Received Criminal Charges or Accusations in San Diego?
Having the government accuse you of a crime can be a traumatic experience for anyone, both for people who’ve been in trouble before and those with a clean record. If you are reading this page, you (or a loved one) have been accused of a crime. You are probably feeling embarrassed, angry, fearful of the future, or just plain confused. The criminal justice system in San Diego is a complicated so you will need an experience San Diego criminal defense attorney to navigate all the complexities and deliver the best possible outcome for your specific case.
Hire a Lawyer. The Sooner the Better
In many cases, the sooner you take action in defending your criminal charges the better. Even if there is plenty of time before your court date, there could be scenarios where your fate is determined even before the court date. For example, if you are arrested for a DUI and do not request a DMV hearing within 10 days, your license will be suspended. This has nothing to do with the trial, a plea deal, or even hiring an attorney. This example should make it clear that hiring a San Diego criminal defense attorney is crucial in stopping unforeseen penalties.
It doesn’t matter whether your case is in the criminal investigation phase or whether you have already been charged with a crime, a reputable San Diego criminal defense attorney can help you at any step in the process. If you are still under investigation, a lawyer can guide you as to what you can or cannot say to the police, challenge search warrants, and much more. Even if you have already been charged, your defense attorney can challenge any of the prosecutors evidence or negotiate a favorable plea deal before you case even gets to trial.
Types of San Diego Crimes
We’ve explained some of the benefits of getting a San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your charges. Now we want to discuss some of the broader categories of crimes you might encounter.
DUI & Drunk Driving
Driving under the influence includes both alcohol and drugs such as marijuana. When you are charged with a DUI, you’re facing losing your license, as well as criminal charges. In this category, potentially less serious offenses such as public intoxication or disorderly conduct are also included.
Theft crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the seriousness of the criminal offense, such as the amount stolen. Some types of theft include, grand theft auto, burglary, larceny, and fraud. Receiving stolen property can also be considered a crime.
Drug crimes also have a wide range of seriousness depending on the amount of drugs in question, the type of drugs, and whether or not the individual was planning on profiting from the sale of the drugs. Drug possession and drug trafficking are the two major categories.
Prostitution, solicitation, indecent exposure, and lewd conduct in public are example of the less severe types of sex crimes. Of course, one small “modification” and one of these crimes can become extremely serious. For example, indecent exposure in front of a child can be a felony (peeing in public). More serious types of sex crimes include, sexual assault, child molestation, rape, or sexual battery.
Violent crimes are considered the most serious category with the most aggressive punishments. When someone is physically injured, something small can turn into something big. For example, a simple bar fight in most cases would be assault, but if you punch someone in the nose and they accidentally die, it becomes something as serious as murder. Types of violent crimes include, assault, battery, murder, domestic violence, child abuse, threats, and many more.
Probation & Warrants
This last category includes crimes such as probation violations. However, it also includes activities that a San Diego criminal defense attorney can do to help someone out post conviction. Some examples include, early termination of probation, expungement, and warrant recalls.
Popular Defenses Against Criminal Charges
There are thousands of possible defenses against criminal charges. Many possible defenses haven’t even occurred yet. That is the beauty of the law. It grows and changes over time. When you put the outcome of your particular case in the hands of an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney, you are giving yourself the best chance. You lawyer will have the ability to sort through the thousands of defenses that have been used in the past (“case law”) or if your situation is unique enough they came come up with a completely new defense. Below we present you with 4 possible defenses for general criminal charges.
This can be used when the accused individual was unaware that their action illegal. Although, the majority of the time ignorance of the law in an acceptable defense, in some unique cases it is applicable. For example, if a bartender served alcohol to someone who was underage using a fake ID, then that bartender could possibly use this defense. On the other hand, a member of the public cannot use this defense if they were just confused about the legal drinking age and gave alcohol to someone under the age of 21.
When an individual is charged with assault or murder, the self-defense argument is applicable. For example, if an individual attacks you with a knife and you punch them and kill them accidentally in self-defense, then your actions might be justified. It must be established that you only did what was necessary to protect yourself.
When the defendant claims that they committed the crime because an outside force pushed them into it. An example is if the defendant’s family was held hostage in order to make the defendant commit the crime. For this defense to be applicable, the threats made against the defendant have to be more severe than the actual crime committed.
When the defendant claims that exceptional circumstances caused them to commit the crime. If the defendant was truly desperate when they disobeyed the law, then it could be considered a matter of necessity. This is a pretty difficult defense because it generally has to follow the following criteria:
- The act in question, by the defendant, was carried out in order to avoid a greater evil
- There could not have been any lawfully reasonable alternative
- The act in question must have been the minimum necessary to avert the greater evil
- The unlawful act must have been highly probable in effectively averting the great evil
Call For a Free Consultation Today
Now you are probably fired up to defend your case in court or to at least see what a San Diego criminal defense attorney can do for you. Give us a call today at (800) 319-4955 to speak to a local attorney about your case. You can also fill out the quick contact form on this page and a San Diego criminal defense attorney will call you.