If you, unfortunately, get arrested for a crime there are three categories of potential charges that could be filed by a prosecuting agency.
This is the lowest form of charges and the least serious. An infraction is usually a traffic ticket or something along those lines. Also, some misdemeanor charges can be reduced to infractions, one example is disturbing the peace. Your attorney should always look into having any charges filed reduced. Infractions. Prosecutors usually do not request jail time for infractions.
Are more serious than infractions and could require jail (not prison) and fines, which include penalty assessments. (Penalty assessments are an increase in the fines and go to cover various things). The maximum jail time per misdemeanor is one year, but could also include no jail. Your lawyer and the prosecutor usually have discussions on this issue. Fines associated with misdemeanors usually max out at $1000.00 base fine plus the penalty assessments which will make you in the thousands of dollars. One example of this is a DUI, the minimum fine for a first time DUI is $390.00 plus penalty assessments. Your fine will now be approximately $2,000.00. There is always a base fine associated with crimes.
This is the most serious type of crime and always requires good attorney representation. Maximum time can be death or life. However, some felonies can be negotiable. For example, a drug charge can carry a sentencing range of 16/2/3. Which means 16 months low term, 2 years midterm, and 3 years high term. Also, some felony charges are negotiable for county time, split sentencing time, a suspended sentence, or other negotiated sentence. Your experienced lawyer will talk with the prosecutor regarding the crime and sentencing options, including all the new sentencing guidelines covered under the various propositions.
*Please remember these are base crimes and not enhancements to a crime that can significantly increase a sentencing range.
If you are charged with a felony, the initial charging document will be called a complaint. The complaint has your charges, enhancements, and priors. This document is first received at your arraignment and gives you Notice as to what you are facing. Should your case go to a preliminary hearing, which is known as a probable cause hearing, meaning that the prosecutor presents evidence to a judge or commissioner that you MAY have committed a crime? If the judge finds you may have committed a crime you will be “held to answer” and a new court within two weeks will be selected. If the evidence does not show you may have committed a crime the court on your attorney’s motion to dismiss for insufficient evidence, can dismiss the charges.
(Please remember, There are many procedures and things which can happen depending on your charges, enhancements, and attorney)
The Law Offices of Albert Perez Jr. diligently prepares for preliminary hearings, to offer you the best possible defenses and outcome. A strong foundation for defense must always be considered and your case may not seem serious to the prosecution but your attorney should always approach a case seriously. The Law Office of Albert Perez, Jr. knows that. We know how serious your case is to you and your family and we are ready to go to work and fight for you. Should you want to speak with an experienced lawyer about your case please call our office today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation. We will talk to you about your case and try to answer any legal questions you may have. Call today.