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.

If you have been charged with criminal charges in Los Angeles, you have not yet been convicted. Being charged simply means that officers believe you could be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but until you enter a plea of guilty, or are found guilty by a jury, you are innocent.

Fortunately, with proper negotiations and preparation, there are many opportunities to avoid the charges altogether. But how do you know what to argue, and when to do it? This is why an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, like those at Hoffman and Associates are extremely beneficial when it comes to fighting the charges against you.

One way an experienced legal professional can fight for you is through negotiations. The key is that negotiations are most beneficial when they take place prior to a case having been filed. When you are arrested, an officer prepares a report of the incident. The officer then sends his or her report to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor then reviews the facts and makes a determination whether there is enough evidence to file formal charges. Once formal charges are filed, you are given a date to appear in Court. That date is your arraignment.

You can always choose to represent yourself in a Los Angeles Criminal Case. The court will inform you of your right to counsel, they will also inform you that if you cannot hire an attorney, one will be provided to you at low cost or not cost. This is because the criminal justice system is complicated, with a plethora of laws, rules, and procedures. If you choose to represent yourself, you are expected to know all of these laws, just as an attorney would. This is why the Court specifically informs each and every person of their rights to counsel.

Representing yourself in a criminal case is rarely a good idea. Our firm has first hand experiences of clients who have opted to begin their case by representing themselves, but then coming to us to “fix” what has happened.

A criminal case can be a very serious situation, in which it can impact your future livelihood, education and even your reputation in your community. That is why we provide excellent representation to minimize the effects of your case on your life.

One of the biggest concerns our clients have when they appear in Court on their Los Angeles Criminal case, is whether or not they will be taken into custody. There are several ways to address these concerns prior to going into court. Addressing these issues beforehand allows our client some peace of mind, so that they can focus on the things that really matter in their lives. Our attorneys understand that this can be a major concern for many people, so we work with each of our clients to address not only the legal issues in their case, but also help to alleviate the emotional ones.

One of the ways this problem may be addressed is for your Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney to speak to the Prosecutors before appearing in Court. Our attorneys have extensive experience in Los Angeles County, and have known the Judges, Prosecutors and even the clerks for a long time. This is why it is beneficial to not only hire an attorney who has years of experience, but years of experience in the county where your case is being heard. The attorney can call the Prosecutors before case goes before the Judge, and discuss the issue of custody, and whether the Prosecutor will be making that request. This allows the Judge to be prepared.

One of the benefits of speaking to prosecutors beforehand lets the attorney know whether there will be a bail hearing or if the prosecutor will request that you be taken into custody. When such a request is made, your attorney will argue as to why that is not necessary. To make such an argument, the attorney will make the case that you are not a flight risk, and that there is no risk of injury to anyone. Knowing that this issue will be presented in Court allows the attorney, and you, to prepare beforehand.

For any criminal offense, there are available defenses and arguments to be made. Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer has over 30 years of experience and is knowledgeable not only in the criminal procedure and laws, but with the courtrooms all over Los Angeles County.

The defense available for your case will depend on what you have been charged with. For example, in a Los Angeles Hit and Run case, an available defense is that a person did attempt to leave contact information, but for some reason, that information was not relayed properly. It is the job of the Los Angeles Criminal lawyer to prepare evidence and argument that demonstrates to the court and prosecutors that their client did not commit a hit and run. This would reduce the case, or even dismiss it altogether.

The type of evidence gathered to prepare a defense will also depend on the type of case you have. In a Los Angeles DUI Case, the police report will be a crucial piece of the evidence to help prove that officers did not follow proper procedure, loopholes in the case, or shortcomings in the prosecutor’s case.

When you may have been involved in a Los Angeles Hit and Run, the time upon which you could be arrested will vary, as will the manner in which you are arrested, if at all. The person whose property or person was allegedly damaged or injured would have to file a report. Officers would then investigate the situation and based upon their investigation would attempt to contact the person they believe may be responsible for the situation. They will contact you either by letter, by phone or in person. They will ask you to come into the police department and speak to them, answering questions they may have.

The information officers gather through their investigation and from speaking with you will be what evidence will be used to build the case against you. This is why it is extremely crucial to contact a Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer that can give you the best possible representation.

A Hit and Run professional’s work begins as soon as you have retained their office. It is highly recommended that you speak to and retain a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer as soon as the incident occurs, even before you have been contacted by the police department.

