Vallejo Criminal Law Lawyers
Criminal laws in this country are set at the federal and state levels and are generally categorized as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the punishment possible for the crime. In California, though, there are also misdemeanor crimes, called wobblers, that can be elevated to felonies, including:
This is particularly important because California has a three-strikes-and-you-are-out felony law, under which a repeat offender faces increasingly harsh punishment with each conviction, including a doubling of prison time for a second-strike felon, and life sentences for a third strike. California also has a death penalty for some felonies.
An arrest for any crime can be frightening. But remember that you are not helpless and you have rights at every stage of the legal and judicial process, including:
- A limited right to deny a search
- Until you are arrested, the police cannot search your car, beyond what they can see in plain view, without your permission or a warrant
- The police cannot search your home unless:
- They have a warrant
- You or someone in control of the house allows it
- They see evidence of a crime in plain view
- They believe that the time it would take to get a warrant might endanger someone or some evidence
- If they arrest you, they can conduct a protective sweep for weapons or accomplices
- The right to remain silent
- Remember that you must invoke this right. If you are ever arrested, the first and only thing you want to say is that you want to see your lawyer.
- Even if you began to answer questions, you can stop the interview at any time and ask for a lawyer
- The right to an attorney and to make a reasonable number of phone calls to your attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you have the right to have one appointed for you.
- The right to be charged (booked) within a reasonable period
- The right to an itemized receipt for all money or property taken from you during the arrest (except illegal property such as drugs)
- The right to ask to be released on bond (bail)
- The right to a speedy trial
- The right to have your case heard before a jury of your peers
While an arrest for any crime can be unsettling at best, in this country you have rights that must be respected by the police and courts. You also do not have to go through the process alone. Contact us to talk to one of our Vallejo criminal law lawyers today.
Newman & Oldwin represents clients in Vallejo, Vacaville, Fairfield, Dixon, Benicia and Solano County charged with criminal law offenses.