Our firm has helped thousands of clients facing criminal charges. With a reasonable payment plan and free consultations, our clients find it easy to retain our office, and pass over the stress and hassle of their criminal case onto us.

A Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney has over 30 years of experience, they know the criminal court system, as well as the Judges, prosecutors and deputies.  This adds a genuine benefit to your case and ensures that your case has the best possible chance of being dismissed or in the very least reduced.

Evidence and Discovery is easily obtained

The very first appearance you will make on a criminal case is called the Arraignment. The Arraignment is where the Judge will read you your rights, and the charges against you. You will also have to make a few decisions at this first appearance. The prosecutor will speak to you and make you a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an offer for your guilty plea. Generally the prosecutor will cut you a break in some aspect of the sentencing in exchange for you to give up your right to go to trial and to enter a plea of guilty.

If you are not a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, it is difficult to determine whether the offer being made really is cutting you a break, or whether it is pressure on you to conclude your case and prematurely enter a guilty plea. Further it is difficult to determine whether you should enter a plea of guilty, or if you should move forward in the criminal process before entering any type of plea. This is why it is so important to consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney and let them handle your case for you. The knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Hoffman and Associates are well versed in criminal law and have over thirty years of experience in the courtroom. They know precisely when a plea bargain is a good deal based on the facts of your case, and when they should hold out for Pre Trial (the next step in the criminal process). In addition, they can likely predict what the plea bargain will be before it is even made, based upon their experience of that specific Judge and courtroom.

At the Arraignment, you will also have explained to you, the right to an attorney. If you wish to have an attorney, but did not get one prior to the arraignment, the Judge will grant you a continuance to be able to retain someone. If this is something you wish to do, you should take advantage of the continuance and protect your rights. A Los Angeles criminal attorney can appear on your behalf in most cases. This helps you stay focused on the things that really matter in your life, like work and family. Going to court can’t be a stressful thing. Having a professional in your corner can help you avoid this stress all together. They will go to court for you and fill you in as to what happened after the fact. This way, you can continue with your life, without taking time off of work, or having to deal with figuring out where to go and what to do in Court.

There are thousands of attorneys practicing criminal defense throughout California. The law is the same throughout the state, as is the criminal procedure and court system, so why does it matter if you have a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney to handle your Los Angeles Criminal case? Because reputation, knowledge, and relationships play a big deal in the outcome of your case.

When an attorney has been practicing in Los Angeles, specifically the court house in which your case is being heard, for over thirty years, there is a benefit to your case. That attorney knows the prosecutors, the clerks, and the Judges. In turn, the prosecutors, and the Judges know the attorney. They know what to expect, what to anticipate, and how to best resolve the case in the most efficient way possible.

The attorneys at Hoffman & Associates have built a reputation with the officers. They are proactive and efficient when it comes to certain offenses. The attorney’s will reach out to the officers to give statements, to cooperate and work with them on the investigation. Officers now know our firm as having this reputation. When they see our name on paperwork, or that a person is being represented by our firm, they expect efficient resolution, cooperative clients and knowledgeable attorneys, They appreciate that, and are more willing to work with our firm to help reduce or dismiss cases.

The very first step in a criminal offense is its filing. Many people do not understand how the process works, and mistakenly believe that it is always too late to prevent or avoid any charges. This is not true. The role of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney can play a significant role in the positive outcome of your case depending on how quickly you act to retain counsel.

Let’s walk through the stages of the case to get a full understanding of the process by way of example, and the attorney’s role at each stage.

David is arrested for a Los Angeles theft charge. At this point David has not been charged with any type of criminal offense. There is nothing on his record, other than an arrest. No charges have been filed, and he has certainly not been found guilty of anything.

Many people mistakenly believe that you can only be charged with one criminal offense arising out of one accident. Unfortunately, this is not true. You can be charged with multiple criminal offenses and face multiple charges due to one accident.

When you have been charged with multiple offenses, you can also face multiple sentences. The sentences do not coincide. So if you are sentenced to thirty days in jail for one offense, and thirty days in jail for a second, serving thirty days does not satisfy the requirement. You must serve one after the other. This is why it is extremely important to retain the services of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney when you face multiple charges.

A knowledgeable and experienced Criminal Defense attorney like those at Hoffman & Associates deal with multiple offenses as a part of their regular caseload. They know how to extract the different layers and nuances of the different offenses, how to scrutinize the evidence and present a case that allows for at least one, if not all, of the offenses to be reduced or dismissed.

License suspension can be common when it comes to some criminal offenses. License suspension is not ordered by the criminal court system, it is ordered by the DMV. When license suspension may be a part of the consequences, a separate case is started with the DMV. This case is different from that of the criminal justice system. Each case does not influence the other, nor does the outcome of one hinge on the outcome of the other. This is why it is crucial that you have a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney to represent you on both cases, to ensure that you get the best possible outcome on both cases. Lets walk through two of the most common criminal charges that lead to license suspension.

