Canoga Park Criminal Defense Attorney
Penalties for Federal Crime, Manslaughter and Drug Offense Convictions
When an arrest for an alleged criminal action takes places, it is only natural for you to worry about the possible penalties for conviction. The criminal justice system is extremely tough in our state, and you have genuine reasons to be concerned. One of the principles of our firm, The Law Office of Peter Berlin, is that we want to keep you fully informed regarding your case. You deserve to know what we are doing to defend you and to understand the full implications of your charges. To make this possible, an experienced Canoga Park criminal defense lawyer from our firm is available to you, any day of the week or time of the day. This includes holidays and weekends as well. Our willingness to communicate with clients is one of the elements that sets our practice apart from others. We want you to be in the loop and in close communication with our firm throughout every part of the process.
In this page, we present some idea of the punishments given out by the criminal justice system in our state. Our focus, however, is on what our firm needs to do to prevent or reduce penalties for our clients. Our ongoing goal is to achieve the best conclusion possible to your case. While the potential outcomes vary from one situation to the next, our objective remains the same – to give you high-quality criminal defense from the start to the conclusion of your case.
Crimes are divided into two broad categories, misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are considered lesser crimes while felonies are more serious in nature. A DUI offense with no property damage or harm to another is often filed as a misdemeanor – but this does not mean that a conviction is not serious. A DUI involving a hit and run or manslaughter will lead to felony charges. The severity of the penalties you may face will depend, in part, on whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. One of the many reasons that people turn to a skilled defense lawyer from our firm is that when we get their charges reduced, the risks to their freedom and future are far less.
Crimes which violate specific U.S. laws or the Constitution will be prosecuted by federal authorities. Federal crimes are commonly penalized much more severely than offenses of a similar nature in state court. In a lower court, we may get a possession charge resolved through various court programs which provide an alternative to incarceration. When drug crimes such as cultivation, distribution and others are prosecuted at the federal level, the penalties imposed by the court usually include extremely large fines and years of imprisonment. You must retain an accomplished attorney, who is admitted to practice in federal court when facing federal charges of any type. Our firm serves as defense counsel for those who are facing a wide range of federal criminal accusations.
California’s Three Strikes Law for Felony Crimes
In California, under the Three Strikes Law, penalties can be significantly increased if you have multiple convictions on certain types of felony crimes. Under our state’s penal code, an individual faces the possibility of a life sentence without the possibility of parole if he or she is convicted of a third felony. If you have a second strike, your prison sentence can be automatically doubled. In addition, the law provides for a ceiling on reducing your sentence for good behavior.
Offenses that count as a strike against you include sex crimes such as rape, certain assault charges, homicide, arson, kidnapping, specific firearm violations, some drug crimes and others. In many cases, we pursue a reduction of charges down to a non-strike offense or a misdemeanor. Every possible advantage will be pursued, and when we take a case to trial, you can be confident that you are represented by a talented trial lawyer with years of experience in presenting a persuasive and well crafted defense case to the court.
When an individual is convicted of a criminal offense, many factors will be taken into consideration in sentencing. In the case of a drug crime, the amount and type of drug will greatly affect the level of charge filed. The penalties for theft, robbery and certain white collar crimes are based upon the value of the items that are alleged to have been taken or illegally obtained, as well as if the accused person had a weapon, whether it was used or not. How you are punished can also be swayed by aggravated circumstances such as the involvement of a minor, the use or threat of violence and others.
Not all crimes are punished equally. Usual penalties may include community service, restitution to a victim, steep fines, court costs, loss of your driving privileges, sex offender registration, probation and incarceration in jail or prison. Also, you will now have a permanent criminal record which can greatly affect employment, housing and job opportunities in the future.
The types of penalties and their severity point out the importance of having a proven legal firm by your side. Do not hesitate to call us when your future is on the line. We know what to do.
Contact a Canoga Park criminal defense attorney from our firm for more information.