Let’s start with the basics first; what is a plea bargain? A plea bargain is an offer made by prosecutors in a criminal defense case. The offer purports to be less than what a person who has been charged might get if they were to proceed to jury trial. Prosecution offers a possibly more generous sentence in exchange for a person to enter a plea of guilty without proceeding to trial. Each party benefits, the person being charged does not have to take a gamble in the possible sentence, and the prosecutors get a guilty plea without expending too much of the court’s resources and closing a case.

The prosecutor’s offer, or plea bargain, is not always a bad idea. Sometimes it is a good decision, and one that would ultimately be in the person’s best interest. However, to properly assess whether a plea bargain is in your best interest, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney before entering any type of plea. To be able to assess a plea bargain, the attorney needs to know the tendency of the Judge, the prosecutor’s usual behavior and offers, the Judge’s in the other courtrooms that would hear the case, the consequences outlined by the statute, and of course knowledge of the criminal justice system. To make better sense out of this, let’s consider an example.

Let’s consider Danny. Danny has been arrested for driving under the influence. His case is being heard in a Los Angeles Courthouse. Danny hires a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer, who appears in that specific courthouse on many cases. Danny has no prior criminal record, his blood alcohol level was barely over the legal limit, and he had changed a lane without signaling, prompting officers to pull him over. Danny’s lawyer knows that this is a weak case for prosecutors, from his extensive experience. However, he knows that the Judge in the arraignment court is tough, and allows little, if any leniency on cases. Using his Judgment, Danny’s attorney pleads not guilty and pushes the case for pretrial. When a case moves past arraignment, the first appearance in a case, it is set for pre-trial in another courtroom. Danny’s lawyer knows that in the pre-trial courtroom, the Judge has more room for leniency and is more willing to dismiss or reduce charges. Thus by pushing the case out to pretrial, Danny gets a much better offer from prosecutors, better than that of the arraignment court. At the pretrial, Danny is advised to enter a plea of guilty to the reduced charges that are offered. His case is then concluded.

When you have been arrested for a Domestic Violence charge in Los Angeles, it can be a very stressful time. Not only do you have some emotional stress with everything going on, you also have the added stress of dealing with the criminal court system. When you hire a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer, you help alleviate that stress. Your retained attorney will appear in court on your behalf, they will negotiate with the prosecutors and they will gather and prepare the evidence needed to reduce or dismiss your case.

One of the ways a Los Angeles Domestic Violence lawyer can help you is to conduct a City Attorney hearing. A city Attorney hearing is an opportunity for both parties of a domestic violence case to demonstrate that it was an isolated incident, and that they are working towards resolution to help prevent such an incident from occurring again. One such way to demonstrate this to the Court is to go into counseling. A successful City Attorney hearing can result in a dismissal or reduction of your case.

Having an attorney working on your case assures that the proper preparation is done, and the right evidence is gathered. In a domestic violence case there are usually no witnesses, making it a difficult case of “he said, she said”. The attorney will work with you to take steps to mitigate future issues, and then will properly and strategically present this evidence to the Court. The goal is to get your case dismissed.

When you have been arrested for a Shoplifting Offense, there are many steps you can take to help lessen the consequences you may experience. You will give yourself the best fighting chances if you retain the services of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney with over thirty years of experience understands how the court system works and is familiar with the Judges, clerks and prosecutors. This helps give you the edge you need to ensure you fight your case and work towards a dismissal or reduction of charges.

Most people do not understand that it is not the officers that press charges, it is the prosecutor. The officer’s sole job is to gather evidence after the commission of a crime, and present the evidence gathered to the prosecutor’s office. It is then up to the Prosecutor to make a determination as to whether there is sufficient facts to support a criminal offense.

In Los Angeles, there is an option called a Civil Compromise. A civil compromise allows a Los Angeles Criminal lawyer to negotiate with the legal department of the retailer from whom the item has been stolen in a shoplifting case. This allows the attorney to discuss any incidents, and make amends prior to any formal charges being filed. This then could possible result in a dismissal of the case altogether.

When you hire a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, you make the best possible decision you can for your case, and for your future. When faced with criminal charges, you have not yet been convicted, you have merely been charged. This means that the court feels that there is a high probability you have committed a crime, but until you enter a plea of guilty, or are found guilty, you have not been convicted. The earlier you retain counsel, and take a proactive stance on your case, the more likely your case may be dismissed or reduced.

There are some significant benefits to hiring a Criminal attorney, rather than doing it yourself. All of the benefits come together to ensure your best possible outcome, and to help keep your peace of mind.

Court Appearances