A Criminal Defense Attorney Redwood City CA Clients Recommend Discusses When It’s Your First Criminal Charge
Anyone who has been charged with a serious criminal charge faces an uncertain future. This is also true for someone who has been charged with a crime for the first time. After all, even with a trusted criminal defense attorney by your side, the legal system is unfamiliar. At The Morales Law Firm, we understand that and we treat our clients accordingly by providing compassion and patience even as we aggressively fight on their behalf to protect their rights. Understanding the Insanity Defense.
If you or a loved one was charged with a crime, it’s important to contact a respected criminal defense attorney without delay. We provide free consultations to those who are charged with crimes. If the accused is still behind bars, we can usually make arrangements to get them released on bail fairly quickly. It may even be possible to get their charge dismissed at the onset. Call us at The Morales Law Firm to learn more after providing specifics about the situation you or your loved one is experiencing.
As a general rule, there is a hierarchy when it comes to criminal charges in terms of severity. For example, when someone is accused of intentionally murdering someone, that alleged act would fall under the classification of a first-degree murder charge, which is also a felony. Petty theft is often considered a misdemeanor, and as such, the punishment after a conviction is usually a fine rather than jail time.
If this is not your first criminal charge for a specific type of crime, the charge against you might escalate to a more serious offense. For example, if someone was convicted of spousal battery which might be a misdemeanor, subsequent arrests for the same crime might no longer be a simple misdemeanor. After a first-time conviction, the accused may face a felony charge for the same crime, which in this example is spousal battery. Talk to your Redwood City CA criminal defense attorney about the likelihood of your criminal charge changing from a misdemeanor to a felony. There remains that possibility even if this is your first time being charged with this particular offense as you have never been convicted of the same crime.
If you are an upstanding or respected member of your community, your criminal defense attorney may suggest that you identify those persons who might testify on your behalf that you are not worthy of spending time behind bars. For example, if you are an active participant in one or more charities, a spokesperson from that group might speak to what a positive difference you have made in the community. If you are a successful businessperson, your associates and colleagues might make a positive impression on a jury. As a first time accused offender, character witnesses can make a greater impact than if you are a serial offender.
- Do Witnesses Called in Criminal Cases Have Legal Rights?
Being called as a witness in a criminal trial can be an understandably intimidating situation. You may experience fears about retaliation, concerns about speaking against someone you care about or you may just generally be nervous about testifying under oath. These anxieties are completely normal. In order to better navigate your circumstances, it generally helps to better understand the rights you have as a witness. At that point, you will be able to better prepare for the task ahead, process any anxieties you may have about it and ask a criminal defense attorney in Redwood City, CA any questions you may have about your situation.
Subpoenas and Refusal to Answer
If you have been served a subpoena, it is important to understand that you cannot ignore it. Subpoenas carry the force of law and you could face significant legal consequences if you fail to submit to its terms by testifying, producing evidence or both. It is also critically important not to tamper with evidence or lie when faced with a subpoena. If you have questions about its terms, it is best to confidentially consult with a Redwood City, CA criminal defense attorney in order to determine your rights and legal strategy.
There are times during which witnesses may refuse to answer questions or produce documents. However, it is important not to make the decision to refuse without speaking to an attorney. The parameters of legal refusal are narrow and generally only apply in select situations. For example, you may generally avoid answering questions that would legally incriminate you or your spouse. But again, it is best to seek legal guidance before refusing to answer because if a legal exception does not apply, you could face serious consequences related to refusal.
Some victims have no interest as serving as witnesses, whereas others desire to present testimony and remain as informed about the justice process as is possible. It is therefore important to speak with criminal defense attorney in Redwood City CA about your rights and preferences, if you are a victim in a criminal matter. Generally speaking, if you want to be present and to give testimony, you may. You also have the right to be kept informed at each stage of the process to a certain degree. An attorney will be able to advise you about what you should expect as the process progresses.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about any aspect of the criminal justice process, please consider reaching out to an experienced Redwood City, CA criminal defense attorney. Whether you have been charged with a criminal offense, have been called upon to give testimony in a criminal case or are otherwise in need of legal guidance, an experienced attorney will be able to assist you.
It is important to note that depending on the nature of the issue in question, state law, federal law or both areas of criminal law may come into play. As a result, it is generally a good idea to consult with an attorney licensed to practice in the state where the case in question is being tried, if that situation applies. Once a criminal defense attorney in Redwood City CA better understands your circumstances and questions, he or she will be able to advise you accordingly.
The Morales Law Firm: Solid and Reliable Legal Representation
If you or someone you love was charged with a crime, call us immediately. One of our criminal defense attorneys in Redwood City CA can work on arranging bail as soon as possible. It’s important that you not go through the criminal justice system without quality legal representation. Call us today to speak with a criminal defense attorney Redwood City CA trusts who can make all the difference toward a positive outcome.
A criminal defense attorney Redwood City CA locals recommend will understand that a felony conviction results in serious consequences. Those consequences can affect the convicted person for a lifetime.
Since 1991, The Morales Law Firm has defended clients rights when charged with felony crimes. A Redwood City CA criminal defense attorney uses all available resources to protect our clients and resolve their case with a positive outcome. If you are being investigated by police or have already been charged, contact our office right away to begin building a solid defense.
The importance of hiring a respected criminal defense attorney Redwood City CA residents choose cannot be overemphasized. If you are convicted of a felony, your life may be affected in the following ways:
Right to Vote
One of the collateral consequences of a felony conviction includes the possibility of losing your right to vote. This is referred to as felony disenfranchisement and it is one of several collateral consequences from a felony conviction. Each state determines whether or not a felony conviction strips a person of their right to vote. A criminal defense attorney Redwood City CA community members rely on can explain how the laws in your state will affect you.
When it comes to felony drug convictions, one of the major consequences for a person pursuing higher education is the determination of ineligibility for federal student loans. Under federal law, a person convicted of a drug charge may lose eligibility for a period of years, or in cases of two or more drug convictions, it may be indefinite. In some cases, a student can regain eligibility for loans by successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program and by passing random drug tests.
The law also forbids a person convicted of a felony from having the right to carry a gun or an electronic defense weapon such as a stun gun. In fact, firearm ownership is prohibited even if the gun is unloaded.
Professional licenses for various professions can also be restricted or revoked based on a felony conviction. This means that in most cases, if the convicted person needs a professional license for work, he or she cannot be employed. Some of these professions include barbers, lawyers, medical professionals, and contractors.
A prospective employer may not have the legal right to ask an applicant if they have a felony conviction on the initial job application form. However, this depends on the state in which you live. A criminal defense attorney Redwood City CA defendants trust can clarify the laws as they apply to your circumstances.
Some consequences are only temporary; for example, a person convicted of drug felony charges may also be restricted in his or her eligibility to receive food stamps or temporary cash assistance from the government. Exceptions may be applied if the following conditions are met:
- The person completes serving his or her sentence;
- The person is satisfactorily serving probation;
- The person has satisfactorily completed a court-ordered substance abuse program.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
Conviction of a felony crime may lead to the person losing several rights or opportunities, even after he or she has served their sentence. If you were charged with a felony, you may benefit from hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact a criminal defense attorney Redwood City CA offers from The Morales Law Firm to find out how our legal team can make a difference.