Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

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Charged with a Crime: Should I hire a lawyer?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

If you are charged with a crime, you should definitely consider hiring a lawyer. Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by less than a year in the county jail. Felonies are those crimes punishable by a year or more in the state penitentiary. When you are charged with either, a felony or misdemeanor, the consequences can be life changing. You likely have a lot of questions.

When you are arrested, charged with a crime, or tried for a crime, you are afforded certain rights. You definitely have the right to remain silent, and you should before talking to a criminal defense attorney. A criminal lawyer will review what you are being charged with and will discuss with you what the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a jury to find you guilty. In some circumstances a person may be guilty of a crime but not the crime that is being charged.

In addition to discussing the elements of the crime the DA must prove, a criminal defense attorney will discuss the potential punishments for the crime or crimes that you are charged with. The criminal defense attorney will review the facts and circumstances of your case and discuss any available defenses. Plea bargaining may also be discussed, wherein a reduction in the punishment is bargained for a guilty plea to a lesser offense or same offense with a reduction in the punishment that would be given if the defendant had been found guilty of the crime.

Depending on the nature and seriousness of the crime charged, a criminal defense attorney may retain investigators and experts to assist with the case. It is important that when you do select a criminal defense attorney, it is one that has the time to dedicate to your defense. Many people have the public defender assigned to their case, which makes their caseloads heavy. This means the public defender’s office may not have the time to dedicate to your case.

If you are charged with a crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Your freedom may be in jeopardy. A knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to provide you with the best defense. Your reputation and freedom is worth defending when you are charged with a crime.

The Law Office of Erik Steven Johnson defends clients charged with a crime from Palo Alto, San Jose and throughout surrounding California communities against criminal charges. Contact us today online or by telephone at 408-246-3004 to schedule a consultation.

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