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Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter



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Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter





FAQs

What Is Your Background In Practicing Criminal Defense Law?
I’ve had my own practice for the last 4 years doing criminal defense. I chose this area of law because I started working in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office several..
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What Is Going To Happen In The First 72 Hours After I’ve Been Arrested On A Criminal Charge?
If you’ve been arrested, you will be taken down to the jail. You are probably going to sit in a holding cell for some time. You will be booked and fingerprinted, and you’ll be put into the system...
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Should I Hire An Attorney Prior To Being Arrested If I Suspect That I May Be Arrested?
We offer a service called pre-charging representation so that you can have representation if you suspect that you will be arrested. Sometimes people know that they are going to be accused of a crime, ..
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What Are The Common Types Of Criminal Cases That You Handle?
I typically handle domestic violence cases, DUIs, drug cases, ..
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Is It Ever Possible To Have Violent Crime Charges Reduced?
It is possible to have violent crime charges reduced, and there are many of different ways to do this. You can do it through negotiation. Every felony has kind of a mini-trial half way through, called..
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Are Most Violent Crimes Prosecuted As Felony Charges?
Most violent crimes are classified as felonies. There are a couple of misdemeanors, such as simple battery, which is the unlawful use of force against another person. When it is pushing or shoving, or..
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What Would Be Considered A Violent Crime In California?
Several years ago, the California Legislature, partially as a response to the under-funding of the system, reclassified a bunch of crimes. Anything less serious than a narcotics offense where weapons ..
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Will I Look Guilty If I Hire An Attorney Before An Arrest Is Made On Sex Crime Charges?
If you are under investigation, the fact that you’ve hired an attorney cannot be used as evidence against you. It may raise the question in someone’s mind, “Why is this person hi..
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What Is The Difference Between State Level And Federal Level Sex Crime Charges?
Commonly known sex crimes, such as rape, assault, and molestation, are not typically charged as federal offenses. The f..
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How Is A Sex Crime Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?
Almost all sex crimes are felonies. There are a couple of lower level crimes, such as Sexual Battery, which is a misdemeanor. Sexual Battery is touching certa..
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What Types Of Sex Crime Cases Does Your Firm Typically Handle?
We handle child molestation cases, forcible rape, lewd conduct, indecent exposures, and all other forms of sexual battery and ..
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Does California Recognize And Address Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is not officially a legal term. It’s generally used to speak about people who are engaged in sales and distribution operations on a relatively la..
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What Is The Difference Between Possession, Sale And Intent To Distribute Charges In California?
A possession charge is determined by looking at whether or not somebody had dominion and control over the drugs, which doesn’t mean that they had to have bought a..
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How Is An Unlawful Controlled Substance Defined In California?
The Food & Drug Administration and state and local agencies have designated various schedules for controlled substances. Most of those controlled substances are..
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How Are Drug Offenses Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony Offense?
A drug offense is determined to be either a misdemeanor or a felony offense based on the type of drug involved and whether it was possessed for personal use or for ..
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What Type Of Drug Cases Does Your Firm Typically Handle?
There are two main types of drug offense cases: possession offenses and sales-related offenses. Simple possession can be for personal use and then there’s possession for the purposes of sale. There ..
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Why Is It Critical To Have An Experienced Attorney Handle My Sex Crimes Case?
Due to the complicated nature of these cases, the number of evidentiary minefields that you can step into, and the serious collateral consequences attached, it is critical to have an experienced attor..
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What Sex Crime Charges Can Cause Someone To Be Registered As A Sex Offender?
Almost all sex crime charges can cause someone to be registered as a sex offender. There are only a few minor misdemeanor offenses that don’t require registration like engaging in lewd conduct and s..
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What Happens If The Alleged Victim Retracts Sex Crime Allegations?
First of all, the accuser doesn’t have the right to decide whether the charges are filed or not filed, whether the court presses charges or not. They have the right to decide whether to make the rep..
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What Is The General Timeframe Of An Expungement Case?
We can usually get a petition together relatively quickly in Alameda County, but we’re at the mercy of the court calendar. Court dates are currently being scheduled 30 to 60 days out..
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Does Expungement Apply To Charges Only, Or Does It Cover Convictions As Well?
The expungement is for the conviction. If you were charged but not convicted, then you wouldn’t need an expungement; you would need a petition or a motion ..
