If you are being charged with a crime or crimes in Watts, CA, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed when protecting yourself and your family. Understanding criminal law in California, as well as the complex legal processes associated with the criminal justice system, can be extremely difficult to manage on your own. Therefore, it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help guide you through this difficult time.
Whether you are facing minor misdemeanor charges or life-altering felony charges, a criminal lawyer at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, is equipped with the experience and knowledge to take on your criminal case. Our legal team has extensive experience representing clients in Watts, CA, who have been charged with a variety of crimes, including theft crimes, assault crimes, violent crimes, juvenile crimes, and more.
At our criminal defense firm, we take a personal approach to all criminal cases. Our team is deeply aware that the California justice system can be flawed. Just because an individual is facing charges, that does not deem them automatically guilty. Therefore, we work intensively with our clients to try to understand any questions or concerns they may have regarding their cases. We can then lay out a robust defense strategy so that they can fight against their legal challenges and start to move on with their lives.
To understand Watts, CA, criminal defense, it’s important to have a grasp of what a criminal case is in the area. Only the state can charge a person or group of people with a criminal case. The person who is representing the state, known as the district attorney, will file a case against a person who has been accused of breaking California criminal law.
Criminal defense is the process of arguing against the charges brought against a defendant or defendants by the state of California. In Watts, other neighborhoods in LA, and other cities in California, individuals can mount their own criminal defense, or they can hire a criminal defense lawyer to help them. This lawyer can be a public defender, who works for the state, or a private lawyer.
When facing criminal charges in California, it is generally not recommended to represent yourself unless you have in-depth knowledge of the California criminal code and are aware of the detailed legal processes and proceedings that will take place with each case. Therefore, it is typically crucial to get legal representation to advocate for you in court as well as negotiate with state prosecutors on your behalf.
While public defenders are almost always more affordable than private lawyers, working with them has their disadvantages. Public defenders can have up to thousands of cases at one time. Therefore, they have very limited time with you, while a well-established law firm can set aside the time that you need to feel sure that the details of your case are being heard. That way, your defense is being thoroughly and considerately built up.
Additionally, public defenders may be working on cases that are all over the state, and they may not be familiar with the local legal processes and actors in Watts. Working with private attorneys who know the legal landscape in Watts can help ensure that your case will move faster and smoother. That’s because a local firm has an understanding of how to work with each prosecutor and judge.
It’s critical to know that, after every arrest, you do not have to speak to authorities if they ask you to, and you have the right to a criminal defense lawyer. Any attempt to make you talk without having a lawyer with you is considered to be an infringement upon your rights. To avoid generating any self-incriminating evidence against yourself, you should tell all law enforcement that you will not speak until you have been able to consult with your lawyer.
A California misdemeanor crime is generally considered to be less serious than a felony and can lead to a maximum of 1 year in county jail. The penalties associated with a misdemeanor, including fines and jail time, will vary depending on the seriousness of the crime. Although misdemeanor charges are not as severe as felony charges, it is important to take them seriously, as they can still have long-lasting consequences.
In California, a felony charge is very serious. It can result in restrictions on personal freedoms, such as the ability to pursue educational opportunities or secure housing and employment, long after prison time has been served and fines have been paid. Therefore, if you are facing felony charges, it’s important to hire an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible so that you can be sure that you are mounting a strong defense.
When choosing your criminal defense lawyer, it’s important to do your research. Make sure that your lawyer has experience working with Watts, CA, criminal cases similar to yours and that their outcomes have been optimal.
At Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys have over 60 years of combined legal experience working on a variety of criminal cases in Watts and California at large. Some of the cases we cover include the following:
If you or a loved one who is facing charges is a juvenile or an individual with a precarious immigration situation, then the consequences of your charges will be different than for other individuals. For juvenile or immigration cases, our firm is fully equipped to defend your rights and fight for you, as we believe that everyone has a right to fair treatment under the law, no matter their legal background, age, or any other socioeconomic factor.
A: In the state of California, police are generally not allowed to arrest you without the presence of a warrant. However, if the crime is considered to have been committed directly in the presence of law enforcement, or if the arresting officers deem that there is “probable cause” that the individual committed a felony, then they can make an arrest without a warrant. If you were arrested without a warrant, it’s important to work with a lawyer to make sure that your rights were not breached.
A: In California, arraignment is a scheduled time in court where you will formally hear what the charges against you are. It is the first hearing in the long sequence of legal proceedings that are tied to your charges. In some cases, such as misdemeanor charges that are not related to drunk driving or domestic violence, your lawyer can attend for you. Your criminal lawyer can help you understand whether you need to be present or not at your arraignment as well as how to adequately prepare for the hearing.
A: In some cases, you may not have to pay bail to be released in California. This is known as an O.R., or own recognizance, release. You can request an O.R. release, and a judge presiding over your case will make their decision based on your existing criminal history and the severity of your current charges. If you can show that your release is not a threat to public safety and that you will come to court hearings, then you can be given an O.R. release.
A: In California, bail is the money that you put down with the court so that you can be released from jail. You get the money back if you show up to your assigned court hearings and proceedings. The amount of bail you will need to pay will vary based on the severity of your charges and the county where you were arrested. The jail that you are initially detained in will set your bail amount immediately using the county’s bail schedule. However, this amount can be adjusted later by a judge.
Going up against the California criminal justice system is never easy. There are always challenges in understanding the implications of your charges. You need to know how to place yourself strategically so that you can get your charges reduced or dropped. If you cannot rid yourself of the charges, then you need someone who can show your case in an optimal light in court.
An experienced defense attorney from our well-established Watts, CA, firm can help you work through these challenges so that you can have room again in your life for matters other than your legal charges. Get in touch with a member of our team today so that we can start discussing the details of your case, answering questions you may have, and working out solutions.