San Fernando Criminal Defense Lawyer
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Frequently Asked Questions

The best criminal defense strategy for San Fernando court will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the specific arrest. The following answers are based on frequent inquiries our San Fernando criminal defense attorneys receive after an arrest. Our San Fernando criminal defense attorneys have over 50 years experience of defending cases in the local court.

1. What happens after someone is arrested?

The police officers involved write reports about the crime, obtain witness statements, run a background check of the suspect, and do further investigation as needed before submitting their work to an investigating detective. Often, this is the best time for a San Fernando Criminal Defense Lawyer to make a dramatic impact in a Pre-Filing Intervention, as the police usually know very little about the person arrested. The police then bring their written investigation to the District Attorney's Office. A San Fernando Court prosecutor reviews the documents to determine whether criminal charges - a misdemeanor or a felony - are warranted. The prosecutor has the option of rejecting the case for criminal prosecution, filing a misdemeanor, or filing a felony charge.

2. What to do if you are arrested?

If the police arrest you, immediately ask to call a San Fernando court attorney. Do not say anything to the police that could incriminate you. Even if you are innocent and were in no way involved in the crime for which you have been arrested, ask for an attorney and do not speak to the police without a  San Fernando criminal defense attorney present.

3. What is the difference under California law between a misdemeanor and a felony?

The definition of a felony in California is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months or more. A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail of one year or less. Felony convictions are more serious crimes than misdemeanors, as they frequently require formal felony probation, supervision by a probation officer, and the loss of certain civil liberties (voting, serving on jury, possessing a firearm).

4. When should I speak to an attorney?

It is always in your best interest to consult a San Fernando criminal defense lawyer as early as possible if you suspect you will be facing the criminal justice system. Whether or not you believe you have been wrongfully accused, an attorney will fight for your legal and constitutional rights and monitor the proceedings for legality and fairness. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for free legal counsel.

5. How is bail posted?

Bail is financial assurance that a defendant will return to court after being released from custody. There are two ways to post bail. 

First, "cash" bail may be posted with the custodial agency to cover the entire amount of the bail. At the end of the case, if bail is exonerated, the defendant will receive a check for the entire amount posted (takes about 8-10 weeks). 

Second, a "bond" through a bail company may be posted. A defendant pays about 10% of the entire amount to a bail company, which puts up the entire bail amount through a bond. The premium payment is not returned to the defendant after the case ends.

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