Criminal Defense FAQ
Get Answers from an Orange County Defense Lawyer
Have you been arrested for a crime in Orange County? The state of California has stiff penalties for criminal offenders without the proper legal protection you could facing devastating consequences. If this is your first encounter with the law, then you may not know exactly what you are up against. On the other hand, if you are being charged with a repeated offense then the penalties will rise substantially higher. Now is the time to take up arms and begin building a solid defense- when going up against tough prosecution you must have an even tougher defense. Being arrested can be a terrifying and unpredictable experience. Call to speak with our Newport Beach criminal defense lawyer today for the answers you need to get you through this difficult time.
Q: Why do I need an attorney?
Q: Will cooperating with the police give me a better chance of getting off clean?
Q: Do law enforcement officials have to read me my rights at the time of arrest?
Q: If the police ask to search my home or vehicle do I have to give my consent?
Q: How long will a DUI conviction remain on my record?
Q: What does "implied consent" mean?
Q: Are the authorities allowed to pull me over and arrest me without probable cause?
Some people believe that if they are innocent or charged with what they believe to be minor offense, that they their case does not necessarily require a licensed legal professional. Do not be mistaken! If you are innocent, you may have even more at stake and your entire future could be on the line. The law states that you are innocent until proven guilty but when an officer arrests you, they already have you pegged as guilty in their mind. Consider the possible consequences if you were to be convicted. What kind of jail time could you be facing? Without an assertive legal advocate to protect your rights against the prosecution, your chances of success will be significantly lower.
Will Cooperating with the Police Give Me a Better Chance of Getting Off Clean?
No, not necessarily. In fact, the scary truth is that law enforcement officials have full authority to lie to you during questioning. Police officials will say or do just about anything to pull a confession out of you and by telling you that they have evidence against you or eye witnesses who are willing to testify, they hope to speed up the process. We are here to remind you that you have the right to remain silent- you do not have to answer any questions without your attorney present. In order to avoid making any incriminating statements, it is best to avoid answering any questions.
Do Law Enforcement Officials Have to Read Me My Rights at the Time of Arrest?
We have had many clients come to us hoping that there case would be dropped because the arresting officer did not read them their rights right off the cuff. These legal rights are more commonly known as the Miranda Warning, which you have probably heard on a legal T.V. show at some point or another. The truth of the matter is that they are not required to read you your rights unless they intend to question you in custody and use your statement against you in court.
If the Police Ask to Search My Home or Vehicle, Do I Have to Give My Consent?
Absolutely not, in fact we discourage our clients from giving any type of verbal consent to an investigative search. The old rule "a man's home is his castle" still applies today. You have the right to exclude anyone from entering your home, unless they have a valid warrant to search the premises. If they conduct an illegal search of your home and they find convicting evidence, then that evidence will not be admissible in court. If you give then your consent however, then whatever they find can be used against you.
How Long Will a DUI Conviction Remain on My Record?
Unlike bankruptcy, a DUI charge does not disappear after a number of years. A DUI conviction will remain on your record indefinitely unless you make efforts to have it expunged. By sealing the record, it will not be traceable for future employers and will not come up in background searches. Speak to our criminal attorney today if you would like to learn more about the expungement process.
What Does "Implied Consent" Mean?
Here in the state of California, there are consequences if you refuse to take a breath or blood test when you being suspected of drunk driving. By simply having a driver's license, the law states that you are expected to give your consent if you are ever believed to be driving under the influence. If you still refuse to take a chemical test, your driver's license could be automatically suspended for up to a year and you could be required to pay a legal fine.
Are the Authorities Allowed to Pull Me Over and Arrest Me Without Probable Cause?
By law the police must have probable cause to believe that you are driving under the influence. They must look for signs of erratic driving, swerving, speeding and other odd behavior. Then if they do believe that you have been drinking, they will need to conduct the standard field sobriety tests to either confirm or deny their assumption. If officials ask you cooperate and take a breath or
blood test, you do have the right to ask for a separate blood sample so you can have it tested at an independent lab. By having it tested yourself, you can ensure that the results are correct and nothing was tampered with.