YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED ADVOCATE IF YOU ARE ACCUSED OF A CRIME
The District Attorney is a professional prosecutor, trained to use the evidence gathered, to convict you in a Court of Law. It is absolutely vital that you have an aggressive advocate on your side, to forcefully defend your position, by means of thorough preparation, and attention to all details involved in your case.
I understand how humiliating the arrest process is, whether it is the first time, or if you have suffered an arrest in the past. My job is to not only get you through the Superior Court process, but to get you back on the track of your normal life.
If there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, do not panic! The best strategy if you are facing this situation, is for the scheduling of a surrender date, by your Attorney, to the Court, where and when possible. Such a Court date should be scheduled at the earliest possible opportunity, since there are significant advantages for the defense when you self surrender, as compared to when the warrant is executed by law enforcement. I am often able to have the arrest warrant recalled in open Court, without having you surrender to County Jail.
In those cases where a self surrender is not possible, I will work with you to arrange the posting of a Bail Bond for your release from custody. The proper coordination will result in the minimal amount of time in jail prior to your release, with a subsequent Court date to be scheduled, for us to appear for Arraignment.
Misdemeanor criminal offenses are punishable by County Jail sentences of up to one year, a fine, and Probationary requirements. A conviction for a misdemeanor offense, unlike an infraction, will become part of your criminal record, with potential negative effects on your future employment and educational opportunities.
Most judges will allow you to represent yourself if you are charged in a misdemeanor Complaint. In many situations, I believe this is unwise. The disadvantages of representing yourself at a Trial are obvious. However, the reality is that the majority of misdemeanor cases are settled prior to Trial, as part of a negotiated settlement. The majority of these cases that are settled, are resolved at the Conference appearance in Court. It is at this Court date, that I believe you are at the greatest disadvantage if you represent yourself. The reason is that you will be allowed to talk only with the District Attorney, about the facts and defenses of your case. You will not be able to have a Judge participate in the discussion. I, as your Attorney, am always allowed to request that a Judge participate in all settlement discussions. Since it is the District Attorney’s job to prosecute the criminal case, I believe, in most cases, it is advantageous to have a Superior Court judge involved, since it is the Judge’s responsibility to consider both sides of the issues, as compared to focusing on law enforcement’s side.
Felony offenses, being the most serious and dangerous of criminal offenses, are punishable by imprisonment in the State Prison. A Judge will rarely allow you to represent yourself if you are charged in a felony Complaint. If a felony conviction is suffered, it will have a huge negative impact on your future employment and educational goals.
Superior Court procedure in a felony case is much more complicated, as compared to a misdemeanor case. At the initial stage of the felony case, it is important for the defense to organize all evidence favorable to our theory of the case. The reason is, that unlike a misdemeanor case, the felony procedure requires that the District Attorney conduct a Preliminary Examination, prior to a felony case being scheduled for a Trial date. The gathering of defense evidence will often require the work of a private investigator, who would interview potential witnesses and track down information leading to helpful evidence. I am fortunate to be able to call on the services of a retired Sacramento Police Department Lieutenant, when investigative services are required.
However, a criminal case that starts as a felony charge, does not have to end in felony conviction. Each case is different, having unique sets of facts and circumstances. It is always my goal to prevent my client from suffering a conviction of a felony offense.