The first is a Los Angeles DUI. If you have been arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, you have ten days to schedule a Los Angeles DMV hearing. The DMV hearing determines how long your license will be suspended and if it will be suspended. Even if your Los Angeles DUI lawyer is able to artfully reduce your DUI charges, or get them dismissed, the DMV will still move forward with the hearing. The arguments presented to the DMV are independent from those presented in criminal court, and the consequence is as well. So even if your DUI charges are dismissed with the criminal courts, your license could still be suspended. This is why it is important to retain counsel to argue both of your cases, to not only ensure the criminal charges get dropped, but to ensure you keep your license.

The second common criminal offense that can often entail license suspension, is a Los Angeles Hit and Run. IF you are involved in an accident that has caused significant damage to property, or injury to person, the DMV may want to suspend your license as a part of the consequences.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you will receive a citation, or other document that states a date and location for an appearance in Court. This is not an optional appearance, but is mandatory.  Failing to appear could lead to your arrest and additional charges on top of the criminal charge you were ordered to appear on.

The failure to appear is in and of itself its own charge. That means you will not have one criminal charge that is the reason you have to appear in court in the first place, but you will also have a second charge. Further, because of a failure to appear, a bench warrant will be issued. A bench warrant means that you are wanted by the criminal court system. Officers my appear at your home or place of work and take you into custody. They could also arrest you if you are driving and they run your license plate. This is why it is important to appear in court when you are asked to, and to not avoid your responsibility.

If you retain a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, then there is a high probability that the attorney will be able to appear on your behalf. There are a few exceptions in which the attorney may not; when it is a felony, when you are in custody, when there is a restraining order, and other situations the Judge deems appropriate for you to be physically present.

There is a informal legal term that is used by legal professionals called a “wobbler”. A wobbler is a charge that can be charged as a misdemeanor, felony or an infraction. Essentially, the decision is up to the prosecutor. A wobbler also has room to be changed through negotiation with the prosecutor. This is why it is essential and important to have a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer on your team. It ensures that you are fully aware of all strategies and tactics to use to ensure that if there is a possibility to have a charge reduced, it is.

Lets consider an example to better demonstrate how a wobbler works. Danny was helping a friend who was highly intoxicated outside of a bar one night. Danny has an open beer in his hand. Officers charged both Danny and his friend with a misdemeanor drunk and disorderly conduct. Danny has a very clear record, with no prior offenses, charges, or even traffic tickets. Danny was also not being disorderly, although he was intoxicated in front of the bar. Although Danny may meet the elements for a potential charge, his behavior does not give rise to that of a misdemeanor.

Danny hires a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to help argue his case. The attorney goes into court on the first appearance, which is an arraignment. The attorney has over 30 years of experience and is knowledgeable on all elements of various criminal charges, as well as the evidence required to prove those elements. The attorney also knows the prosecutor and the Judge in the courtroom where the case is being heard. The attorney goes into court prepared with evidence, arguments, as well as letters of recommendation from the community for David. He speaks to the prosecutor and presents David’s case. The attorney will argue the shortcomings prosecutor’s will have in evidence, as well as play up the points the attorneys knows the Judge will find noteworthy.

If you have had criminal charges filed against you, you will need to appear before the Judge of the criminal court. The first appearance is called an Arraignment. At the Arraignment you will be given the opportunity to enter a plea, or to ask for a continuance if you wish to retain counsel.

The prosecutor will also talk to you during the Arraignment and make you what is called a plea bargain. A plea bargain essentially asks that you plead guilty for a lesser than usual sentence for the charges against you. This is a chance for you to negotiation and bargain with the prosecutor. But how do you do that if you do not know the full facts, if you do not have all the evidence, and you do not know the law? This is why it is extremely important to retain a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer.

Experienced and knowledgeable legal professionals, like those at Hoffman and Associates know when to push back, negotiation, and bargain, and when to concede and advise a guilty plea. They know what will be the best possible option for you, and will lay out all the pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision.

There are three levels of charges when you have been arrested for suspicion of a criminal offense. But first, it is important to understand that just because you have been arrested and charged, does not mean that you have been found guilty or convicted. An arrest and a charge simply means that authorities have reason to believe it is more likely than not, that you are guilty of this crime. But, as the saying goes, you are guilty until proven innocent. After a charge, a jury must find you guilty, or you will have to enter a plea of guilty, before you can be convicted.

If you are convicted, it will be on one of three levels; infraction, misdemeanor, or felony. To understand the different levels and their differences, we will go through some examples.

An infraction is the lowest level of criminal charges. These are minor offenses like running a red light, or making an illegal U-turn. These charges are often without damages to property, or injury to another person. The sentence generally is a fine that needs to be paid. There is no jail time, or probation. If you are to be charged, this is the best possible scenario.

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