How Long Does a Criminal Case Last?
The length of a criminal case depends on the severity of the offense. The timeline of a criminal cast can vary, especially when the time between an arrest and filing of charges and between a trial and entry of a guilty or “no contest” plea is different for each case. For example, a misdemeanor DUI case may be resolved within 1 month from the date of arrest in a standard plea situation, but felony trials can last for over a year.
Defendants have a right to a speedy trial, however. For instance, a California defendant charged with a felony must be brought to trial within 60 days of being arraigned unless there is "good cause" for delay—otherwise, the judge must dismiss the charges. In-custody defendants charged with either a misdemeanor or an infraction similarly have the right to go to trial within 30 days of arraignment or entry of a not-guilty plea. Nonetheless, the timeline of your criminal case will depend on the specific facts of your situation, and I can help you plan out the play-by-play from arrest to settlement.
What Is California’s Three Strikes Law?
California’s Three Strikes Law is a sentencing rule that issues 25 years to life in prison to defendants convicted of three or more violent or serious felonies. It also doubles the sentence of anyone convicted of any California felony who also has 2 prior violent or serious felonies. Habitual or repeat offenders will be affected by this rule.
Do I Have to Submit to a Chemical Test?
Yes. If you’ve been lawfully arrested for a DUI, California’s “implied consent” law requires that you submit to BAC testing. You may choose between a blood or breath test. If you refuse testing, you will face a $125 fine and license suspension for 1-3 years, depending on whether you have any prior refusals.
Will a Criminal Charge Affect my Driver’s License?
Yes and no. As of 2018, a California licensing board cannot take away or deny a driver’s license due to a criminal conviction if:
- the conviction is 7 years or older; and
- the conviction is not substantially related to the job details the applicant will perform.
These rules do not apply, however, if the conviction is for a serious felony. Licensing boards may revoke or deny a driver’s license due to a conviction for any serious felony.
Can I Represent Myself?
You have the right to represent yourself or work with a public defender, but the success rate is low in these cases. You may not understand the complicated legal jargon as well as a qualified attorney does, especially amid tense and stressful emotions. I can take a deeper look at the law and examine any loopholes that may apply to your case, for instance.
Public defenders are not much better, as they are impersonal advocates who take on many cases at a time. Public defenders are obligated to offer a baseline defense, but they are not affected by the outcome of your case and consequently not as committed as a private attorney may be. I take a personal, client-oriented approach to all my defense cases and fight aggressively for positive outcomes for all the clients I choose to work with.
Why Do I Need a Defense Attorney?
The consequences upon conviction for any criminal charge are serious. You could be facing years in jail, thousands or more in fines, and other penalties. The best way to combat these penalties is to enlist the help of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney like myself. I am personally familiar with the local prosecutors and judges, which can prove advantageous to negotiating or litigating your case. Your future is at stake; let a professional protect it.
What Are my Rights During Arrest?
Upon arrest, and while you are in custody, law enforcement should read to you your “Miranda Rights,” which include the following:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, you will be provided one free of charge.
It is always best to remain silent and not answer any questions until you have a legal representative to guide you. This is because the police can use your own words against you, and you may actually be hurting your case more by revealing too much. An attorney that you have a right to can better protect your interests in the tense atmosphere of a criminal arrest and charge.
I Have Never Been Arrested Before. What Should I Do After Being Charged?
The first thing to do after you’ve been arrested is to contact an experienced defense attorney. As I will discuss in the next question, you have the right not to answer any questions from the police. While you may have the natural urge to tell your side of the story, you don’t know what the police already has against you or how they may twist your words. Also note that law enforcement does not always need a warrant to arrest you, especially if they allegedly witnessed you committing a crime. The best thing to do upon arrest is to comply and remain silent until you have a qualified representative by your side.