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Who Is Eligible To File For An Expungement?
If a person served time in a state prison and was on probation at the time of filing for an expungement, then they would not be eligible to receive e..
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What Misconceptions Do People Have About Expungement In California?
Some people have the misconception that receiving an expungement in California means that the charge disappears into oblivion. In California, receiving an ex..
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How Does Having A Record Sealed Compare To Having A Record Expunged In California?
In California, the only way to have a record sealed and destroyed is to petition for a motion for factual innocence under Penal Code Section 851.8. In order ..
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What Does It Mean To Have A Criminal Record Expunged?
To have a record expunged means to have it erased. In California, however, there is no actual expungement in the regular use of the word; rather, you can pet..
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What Steps Should I Take If I Am Facing A Domestic Violence Charge?
First and foremost, you want to make sure that you are following the court order to not have contact with the alleged victim. Even simply calling to apologize or to tell them that you love them is not..
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Can Prosecution Use Past Instances Of Domestic Abuse In A Pending Case?
Yes, and they typically do. Even if the prior conduct was unreported (they never called 911) and didn’t result in a conviction or an arrest, the prosecution can still use it against the defendant. T..
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What Are The Penalties For A Domestic Violence Conviction?
The penalties for a domestic violence conviction always include exposure to being put in custody and having to pay a fine. If a person receives a misde..
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What Is The Age Range For Juvenile Court Cases In California?
If the alleged offense occurred after your 18th birthday, then you cannot be treated in the juvenile court. It’s that simple. The age of 18 is the cut-..
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What Are The Common Types Of Juvenile Cases That Your Firm Handles?
The most common juvenile offense cases that we handle are narcotics and auto burglary offenses. There are two classes of juvenile cases in California; ca..
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What Are The Penalties Associated With A Robbery Conviction In California?
Prison and jail time are not inevitable in California. There are certain mandatory Prison Presumptive Charges, and PC 211 Robbery is one of them but you can persuade the judge if there..
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What Are The Possible Defense Strategies Used To Defend Robbery Cases?
There are a few defenses to any kind of robbery charge. There are the “I didn’t do it at all. I am the wrong person or I’ve been misidentified” defenses. Then the defenses rela..
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What Factors Can Enhance Or Aggravate A Robbery Charge?
Factors that can enhance or aggravate a robbery charge include how much was taken, and the circumstances of it. In other words, was it late at night, was somebody basically scared to death? Was it dur..
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How Is Robbery Defined In California?
Robbery is defined in California as theft by means of force or the threat of force...
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What Role Does Evidence And Witnesses Play In A Domestic Violence Case?
Most domestic violence cases are “he-said she-said” matters that occur in the privacy of somebody’s home and are not witnessed by other people. B..
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Does An Alleged Victim Have To Be Injured For Domestic Violence Charges To Be Brought?
No, an alleged victim does not have to be injured for domestic charges to be brought. There are two different types of domestic violence charges that t..
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Are Domestic Violence Charges Bondable Offenses?
A domestic violence charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If it’s a misdemeanor, it’s usually because no actual physical violence took place aga..
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How Is Domestic Violence Defined In California?
In California, domestic violence is an offense that occurs between two people who have some type of intimate relationship with one another. An intimate..
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What Do Plea Offers Generally Look Like For First Time Offenders?
If its a first time DUI, typically a plea offer in Alameda County would be two days of cleaning up on the side of the road less credit for the time that you already ..
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How Do You Determine Whether To Take A Case To Trial Or To Negotiate A Plea Deal?
Many times, whether or not we take a case to trial hinges on the client. Can the client be patient with the amount of time and preparation that it takes to get to trial? Is the client..
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How Important Is It To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney As Early As Possible?
The importance of hiring a criminal defense attorney as early as possible is evident from the practical and emotional side. Practically speaking, hiring an attorney early in the case m..
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Why Is It Critical To Retain An Experienced Attorney To Handle A Domestic Violence Case?
Our attorneys know what type of evidence is going to exculpate you or mitigate your situation. That means we know what type of evidence will likely support your innocence or make your ..
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What Are The Long-Term Collateral Effects Of Having A Domestic Violence Conviction On Record?
One of the long-term collateral effects of having a domestic violence conviction is the immigration consequence. Having a domestic violence conviction ..
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Is Self-Defense A Viable Defense In a Domestic Violence Case?
