down” period where the resident may not leave the facility. This period can range from 30 to 90 days depending on the program. Programs are either co-ed or only house either male or female residents. Few programs allow children or pregnant women although they do exist. The cost of residential rehabilitation varies greatly. Programs such as Salvation Army are free but have strict requirements for admission. Other programs can run up to thousands of dollars per month.
The Law Office of Diane C. Bass has been successful in obtaining sentences for her clients which involve residential rehabilitation instead of jail time. If you have a case involving either drug or alcohol addiction, contact the law office of Diane C. Bass to set up a free consultation.
Sober Living Homes are sometimes also called half way houses. Sober Living is where many individuals go to transition from residential rehabilitation back to living their normal lives. It gives someone who is in recovery a chance to slowly re-integrate back into working and dealing with life’s daily issue while providing meetings and support so that they don’t fall back into their old, unhealthy ways. People living in Sober living homes are usually required to have employment so that they can pay for their room at the home which is often shared.
Anger Management classes can be used as a tool to obtain dismissals in some cases and avoid jail in others. It is also required in addition to other forms of punishment in some cases. Any case which involves violence would be an appropriate case for anger management. If you have been charged with or arrested for a crime involving some sort of altercation or fight, the Law Office of Diane C. Bass would refer you to one of the qualified, probation approved anger management programs that is convenient for you. Once completed, Ms. Bass would present your proof of completion of the program to the District Attorney and the court in order to convince them that incarceration is not necessary.
If you have been charged with or arrested for any sort of assault or batter case contact the Law Office of Diane C. Bass for a free consultation.
In cases where an individual is charged with a theft crime, either petty theft, grand theft, receiving stolen property or burglary, it can be extremely beneficial to complete theft counseling. The Law Office of Diane C. Bass has been successful in having less serious cases dismissed after advising her clients to complete a theft counseling program. Generally, these programs requires participation for ten weeks.
Drug screening and testing
Drug Screening and testing can be used by individuals while out on bail or as an alternative to incarceration. There are several companies which offer these services. Ankle bracelets and sweat patches can be used to determine whether an individual is using drugs or alcohol.
There are many types of counseling services available. They range from general psychological counseling to sex offender treatment. There are many cases where psychological issues result in poor judgment. These issues can often be addressed by counseling. The law office of Diane C. Bass has been extremely successful in keeping clients out of jail in some very serious cases by having her clients commit to attending long term counseling programs.
The Law Office of Diane C. Bass has many resources available to her clients for all of these alternatives.