Oakland Criminal Lawyer
Dealing with criminal charges is hardly ever easy. Whether you were already arrested or are facing the prospect of being charged with a crime, you may have many questions, and likely want to take every possible step to bring about the best resolution of your case—as well as avoid taking actions or giving statements that could make matters worse.
The right Oakland criminal lawyer could provide just the help you need at this critical time. Regardless of whether the crime at issue is a major felony or a less serious misdemeanor, a skilled attorney could help you protect your rights and your future.
The Basics of Criminal Law in Oakland
While the definitions of many criminal acts are set forth in the provisions of the California Penal Code, others may be found in different sections of the state’s legal statutes. For instance, crimes related to drugs are defined in the California Health and Safety Code, and drunk driving offenses are described in the California Vehicle Code.
Less serious criminal offenses are often referred to as misdemeanors, while more serious crimes are labeled felonies. The least serious offenses of all are considered infractions, usually reserved for traffic tickets and other such crimes punishable only by small fines.
Often, aggravating circumstances transform what could be a misdemeanor into a more serious crime. For example, a simple assault is classified as a misdemeanor, but assault with a gun or other deadly weapon is treated as a felony. Penalties may vary depending on the severity of the crime and whether the individual charged has any prior convictions. For more insight on the basics of criminal law, get in contact with an Oakland criminal lawyer.
Crimes Commonly Charged in Oakland
While California law defines a great many criminal offenses, some are more common in Oakland than others. These include but are not
- Theft offenses include shoplifting, petty theft, embezzlement, auto theft, and burglary
- Drug offenses include possession of controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, dispensing drugs without a license, and possession of drug paraphernalia
- DUI offenses include driving under the influence of alcohol and possessing an open alcoholic beverage while driving
- Weapons offenses include possessing a firearm without a license and criminal storage of a firearm
- Violent offenses include battery, assault, and voluntary manslaughter
- Sexual offenses include rape, possession of child pornography and indecent exposure
Even the most minor offenses carry unwanted consequences, including a criminal record which can cause difficulties in obtaining employment, finding housing, and even interfere with personal relationships.
Defending Against Criminal Charges
In order for someone in California to be convicted of any criminal offense, the prosecution must prove that certain elements of the crime were satisfied. Often a successful defensive strategy is based on showing that there is no proof that all elements of the crime existed.
For many crimes, it is necessary to prove that the person charged acted with a particular state of mind, such as an intent to cause harm or a reckless indifference to the likelihood of a particular outcome. For offenses such as assault, it may be crucial to quickly collect and preserve evidence that could be used to prove or disprove a particular state of mind.
Video recordings may also provide vital evidence, but it is important to preserve recordings before they are deleted. An Oakland criminal lawyer with experience defending against criminal charges could know how to ensure that valuable evidence is protected.
Talk to an Oakland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
It is important to find the right attorney to help you fight your criminal charges. Ideally, you should seek out an experienced advocate who is willing and able to explore all available options for defense. Furthermore, you may want someone who could make sure your side of the story is heard, and who you could trust to provide the right advice while work tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
A seasoned Oakland criminal lawyer could provide all of these services for you and more. Call now for a free consultation to learn what a dedicated local attorney could do for you.