If you’ve been accused of a crime in Carlsbad, CA, it is essential to have the right legal representation in order to ensure that you receive fair treatment. Criminal defense attorneys provide invaluable services to individuals facing charges for crimes ranging from infractions to major felonies.
If you’ve been arrested or are dealing with a criminal matter in Carlsbad, California, we’re here for you. Contact our law firm Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers at (619) 357-4977 to schedule a free consultation with a Carlsbad criminal defense attorney.
How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help If You’ve Been Charged With a Crime in Carlsbad
As criminal defense attorneys in Carlsbad, it is our job to ensure that our client receives a fair process when navigating criminal charges. Here are some specific steps that we can take to help you:
- Listen: One of the most vital steps we will take is to simply listen – we need all pertinent details of your story in order to make an informed decision about how best to fight your case.
- Gather evidence: We will review and collect any evidence related to the case, such as witness statements or surveillance footage. We will then carefully analyze all evidence for inconsistencies and discrepancies.
- Challenge police conduct: The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unlawful searches and seizures, yet sometimes police violate these rights during an arrest or investigation process. By challenging questionable police conduct during pre-trial hearings, we can potentially suppress illegally obtained information from being presented at court proceedings, resulting in favorable outcomes for our clients.
- Negotiate a favorable plea deal: If possible, we will work hard to have your charges reduced or dismissed via negotiations with the prosecution. And if necessary, we won’t hesitate to take your case all the way to trial.
If you’ve been arrested in Carlsbad or have any questions related to a criminal matter, we’re here for you. Contact Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Carlsbad criminal defense lawyer.
Overview of Criminal Defense in California
As someone facing criminal charges, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basics of criminal defense. Knowing the process from start to finish and understanding your rights can help ensure that you receive a fair trial. Here’s an overview of what happens after you’re arrested:
- Arraignment: Arraignment is the first step after being arrested. At this brief hearing, you will be informed of the charges against you and asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The judge may also set bail or other conditions of release. If bail is set, you must pay the amount of bail set by the court in order to be released from custody. If you are unable to pay the bail, you may be held in custody until your trial.
- Preliminary Hearing: After arraignment, the next step in the criminal process (for felony charges) is typically a preliminary hearing. During this hearing, the judge will hear some of the evidence and decide if the case should proceed to trial. If the judge finds probable cause that a crime was committed and that you were the one who committed the crime, your case will be set for a trial.
- Second Arraignment: After the judge rules that there is probable cause, a second arraignment must be held within 15 days. At this hearing, you will again hear the charges against you and enter a plea.
- Pre-Trial: The pre-trial process refers to everything that takes place from after arraignment until the trial. During this phase, the defense and prosecution will engage in discovery, where evidence is exchanged. There is also likely to be a discussion about possible plea bargains. Your lawyer will litigate any motions – like a motion to suppress – during the pre-trial phase.
- Trial: After the pre-trial process is complete, the case will proceed to trial. During the trial, the prosecution and defense will present their evidence and witnesses, and the judge or jury will decide the verdict.
Understanding the basic process of a criminal case can help ease some of your anxiety after an arrest. We can provide more detailed information when we speak with you about your case.
What Are the Penalties for Criminal Convictions in Carlsbad, California?
The potential penalties for criminal convictions vary depending on many factors, including the severity of the crime and your criminal history. Generally, criminal convictions can result in the following:
Fines are monetary penalties imposed by the court as punishment for a criminal conviction. The amount of the fine is typically based on the severity of the crime.
Probation is a court-ordered period of supervision for individuals convicted of a crime. During probation, offenders must follow certain conditions set by the court, such as reporting to a probation officer, staying within certain geographic boundaries, and avoiding criminal activity.
The purpose of probation is to allow offenders to remain in the community while helping them reintegrate into society. If the offender fails to comply with the conditions of probation, they may be subject to additional penalties, such as jail or prison time.
Jail time and prison time are both forms of punishment for criminal convictions. Jail time is typically for shorter sentences, usually less than one year, and is served in a local or county jail. Prison time is for longer sentences, usually more than one year, and is served in a state or federal prison.
Alternative sentences, such as diversion programs, are alternatives to jail or prison time. Diversion programs are typically for first-time offenders and involve the offender completing certain activities or tasks in exchange for a reduced sentence or even dismissed charges.
Examples of these activities include attending counseling sessions, completing community service hours, paying restitution to the victims of their crime(s), and attending drug or alcohol treatment.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Arrested for a Crime in Carlsbad, CA?
To understand what legal defenses can be raised, it’s helpful to know a little bit about the types of crimes that exist in California. Examples of crimes committed in California range from the least serious offenses – infractions, which are mostly traffic offenses – to more serious offenses such as felonies like murder or rape.
In between infractions and felonies, there are misdemeanor crimes, including DUIs, assault, disorderly conduct, petty theft, resisting arrest, and vandalism, to name some. It’s also helpful to know that some of these crimes are wobblers, meaning they can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances.
Some of the most common defenses to these types of crimes include the following:
When physical force is necessary to protect yourself from another person’s attack, self-defense can be used as a legal defense against criminal charges.
To successfully argue this defense, you must present evidence that you reasonably believed you were in imminent danger of injury or death, you had a reasonable belief that the use of force was necessary to prevent the harm, and the amount of force you used was proportionate to the threat you faced.
Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers induce a person to commit a crime that they would not have committed otherwise. In California, you must present evidence showing that the government agent engaged in conduct likely to induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the crime and that you were not predisposed to commit the offense.
An alibi defense provides evidence that you were not present at the scene when a crime allegedly occurred, meaning you could not have possibly committed the crime. You will need to present evidence, like eyewitness testimony, receipts, or surveillance footage, to show you were somewhere else during the commission time of the crime.
Lack of Possession
If you were charged with possession of drugs or a firearm, a common and effective defense against these charges is asserting that you did not possess the items in question. One way to challenge possession charges is to show that you did not have physical control or knowledge of the items. For example, if a firearm or drugs were found in a shared vehicle, you would argue that you didn’t know they were there and/or that you had no control over them.
Ultimately, the defense used in your case will depend on the circumstances of your arrest and what your attorney believes will be the most effective. Keep in mind that the prosecution must prove each element of your charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest burden of proof standard in the law, giving a seasoned criminal defense lawyer significant room to advocate for your rights and interests.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Carlsbad Criminal Defense Attorney
Being arrested is a scary and confusing experience, as your freedom and reputation are on the line. While the entire process may seem overwhelming, legal help from our qualified Carlsbad criminal defense attorneys is available. If you’ve been arrested or need help with any criminal matter in the area, contact Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.