Criminal Lawyer in Apple Valley
Being charged with a crime doesn’t have to be the end of your story. But if you don’t fight back hard, it could be. You could find yourself behind bars with years standing between you and your freedom.
In California, criminal charges — from misdemeanors to felonies — are extremely serious. A conviction means not only potential jail or prison time, but huge fines and lifelong trouble finding work and housing. But hiring an Apple Valley criminal lawyer could be the key to beating your charge and getting your life back.
How can a criminal lawyer help you? By listening to your side of the story, gathering evidence, and building a bulletproof defense that shows that you don’t deserve to be convicted. Read on to learn more, and contact Moody Law when you are ready to discuss your case with an attorney.
Charges a Criminal Lawyer Can Help With
California law classifies hundreds of actions as crimes. An experienced Apple Valley criminal lawyer will know the exact way to proceed with your defense no matter what kind of crime you have been charged with.
The following are some common types of crimes you can be charged within California:
- Drug crimes. Drug trafficking and manufacturing, as well as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and opioid possession, are common drug crimes in California.
- Driving under the influence. California has a very low tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI charges can lead to time in jail for even a first offense.
- Violent crimes. In serious cases, assault and battery can be charged as “aggravated” assault or battery, leading to harsh punishments. Murder and domestic violence are other common types of violent crimes.
- Sex crimes. Rape, sexual assault, and production of child pornography are common sex crimes in California. A conviction can label you as a sex offender for life.
- White-collar crimes. In California, white-collar crimes include bribery, corporate fraud, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, money laundering, insurance fraud, and many similar actions.
- Theft. Theft is a broad term in California law. It can include petty theft, petty theft with a prior conviction, grand theft, looting, shoplifting, and burglary.
- Internet crimes. Any crime that occurs primarily online can be thought of as an internet crime. Offenses like possession of child pornography, identify theft, credit card fraud, phishing scams, proliferation of malware, and cyberstalking are common internet crimes.
- Juvenile offenses. Minors can be charged with very similar crimes to adults in California, but their charges are handled in the juvenile system. Even if you are not tried as an adult, a juvenile offense can have lifelong impacts if it turns into a conviction.
No matter what type of crime you have been charged with, getting the help of a defense lawyer early can raise your chance of beating your charge and avoiding conviction.
Felony Penalties in California
California felony charges typically come with fines and 16 months, two years, or three years in county jail or state prison, unless the incarceration time is specifically stated in the statute for the particular crime you are charged with.
The sentencing guidelines for felonies in our state are somewhat complex. Here are some things to keep in mind when you have been charged with a felony in California:
Some Crimes Are ‘Wobblers’
California law treats many crimes as so-called “wobblers,” meaning they can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. Even though misdemeanors are still serious, being charged with a felony “wobbler” crime represents an opportunity for your criminal lawyer in Apple Valley to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charge to a misdemeanor.
The Three Strikes Law
California’s infamous three strikes law means that those who have been charged with two violent or serious felonies in the past could face 25 years to life in state prison. Even one previous felony conviction could automatically add five years to your prison sentence. That’s why it’s important to work with a lawyer who knows how to help clients dodge convictions.
Most Felony Sentences Are in County Jail Rather Than State Prison
Most people who are convicted of a felony in California have to go to county jail rather than state prison. That’s thanks to the Public Safety Realignment Act. But there are exceptions: If you are convicted of a sex crime, a serious or violent felony, or a white-collar crime with an “aggravated” enhancement, you will likely be sentenced to state prison rather than county jail.
Misdemeanor Penalties in California
In California, most specific misdemeanors have their sentencing guidelines spelled out in the corresponding state statutes. However, if a specific jail sentence and fine are not listed in the statutes, a misdemeanor can mean up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
No matter how often you hear that misdemeanors are no big deal, keep in mind that misdemeanors still go on your criminal record and result in long-term penalties.
Other Reasons to Fight Your Charge
As if incarceration and fines weren’t enough, there are plenty of other reasons to fight your charge in California. Here are a few:
- Sex crimes can put you on the sex offender registry for life.
- Future employers can see a conviction on your record.
- You may be unable to qualify for certain types of housing if you have been convicted of a crime.
- A “criminal stigma” can follow you with friends, family, and coworkers for decades.
- If you are convicted of a felony, you may lose your right to own a gun.
A qualified Apple Valley criminal lawyer can help you avoid all of these penalties.
Defenses Your Apple Valley Defense Lawyer Can Use
The defense your criminal lawyer builds for you will depend entirely on the circumstances of your case. To give you an idea of what criminal defenses can look like, we have listed a few examples of common defenses below:
- You did not commit the crime you are charged with.
- Your rights were violated during your search, arrest, or questioning.
- Police or investigators mishandled key evidence in your case.
- You committed the crime in self-defense.
- Someone was trying to frame you for the crime in question.
Get in Touch with a Criminal Lawyer in Apple Valley
You didn’t set out to get charged with a serious crime and end up behind bars. But the charge has already happened, and you are afraid you are going to lose your freedom. At Moody Law, we understand how serious — and stressful — this time is for you. And we’re here to help.
By tailoring a defense to your unique situation and putting years of legal experience to work, we can give you a shot at beating your charge, getting the charge reduced, or minimizing your criminal penalties. To discuss your case with a trusted Apple Valley criminal lawyer, give our firm a call at (760) 388-7917 or reach out to us online.