Self-defense is always a very good defense, and you would be surprised how often it is used in these types of cases. It is not uncommon for the alleged victim to fail to mention that t..
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Are Any Alternative Programs Available For First Time Drug Offenders In California?
There is a pre-trial and pre-plea drug court option, which are collaborative. This program is part of a collaborative court where the DA, judge, defense attorney an..
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What Is The General Timeline For A Drug-Related Case In California?
The timeline for a drug-related case in California will depend on a few factors, including whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony case and whether or not the perso..
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Can A Passenger Be Charged With A Drug Offense If Drugs Are Discovered In The Vehicle?
Whether or not a passenger in someone’s vehicle or a visitor in someone’s house will be charged with a drug offense depends on the circumstances, like what they..
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Can Police Execute A Warrantless Search Of A Premises Or A Vehicle If They Suspect Drugs?
Because cars are mobile, police are given wider latitude for searching a car based upon probable cause. If they have lawfully stopped the car and they see or smell things that they believe indicate th..
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How Does California Address Drug Paraphernalia Issues?
California has a law against possessing items for the use of legal drugs, which is what drug paraphernalia is. The most common types of drug paraphe..
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How Does The Bail Process Work? Are All Criminal Charges Bondable Offenses?
Bail and bond are interchangeable terms. Bail is set at your arraignment. There is a guideline schedule bail chart in your county, which will indicate to the judge what bail should be ..
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What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make That Can Harm Their Criminal Case?
One of the most common mistakes we see people make is saying too much to the police. You have the right against self-incrimination. You are not going to talk yourself out of an arrest,..
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At What Point Will I Be Allowed To Contact An Attorney In A DUI Arrest?
The phone call that most people make when they are in custody is to their family members, and that’s because people tend to have those numbers memorized. Family members usually contact attorneys rig..
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Will I Have To Be Arraigned Or See A Judge Before I Am Released From Jail?
You will have to be arraigned, or see a judge before you are released from jail. Typically, you’d be brought into court within 48 hours, and the District Attorney would have to file charges against ..
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What Are Miranda Rights? When Do They Come Into Play In A Criminal Case?
Miranda Rights come into play when you are in custody and being interrogated. If you are pulled over for a DUI, and the officer is doing pre-field sobriety test ques..
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Juvenile Justice: What is “Juvie”?
In California, while the dependency system is governed by Welfare and Institutions Code Section 300, the juvenile delinquency system is governed by Welfare and Institutions Code Section 600. Californi..
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How Does It Impact My Case If I Have Prior Arrests And Convictions?
Prior arrests and convictions will definitely be taken into consideration by the DA when it comes to extending an offer to resolve the case with a plea and when it comes time for sentencing. It’s al..
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How Do You Advise People Who Want To Plead Guilty To A Criminal Charge And Ask For Mercy Of The Court?
I would never advise anybody to just throw him or herself at the mercy of the court without consulting with and hiring an attorney like the attorneys at The Nieves Law Firm. The purpos..
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How Does Having A Good Job And A Clean Prior Record Impact A Criminal Case?
Having a good job and a clean prior record would be considered mitigating circumstances. The whole purpose of punishing people for crimes should be to prevent recidivism, to introduce them back into s..
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Do You Recommend Counseling Or Treatment Before The First Court Date?
Depending on the individual case, I would recommend counseling or treatment before the first court date. If this is a DUI case, and let’s say it’s a second or th..
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What Sets You And Your Firm Apart In Handling Drug-Related Cases?
Our firm is set apart from the rest by the level of personal attention that we pay our clients, our attention to detail and the fact that after 30 years of combined experience we know what a good outc..
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What Are The Penalties For Drug Convictions In California?
The maximum penalty-whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony-always includes some county jail or state prison time, and typically includes some fine exposure but the exact amount of exposure varies on t..
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Do Most Drug-Related Cases Go To Trial Or Do They Settle?
Only a small percentage of cases actually go all the way to trial. Most drug cases are resolved through pretrial diversion programs that only require someone to go ..
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What Things Should I Be Aware Of If Probation Is A Part Of My Sentence?
What probation means is that in lieu of going into custody, the potential maximum sentence is being suspended so that you can stay out of custody. Let’s say you are sentenced for a DUI, and it inclu..
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When Does Sentencing Generally Take Place If Someone Is Convicted Of A Charge?
