Criminal Defense FAQs

Can police search my car without a warrant in California?

Police are not able to search your car without a warrant in California. However, they can search your car if they have probable cause. If a police officer sees open alcohol bottles, smells alcohol in your car or on your breath, or spots drugs in your car, that qualifies as probable cause and they are now allowed to search your car without a warrant.

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How are crimes classified in California?

Crimes are broken into two categories in California: misdemeanors and felonies. Generally speaking, a misdemeanor is considered a less serious crime (like drug possession, a first-time DUI, and theft worth less than $500), while felonies are more serious offenses (like murder, kidnapping, rape, armed robbery, and burglary).

What does is mean to “Plead the Fifth,” and should I ever do it?

To “plead the Fifth” means that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. This is one of your most fundamental rights as an American and cannot be taken from you. A common misconception about “pleading the Fifth” is that it implies guilt. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many times when you should remain silent or refuse to answer a question. We can help you to understand when it may be necessary to exercise your right to remain silent.

What does “no contest” mean?

A no contest plea means that the defendant cannot argue against the charges he/she is facing. Though this is not technically the same as admitting guilt, a judge will find the defendant guilty as charged after pleading “no contest.” The main reason why someone would plead “no contest” is if after their criminal case, they will be charged in civil court. In the civil court case, a person’s previous “no contest” plea cannot be used against them.

What are my rights if I was just charged with a crime?

Even after charged with a crime or arrested, you have many rights as an American citizen. You have the right to:

  • Contact and hire a lawyer to defend you.
  • Remain silent and refuse to answer any questions.
  • Stop talking at any point, even if you already began answering a question.
  • Make one phone call after you’re arrested and booked.

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What is a plea bargain and should I ever accept one?

A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and defendant, which therefore prevents the need for a trial. Typically, a plea bargain requires the defendant to plead guilty to a less serious crime or to just one of the several crimes they are accused of. In doing so, they can receive a less serious penalty. Whether or not you should accept a plea bargain always depends on the circumstance of your case, but there are many times when accepting a plea bargain is the right decision. It’s also important to note that if you do accept a plea bargain, you should never accept the prosecutor’s first offer. We have the skill and know-how to bargain with a prosecutor and get you the best deal possible

What constitutes domestic violence?

Domestic violence is an umbrella term that describes many types of abuse between two people who are living together. Domestic violence charges include assault, battery, rape, stalking, emotional abuse, and sexual assault. If you have been accused of domestic violence or abuse, it’s crucial that you contact an attorney who understands the California-specific laws regarding domestic violence.

I was just accused of a sex crime, what do I do now?

Being convicted of a sex crime can change your entire life. In addition to the potential jail time and fines you’re facing, many convicted sex offenders are placed on the sex offender registry for the majority or rest of their life. If you were accused of a sex crime, you need legal representation immediately if you want to clear your name.

Newport Beach, Orange County, California

Being arrested can be a very fast and confusing experience. It can be easy to make mistakes when you are charged with a crime, which is why it is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Below, you can find some answers to some frequently asked questions that can help you better understand criminal charges in California.

Have your questions answered by a knowledgeable Long Beach criminal defense attorney in person during a free consultation. Call us today at (800) 923-1776.

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Discover how our expanded services can benefit you. Contact us today at (800) 923-1776 for a complimentary consultation and case review. With our main offices in Long Beach, we’re here to represent and support clients throughout Southern California in their diverse legal needs.

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