Marin County Criminal Lawyer
The nature of a criminal case can vary significantly depending on what offense you are accused of and how that offense is prosecuted by the court. Minor charges may be punishable by only a small fine or a brief stay in county jail, while more severe offenses could lead to steep financial penalties as well as several years of confinement in state prison.
No matter what you are accused of you have the right to representation from a knowledgeable defense attorney throughout every stage of your case. Working with a Marin County criminal lawyer could be essential to effectively contest the prosecution’s case against you, and potentially mitigate the sanctions you could face upon conviction.
Classification of Criminal Offenses in Marin County
There are three categories the state of California uses to classify criminal offenses. The least severe type of offense a person could be charged with is an infraction, which is typically a minor violation of a city ordinance, state law, or traffic regulation punishable by no more than a fine.
However, because of how minor they are, these offenses are not technically considered crimes, so defendants do not have the same rights they would during a criminal case. For example, the court would not provide a lawyer to someone charged with an infraction, and they would not have the right to a jury trial.
These and other rights are guaranteed to anyone charged with any kind of misdemeanor or felony offense. Misdemeanor offenses include, but are not limited to, offenses such as shoplifting and petty theft, soliciting a prostitute, assault, battery, domestic battery, and first-offense DUI. Standard misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and $1,000 fine, and aggravated misdemeanors may result in a one-year jail sentence and a fine greater than $1,000 upon conviction. Finally, particularly severe offenses like sexual assault, rape, robbery, mayhem, kidnapping, distribution of controlled substances, human trafficking, pimping and pandering, and murder are classified as felonies and punishable by more than a year in prison upon conviction.
Certain offenses are known colloquially as “wobblers,” meaning they could fall into either category depending on the circumstances of the case. For instance, a criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a charge for felony domestic violence or felony assault with a deadly weapon down from a felony offense to a misdemeanor or even get it dismissed based on the evidence, mitigation, and other legal insufficiencies.
The Importance of Retaining Legal Counsel Quickly
Anyone who is facing criminal charges of any kind should strongly consider seeking experienced legal counsel if possible.
A seasoned criminal lawyer in Marin County could work tirelessly on a defendant’s behalf to locate and preserve exculpatory evidence, negotiate with prosecutors and court officials, and pursue alternative means of resolving a criminal matter when possible. A qualified legal professional could also help seek a positive resolution of a dismissal, which may be especially important for someone who has a prior record of similar offenses or other collateral consequences like immigration considerations such as deportation, exclusion, and denial of naturalization.
Speak with a Marin County Criminal Attorney Today
Retaining a professional defense attorney is usually the best way for a defendant in California to ensure their rights are respected and their case is dealt with as effectively and efficiently as possible. Without guidance and support from experienced legal counsel, you may have a difficult time even mitigating the penalties you might face upon conviction.
By hiring a Marin County criminal lawyer, you could put yourself in the strongest possible position to resolve your criminal matter and move on with your life. To set up a consultation and discuss your legal options, call today.