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If you have been arrested by officers under the suspicion of having violated a criminal offense, chances are you may be charged. This is not always the case. Oftentimes a person may be arrested, but upon review of the evidence and facts, prosecutors choose not to file formal charges.

In certain situations however, not only do prosecutors determine that there is sufficient evidence to file charges against a person, they find that several charges are appropriate. This happens often in Los Angeles Hit and Runs and Los Angeles DUIs. A person who has been charged may also be simultaneously charged with additional offenses such as insurance fraud, probation violation, or even a failure to appear. If you are being charged with several offenses, it is important to remember that each charge is its own case. They may be consolidated, but you must address and argue each individual case.

As with each criminal charge, there are available defenses and arguments. A case must be prepared and defended separately in court.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of a criminal offense, it is likely a very stressful time for you. You do not know what to expect through the criminal procedure process, what will happen with your case, the strength of the evidence in the case, and what your potential sentence will be. To make the process go a lot more efficiently, and to ensure yourself the best possible results, it is crucial that you seek the help and guidance of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney.

There are literally hundreds of Criminal Defense attorneys in Los Angeles. How do you know which one is right for you? There are several things to consider and keep in mind when you set about to look for an attorney.

Experience

If you have received a letter or a call from the police department asking to speak to you about a Los Angeles Hit and Run, you have not been arrested. If you have received a citation asking you to appear in Court, then you have been charged, but are not convicted. You can only be convicted in one of two ways, if you plead guilty in the Court of law, or if you are found guilty by a jury.

With a Los Angeles Hit and Run, unlike many other charges, there are ways to strengthen your chances of avoiding a charge, if you take the right steps immediately.

  1. Consult with a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer

A Hit and Run does not always lead to an immediate arrest. Oftentimes, you receive a letter from the police department, a phone call ,or even a personal visit. This does not mean you have been charged with a Hit and Run, it just means that the police have launched an investigation into a case of Hit and Run. Just because you have not been charged however, do not mean you should not seek the help of a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer, even during the investigation phase.

If you have been officially and formally arrested for a Hit and Run, it may not lead to any time in custody. You can be charged and be given a notice to appear in Court at the arraignment date. This is not an optional court appearance, or one you can make by mailing in a notice. If you do not appear in Court on or before the day you are required to appear, you could be arrested for contempt of court and/or failure to appear.

Just as the officers will do their investigation in a Los Angeles Hit and Run case it is very important that you do your research and investigate the facts as well after you have been arrested. This includes reviewing the site of the accident, to speak to any injured parties or owners of property that has been damaged and reviewing claims made by witnesses. This is extremely crucial to your case. Unlike other criminal offenses, dealing with the facts early on in a Hit and Run case, as well as beginning early preparation of defenses and argument can often avoid a charge altogether.

If you have been arrested for a Hit and Run, you could be charged under one of two statutes: California Vehicle Code §20002, and California Vehicle Code §20003. California Vehicle Code §20002 refers to cases in which there is damage to property, and California Vehicle Code §20003 refers to cases in which there is an injury to person.

Each statute outlines a range of potential consequences. It will not give a specific consequence because the sentence will depend on several factors. The court will take into consideration the person’s criminal background and the facts of the case. They will also consider the extent of the damage or injuries.

Under California Vehicle Code §20002, when there is damage to property, a person who is found guilty will be charged of a misdemeanor, and may be punished by imprisonment in county jail up to six months and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000.00.

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, you have the right to an attorney. This right is a very important one and is guaranteed to each and every person charged with an offense in the United States. The criminal justice system is complicated, it is complex and afford many great protections to persons being charged. However, unless you are an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, you may be confused and even frustrated with the whole situation.

A legal professional has the reputation and the education to be able to make the entire process much easier and stress free for someone who is awaiting a Judgment. There are many ways in which an attorney can help.

  1. Readily available defenses

When you have been arrested and charged with the possession of marijuana, the amount of marijuana you have in your possession will help determine how you will be charged.

If you have less than one ounce in your possession, you will be charged under California Health and Safety Code 11357(b). This code section states in relevant part:

“Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100)” An infraction is generally just a fine. There is no probation, or community service, or rehabilitation classes. An infraction is similar to a traffic ticket. It does not go on your permanent criminal record and rarely has to be disclosed on employment or education applications.

Many people mistakenly believe that because they have a valid prescription for the use of medical Marijuana in California, that they are exempt from driving under the influence offenses. This is absolutely not true.

California Vehicle code §23152, and 23153, make it unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle while impaired. When most people think of a DUI, they immediately associate it with someone driving under the influence of alcohol. Although 23152(a) makes it unlawful “for a person who is under the influence

of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle” it is not a the only influence that can result in a DUI.

23152(e) and (f) also state as follows:

“(e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle”

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A City Attorney Hearing is a good option to help dismiss potential charges against a person who is being charged with Domestic Violence. When a person has been arrested for having potentially committed a criminal offense, it is only an arrest, they have not yet been convicted or formally charged. The arresting officer will prepare a report on the arrest and the probable cause under which he arrested the person. Prosecutors will then review the report and determine if there is adequate evidence to take the matter to court and file formal charges. This is where a City Attorney Hearing can be very beneficial to a person being charged with Domestic Violence.

A City Attorney hearing is a hearing in which a person who may be charged appears at the prosecutors office to discuss the potential charges. Oftentimes the facts are unclear, or there is more information that needs to be sought for a prosecutor to make a determination on charges .Both the person potentially being charged and the victim will appear before the Prosecutor and will tell their side of the story. This will allow the Prosecutor to gather more information to help aid in making a determination of whether domestic violence charges should be filed.

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The California Bar Association allows any attorney that is licensed with them to practice law in any field, in any city, as long as it is in California. This, as you can imagine, is an increasing number of lawyers. If you have been charged in the South Bay for a criminal offense, it is important for you to know whether you should be hiring a South Bay criminal attorney.

Whereas it helps to have an attorney that is in the South Bay, it does not necessarily mean that the attorney must have an office in South Bay and practice only in South Bay. The important thing to note is not that the attorney must be “born and raised” in the South Bay, but that they practice frequently in the area and are familiar with the Courts.

To fully understand the situation, let’s consider an example that illustrates the difference.