The point of time at which sentencing occurs depends on whether or not time guidelines have been waived. You have the right to be sentenced at a later time then when you actually take your plea. It ca..
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How Do People Generally Respond After Their Criminal Case Is Dismissed Or Dropped?
Many times when the matter is dismissed, clients just celebrate the fact that it didn’t result in a conviction, and they don’t have to report it as a conviction on most employment ..
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Do Most Criminal Cases Go To Trial Or Do They Settle?
Most cases end up not charged by the District Attorney in the first place, dismissed, or negotiated with a plea rather than going to trial. There is a lot of time and expense that goes..
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What Does My Record Look Like After It Has Been Successfully Expunged?
If you get a 1203.4 granted, then the language on your record will change from reading “convicted” to reading “dismissed.”..
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What Can I Do If My Petition Is Denied?
If your petition is denied, then you can apply again at a later time. If you filed a request for early termination and dismissal, then you could wait until you’re off of probation, w..
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Walk Me Through The General Process Of Having A Record Expunged In California?
In order to complete the process of having a record expunged in California, there are basic forms that need to be filled out. The CR1AD is a cover sheet that..
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How Does A Person’s Current Activity Impact Their Expungement Case?
If you’re currently on probation, then you will not be able to apply for an expungement; you will first have to petition for early termination or successfu..
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Are There Any Charges That Automatically Get Expunged?
There are not any charges that automatically get expunged; when you are convicted, it stays on your record permanently. There is no drop-off or clean-up peri..
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If My Child Intends To Plead Guilty To A Juvenile Offense, Does He Or She Still Need A Lawyer?
Technically, you don’t actually plead guilty in juvenile court; you admit the truth of the petition if you’re going to do that and yes, they will hav..
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Are There Any Alternative Programs Available To Juvenile Offenders?
Nothing that happens at juvenile court is considered punishment. It’s considered rehabilitation. They seem to have absorbed the idea that punishment is..
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How Often Should I Expect To Meet With My Attorney In The First 30 Days?
How often you should expect to meet with your attorney in the first 30 days really depends on your attorney’s office, and the type of case that you are charged with. We are lucky eno..
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Will Someone Have A Criminal Court Appearance In The First Month After An Arrest?
Whether you have a criminal court appearance in the first month after arrest depends on your county. If you are in custody, then you will definitely have an appearance within the first..
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Is There Anything That People Cannot Do Following an Arrest That They Might Be Surprised By?
In cases that involve a victim or a witness, you cannot make contact with them. You can’t encourage them in any way to change their testimony or to lie, or to ignore a subpoena, or c..
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Will I Be Able to Drive After I am Released From Being Detained On DUI Charges?
You are going to leave the jail with a pink form that gives you the authority to drive for thirty days. It will also tell you that you are entitled to an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing to decide ..
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How Do I Know What To Do After I Am Released From Jail?
Typically when you are released from custody, you will leave with papers telling you what to do. For example, if you are getting released pursuant to a DUI, then you..
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Why Is It Critical To Hire An Experienced Attorney To Handle My Violent Crime Case?
Its critical to hire an experienced attorney because the implications are serious and the punishments that you may be facing are serious. You could be looking at jail time, prison time..
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Can Violent Crimes Ever Be Pardoned Or Expunged?
The ultimate end goal with any criminal case is to be found factually innocent, seal and destroy your records, get a pardon, get a certificate of rehabilitation or petition for a dismissal by way of t..
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What Sets You And Your Firm Apart Specifically In Handling Criminal Cases?
I think the approach that we take sets our firm apart. We leverage technology to provide a streamlined and efficient process for our clients. Our electronic process is designed to make..
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What Are Some Qualities That I Should Look For In A Criminal Defense Attorney? What Are Some Red Flags?
Finding someone that is willing to provide you with information, communicate with you, and be involved—not just in the case, but in your life are qualities to look for. One of the big things that ou..
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Are There Any Alternative Punishments To Jail Or Probation That I May Qualify For?
Alternative punishments for going to jail would be conditions such as getting an ankle monitor for a client or enrolling in an inpatient treatment program that is similar to being in c..
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Can The Defendant Do Anything To Mitigate Their Sentencing Outcome?
Your attorney will be advising you throughout the case and encouraging you to gather documentation and evidence that will help mitigate (reduce) your sentence. This documentation could..
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