Santa Clara Criminal Lawyer
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The Importance of Hiring a Santa Clara Criminal Attorney
Are you facing criminal charges in Santa Clara County? The uncertainty and potential threats to your freedom can feel overwhelming. However, you need not go down this daunting path alone. A wise first step may be contacting an experienced criminal lawyer.
Whether you are facing a tricky misdemeanor or complex felony charges, the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson can craft individualized defense strategies to protect your rights. Our nuanced understanding of local courts and law enforcement helps ease clients’ worries from the initial days of an investigation to trial and beyond.
You don’t have to face these challenges against the criminal justice system alone. Call our law offices today for compassionate advice on your case. Our California attorneys aim not only to win legal battles in court but also to help you navigate the uncertainty surrounding this complex process.
Understanding Santa Clara Criminal Laws
The California Penal Code is a comprehensive compendium of criminal offenses and their associated penalties. It provides a broad framework for classifying crimes with varying degrees of severity for counties in California, including Santa Clara County.
The county further supplements the California Penal Code with its Santa Clara County criminal ordinances. These ordinances address specific issues of concern within the county, such as nuisance crimes, public safety regulations, and environmental protection measures.
Felonies v. Misdemeanors
As per California criminal law, a criminal offense can fall into three main categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
Infractions are the least severe offenses and typically result in fines without jail time or a criminal record. Such offenses are similar to citations and tickets.
Misdemeanors, falling between infractions and felonies in terms of severity, are less serious crimes than felonies. Punishments for misdemeanors generally involve a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
In contrast, felony convictions can result in several years of imprisonment, substantial fines, and penalties, including probation and parole.
The critical difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the location and length of incarceration if convicted. Felonies lead to sentences served in state prisons for over one year. Misdemeanors bring shorter jail time sentences that defendants serve locally in county facilities if the judge does not just assign probation or fines instead.
Additionally, certain felonies may carry mandatory minimum sentences, requiring a defendant to spend a specified amount of time in state prison upon conviction. Understanding these distinctions is crucial in navigating the legal landscape and the potential consequences of different criminal charges.
“Wobblers” – Straddling the Line
There is also a unique category of criminal offenses classified as “wobblers.” These are crimes that a prosecutor can choose to charge as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Prosecutors have some flexibility with wobblers in deciding how severely to charge these cases based on the facts of a case, the severity of the damage caused, and the criminal record of the individual accused of committing the crime.
Common Crimes in Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County sees thousands of criminal cases each year spanning a range of offenses. Understanding the most prevalent crimes and their potential consequences aids in navigating the local justice system.
Property crimes like theft top the list of common Santa Clara offenses.
- Petty Theft – The offense of “petty theft” under California Penal Code § 484(a) PC involves unlawfully taking or appropriating someone else’s property where the property’s value does not exceed $950. Most first-time offenses lead to misdemeanor charges and are punishable by a fine with an upper limit of $1,000 and a potential county jail sentence of up to six months. (PC §484)
- Grand Theft – Stealing property over $950 in value equates to grand theft. It is classified as a wobbler offense and is punishable by up to a year behind bars if prosecuted as a misdemeanor and up to three years in a state prison if prosecuted as a felony. Enhancements like using weapons or committing theft against vulnerable victims can further elevate penalties. (PC §487)
Substance Abuse Violations
With the Bay Area’s strong economy and youth population, drug and alcohol charges arise frequently.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Driving under the influence incurs escalating punishments for repeat offenders from misdemeanor to felony. Jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and thousands in fines constitute standard penalties. Additional charges like reckless driving or injuring others can severely compound sentences. (VC §23152)
- Drug Possession – Penalties for possessing illegal narcotics vary drastically based on the substance, intent to distribute, and the defendant’s criminal history. While small-scale marijuana possession may lead to misdemeanors, other drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine may bring first-time offender felony charges. (HSC §11350)
Though less prevalent than property or drug crimes, Santa Clara sees many instances of violent offenses – from domestic violence cases to robbery and aggravated assault. These carry some of the harshest potential sentences.
Given the nuances in classification and sentencing for different California codes, working with criminal defense lawyers can prove essential in aiming for favorable outcomes.
How a Santa Clara Criminal Attorney Can Help
An experienced criminal defense law firm in your corner can make all the difference in Santa Clara County criminal matters. Here are some of the key ways in which the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson can help:
Navigate the Complex Legal System
The California criminal code contains thousands of statutes, and Santa Clara also has local laws. Top criminal defense attorneys from our firm know how to use these intricate laws and procedural rules to work the system to the client’s advantage. We can identify improper police officer conduct, constitutional rights violations, and other weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Develop a Strong Defense Strategy
There are dozens of potential criminal defenses and mitigating factors. We can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of an arrest and build arguments to undermine the accusations and get charges reduced or dismissed. Common local defenses include false accusations, entrapment, and lack of criminal intent.
Negotiate with Prosecutors
A criminal defense lawyer from our firm can also negotiate with district attorneys through plea bargaining, citing extenuating reasons why a reduced charge or alternate sentence is recommended.
Advocate in Court Hearings
During arraignments, motions hearings, and trials, a criminal lawyer from our firm can challenge evidence and witnesses, present testimony, and aggressively put forth a defense to increase the likelihood of obtaining an acquittal or favorable outcome.
Avoid Long-Term Consequences
The impacts of a conviction can last for years beyond a jail sentence. We can fight to preserve a client’s job, avoid hefty fines and damages, expunge records, restore gun ownership rights, and mitigate immigration or child custody consequences through legal procedures.
Why Choose the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson?
Renowned for her assertive criminal defense, the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson and other attorneys from the firm bring their robust experience to safeguard the interests of our clients.
With a wealth of knowledge, our legal team provides strategic defense counsel, meticulously reviewing all evidence of your criminal case when entrusted with your criminal defense.
The following sets us apart from other law firms in the area:
Proven results & high client satisfaction
Strategic legal advocacy suited to your needs
Dedicated pursuit of optimal outcomes
Fearless trial representation
Complimentary, free, confidential consultation
Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson: Your Dependable Criminal Defense Attorney in Santa Clara, California
Facing recent criminal charges is a serious matter, and the severity of the consequences can be daunting. Depending on your charges, you may be at risk of significant fines, imprisonment, and a lasting criminal record.
At the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson, we are committed to delivering results to meet your criminal defense needs. We offer effective legal representation to empower you to regain control over your life’s trajectory.
Wherever you are in Santa Clara, you can contact us for a free consultation today!