If you’ve been charged with a crime in Del Mar, CA, the importance of securing a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can’t be overstated. Whether you’re dealing with an infraction, a relatively minor charge, or a serious felony, a knowledgeable Del Mar criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and make your life much easier in the long run.
Our firm can handle a broad variety of criminal matters and will fight to help you reduce or beat your charges. Contact one of our Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to discuss your case with a member of our team at (619) 357-4977. Your initial consultation is free.
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How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help if You’ve Been Charged With a Crime in Del Mar, CA
Our dedicated Del Mar criminal defense lawyers have well over a decade of combined experience and have been recognized for their work by the following:
- Super Lawyers
- National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Attorneys
- National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorneys
- Perfect-10 Avvo Rating
- America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys in 2020
When you hire one of our attorneys, you can count on them to:
- Gather exculpatory evidence to build your case
- Scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence and challenge it when possible
- Interview the witnesses and parties to gather information about your case
- Give you sound advice regarding your rights and options
- Conduct legal research to develop a strategic defense
- Draft, file, and argue motions on your behalf
- Negotiate with the prosecution to have the charges dismissed or reduced, or to reach a plea deal regarding sentencing
- Aggressively defend you at trial if necessary
- File an appeal if you’re dissatisfied with the case outcome
To learn more about how we will defend you against the criminal charges you’re facing, contact our law office serving Del Mar, California, today.
What Are Your Rights if You Are Accused of a Crime in Del Mar, California?
If you’re facing criminal charges or suspect that you’re being investigated, it’s essential that you understand your rights when speaking with the police or appearing in court. Ideally, you would have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney present in these situations.
Your Rights With the Police
If you’ve been accused of a crime, you have the following rights when dealing with the police:
- To due process, which is the right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without certain safeguards or procedures
- To be told if you are being arrested and the charges against you
- To be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
- To contact someone to tell them you’ve been arrested
- To see a judge within a reasonable amount of time after you’re arrested
- To be informed of your Miranda rights if you are under arrest, which include the remaining rights listed here
- To remain silent or stop answering questions at any time
- To consult with an attorney and speak with them privately
- To a court-appointed attorney if you can’t afford to hire one yourself
Keep these rights in mind if you are arrested or approached by the police, and then contact a seasoned Del Mar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys are here to help you through this stressful situation.
Your Rights in Court
Once you’re charged with a crime, you have certain rights that apply when you appear in court. These include:
- To due process
- To be represented by an attorney when you come to court
- To adequate representation by your attorney
- To a speedy and public trial
- To a jury trial
- To defend yourself, confront witnesses, and present evidence at that trial
These rights emphasize the importance of being represented by a skilled criminal defense attorney. Legally, you are able to represent yourself in court; but when you’re facing criminal charges, it’s simply not worth the risk.
What Are the Steps in a Criminal Case in California?
If you’ve been charged with a crime in California, you may benefit from a basic understanding of the various steps and stages involved in the process. Notably, your case may not include every one of these steps, and each case may proceed uniquely. The basic steps of a criminal case in California are:
Charges Are Filed
You will be officially charged with the crime or crimes when the prosecution files a complaint. The complaint should contain all of the basic information about the crime, including your name, the crime you are charged with, and the date the crime occurred. An arrest could occur before or after the charges are filed, depending on the circumstances of your case.
An arraignment is a hearing where a defendant is informed of the charges against them and of certain rights they have. At the arraignment, the defendant can enter a plea, such as guilty or not guilty.
If a defendant enters a guilty plea, the case will proceed to the sentencing stage.
If the defendant enters a not guilty (or similar) plea, then the case will proceed to the pretrial stage. The key part of this stage is that the prosecution and the defense will exchange information relevant to the defendant’s charges. This is known as “discovery.”
The parties may also request the court to make decisions about the discovery at this stage. For example, a defense attorney may request that any evidence obtained during an unconstitutional search of their client’s car be excluded from the case.
In addition to discovery, a preliminary hearing will be held during this stage if the defendant is charged with a felony. At a preliminary hearing, the prosecution must prove that they have enough evidence for the charges to proceed to trial.
The parties may also continue to negotiate a plea deal or prepare for trial during this stage.
The case will proceed to trial if the parties do not reach a plea deal or the defendant doesn’t change their plea to guilty. At trial, the prosecution must prove to the jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant committed the crime with which they are charged.
If the defendant is found to be not guilty, that is typically the end of the case.
If a defendant is found guilty at trial, or if they plead guilty to a crime, they will be sentenced by the court. At sentencing, the judge will decide what penalties to impose.
After sentencing, you can file an appeal if you believe that errors were made in your case. During this stage, you may also be able to file challenges regarding your sentence or ask that it be modified, though these are only granted in rare circumstances.
What Are the Possible Penalties for a Crime in Del Mar, CA?
If you are convicted of a crime in California, a judge will impose penalties on you. These may include:
Fines are monetary penalties that are imposed for many types of crimes, including minor infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
Probation is a court-mandated period of supervision for someone who was convicted of a crime. One can be sentenced to only probation, or one can be sentenced to complete a term of probation after being released from a term of imprisonment.
While on probation, individuals must comply with a set of conditions imposed by the court. These could include things like sobriety monitoring or treatment, checking in with their probation officer regularly, and maintaining a job.
Jail Time or Prison Time
A term of incarceration in jail or prison may be imposed for more serious crimes. Jail time is served in a local or county jail and usually includes shorter sentences of less than one year. Prison time is served in a state or federal facility and includes lengthier sentences of over one year.
California’s alternative sentencing program essentially allows some individuals who would otherwise be sentenced to jail or prison to serve their sentence in the community instead. Their sentence may look similar to probation in some ways, including a requirement to comply with certain terms of the supervision, including counseling, community service hours, and paying restitution to victims of the crimes.
Do I Need To Hire a Private Defense Attorney in San Diego County?
It’s crucial that you have adequate legal representation if you’ve been charged with a crime. You might qualify for a court-appointed lawyer, also called a public defender, if you demonstrate to the court that you do not have the resources to hire an attorney yourself.
While the public defenders in California are knowledgeable, hard-working attorneys, they are often overworked and underpaid, which could lead to issues in their legal representation of you. A private defense attorney has more control over their caseload and may be able to devote more time and resources to defending your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Del Mar Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you are facing criminal charges, you will benefit from having a skilled Del Mar criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. We can guide you through the California criminal justice process and will fight to protect your rights along the way. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers team, contact our law firm at (619) 357-4977.