DRUG CRIMES The first line of defense in any drug case is to evaluate whether or not the police conducted an illegal search of your home, automobile or yourself. Your lawyer must be able to understand the law of illegal searches and seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have a right to be protected against illegal searches and seizures by police investigators. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer knows these constitutional rules and how to applythem in your defense.Your lawyer must be able to understand how the world of undercover drug investigations works and what he must do to investigate and find ways to discredit an informant and his/her potential testimony.
In cases of drug use and possession, there are two main ways to avoid a drug conviction under California law without a trial. First, Penal Code section 1000, or a diversion program, is often reserved for first time drug offenders whose only charge involves the use or possession of drugs. Those charged with a DUI plus drug use or possession are not eligible for this program. Second, Proposition 36 is another court program for drug users and possessors and allows even persons on probation or parole to participate. Again, the charges cannot include a DUI or any other non-drug offense. Your lawyer should be skilled enough to work out a plea bargain that calls for dismissal of the disqualifying charges or he should find an alternative to qualify you for a diversion or Proposition 36 program. VIOLENT CRIMES -- Assault, Robbery, Kidnapping Violent crimes can result in very serious convictions and punishment, and require an aggressive defense by an experienced trial lawyer. The most common violent crimes are simple assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and kidnapping.
The seriousness of a violent crime often depends on the severity of the injury or injuries to the alleged victims. Homicides are obviously the most serious of the violent crimes. Homicide is defined as an act or failure to act which results in the death of another human being. Homicide can be charged as an intentional killing such as murder or manslaughter or as a negligent killing such as involuntary manslaughter.
Assault with a deadly weapon, serious spousal abuse, carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, sex crimes such as rape and child molestation and child abuse can result in long prison sentences, depending on a number of factors such as the seriousness of the injuries to the victims, whether or not guns or other weapons were used, and whether or not the alleged perpetrator has a criminal record.
If you are charged with a violent crime, you should quickly retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who has trial experience relating to violent crimes. An experienced attorney will almost always immediately conduct an investigation, often using the services of an experienced professional investigator. A good investigation can often resultin finding a key alibi witness, or establish that potential eyewitness identification has fatal weaknesses, or that you acted in self-defense. With a thorough investigation, your attorney can prepare your case for trial from a position of strength and confidence rather than weakness and uncertainty. THEFT CRIMES - - Petty Theft, Burglary, Embezzlement, Forgery, Fraud Theft or property crimes can be serious, depending upon the value of the property stolen and/or the criminal record of the defendant. An experienced attorney can sometimes mean the difference between probation and a prison sentence.
If you are charged with a theft crime, your lawyer must immediately evaluate your case to determine what kind of defense to prepare in your behalf.
A professional investigator is often useful to interview prosecution witnesses and other potential witnesses who could be helpful to a successful defense at trial. A psychological evaluation may be helpful to mitigate potential punishment.
The greater the amount of loss, the greater the potential punishment. If you are charged with a White Collar crime, the potential punishment can often be serious because most White Collar crimes involve large sums of money. Your lawyer will need to bring in an expert economist or other financial expert to evaluate the strength of the prosecution's documentary evidence of corporate theft. A strong defense must be mounted at an early stage and by an attorney who understands the criminal justice system and equipped to defend your constitutional rights. BAIL & RELEASE A good lawyer can often mean the difference between reasonable and excessive bail. Further, a good lawyer can persuade the court to substantially lower the bail, or, release the suspect on his own recognizance, thus saving the suspect and his family a lot of money on bail.
When police book a suspect into jail, the Sheriff places bail as a condition of the suspect's release before his/her court appearance based upon a bail schedule devised by the court.
The police often book suspects on multiple charges, knowing that the stacking of charges results in a higher and more burdensome amount of bail.
If a suspect wants to be released before the first court date, he or she must post bail either through a bail bondsman or directly with the jail. If the suspect uses a bail bondsman, the bondsman typically charges up to 10% of the total amount of the bail as the bail bondsman's fee for undertaking the risk that the suspect will not make his/her required appearances in court. If the suspect posts bail directly with the jail, he/she must pay the full amount of the bail in cash.
It is almost always better to use a bail bondsman to post bail. The bondsman is experienced and can get the suspect released far earlier than a relative posting cash bail with the jail. If cash bail is made directly to the jail, the suspect or his family will not have their money returned for at least two to three months after the suspect's case is resolved.
However, if the suspect skips bail, the bondsman is ultimately responsible for bringing the suspect back to court and must pay the entire amount of the bond if he cannot capture and surrender the suspect back into custody.
If a family member or friend posts bail directly with the jail and the defendant skips bail, the family or friend will lose the entire amount of bail deposited, unless the defendant surrenders or is returned to custody within six months after the court declares a forfeiture of the defendant's bail bond. PROBATION VIOLATIONS People who are on felony or misdemeanor probation who fail to comply with conditions of probation may face a sanction or possible a revocation of their probation which might result in a sentence involving jail or state prison.
Many probation violations can be successfully defended or avoided by having an advocate on your side to navigate the criminal justice system.
When an individual is accused of failing to comply with the conditions of probation, a probation violation hearing will be held, and your attorney will have the opportunity to put on witnesses and present documents and other evidence in your defense to avoid a finding that you violated your probation and to mitigate any punishment.
There is often a compelling reason why a person has failed to comply with probation. Your lawyer can skillfully defend you at probation violation hearings by preparing a strategy which explains and corroborates the compelling reason(s) for your noncompliance with probation. Choose an attorney who you can trust with your freedom and criminal record. Contact the Law Office of Jason K. Feldman, PC for a free consultation.
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