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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Referral Service

How To Find The Best Criminal Defense Attorney In Los Angeles County.


A case between a person and the state of California is called criminal case. If the defendant is found guilty of the alleged offenses, he/she is punishable by a fine, time in prison, or both.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees the following protections for the accused:

  • The right of an unbiased state and district jury to a speedy and public trial in which the crime was claimed to have been committed.

  • The right to be told about the essence of the allegation and its cause.

  • The right of the witnesses against the defendant to be confronted.

  • The right to have those witnesses cross-examined against him.

  • The right to appear in his favor to subpoena witnesses.

  • The right to the support of counsel for his or her safety.

The following constitutional rights must be surrendered when a defendant files a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to a charge:

  • Right to judge or jury trial

  • Right to confront witnesses and cross-examine them

  • Right of witnesses to subpoena

  • Anti-self-incrimination right

What Is A California Criminal Court?


In cases alleging violations of California statute (e.g., Criminal Code) and local codes, the Superior Court has jurisdiction. Charges in the county in which the suspected breach of the law occurred are normally heard. Alleged infringements bear fines that fall into three classifications:

  • Infractions in California are punishable by a fine, traffic school, or any form of community service for traffic offenses.

  • In California, misdemeanors are offenses that are punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $1000, or both.

  • Felonies are punishable by incarceration or death in a state jail. As of October 1, 2011, Assembly Bills 109 and 117 (AB 109/117) establish sentences to be served in the county jail on felony convictions for designated non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders previously served their time in state jail.

The Superior Court, representing the Citizens of the State of California, can hear cases brought by the prosecutor:

  • The City Attorney charges infringement and misdemeanor offenses found to occur within city limits.

  • Within county limits, the County District Attorney prosecutes crimes, misdemeanors, and felonies. The District Attorney can also serve towns that do not have a City Attorney in Los Angeles County.

  • In any California county, the State Attorney General may prosecute cases.

What is infraction?


infraction charges are not punishable by incarceration. An individual charged with an offense has no right to:

  • Trial by Jury

  • If the person is kept in custody, the Court has appointed counsel at public expense.

Moving offenses are the most common offenses, and traffic citations are filed. Usually, infractions do not require a court appearance. In the Clerk's Office, they can be processed. If a defendant wants to appear in Court, they will schedule an arraignment or court trial to appear on a court date.


los angeles criminal defense lawyer

What Does a Misdemeanor Mean?


A misdemeanor can have a with a maximum sentence of:

  • County incarceration term of One year or less

  • The $1,000 statutory fine

What's a felony?


A felony conviction is punishable by imprisonment or death in a state jail. Punishment for specified non-violent and non-serious felony convictions, where registration of sex offenders is not required, can be served in the county jail beginning October 1, 2011.


Do I have to make a court appearance?


If you have been convicted in California with a felony, you will have to appear in Court. When a misdemeanor or warrant has been issued against you, you will still have to appear in Court. Please report to the courtroom to which you were assigned directly. Usually, courtroom doors open at 8:30 a.m. You can report additional details to the Clerk's Office if your name is not listed on the calendar. Please send the clerk any documentation you have that applies to your situation.


Am I in need of a criminal defense attorney?


To act in your best interests, you will need a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. Preferably, a private criminal defense attorney should represent you. If you are cannot afford an attorney, the Court can appoint one if you qualify at your arraignment. Legal aid can be given to you through:

  • California public defender's office

  • Alternate public defender’s office

  • Other Court-appointed counsel

The Judge will decide your ability to cover all or part of the legal aid expenses. If the Court determines that you should pay, it would be possible to issue a court order for you to pay the costs. After your case is resolved, the Court can also require that you appear for further hearings to determine your ability to cover the costs.


What's The Difference Between A Public Defender And A Criminal Defense Attorney?


The right to an attorney is one of the most well-known rights of criminal defendants. Under the Sixth Amendment, this right is secured and is one of the most significant protections criminal defendants have. In most criminal cases, a criminal defendant has the right to seek legal representation.


It's here where the right is less known. Some individuals believe that the court would appoint you free of charge because you have a right to an attorney. Free counsel can only be appointed for indigent defendants, and it is not from a normal California criminal defense attorney. Instead, a California public defender will be the legal counsel. For certain defendants, the only way they can get lawyers is through a public defender.


This could be your only choice if you are completely unable to afford a private criminal defense attorney in any circumstances. But if you can find a way to finance your criminal defense, you may want to think twice before trusting your case to a public defender. Although public defenders are lawyers in their own right, there are several important differences that any criminal defendant should know about between public defenders and private criminal defense attorneys.


A court-appointed prosecutor is a public defender. Defendants considered indigent will get a public defender at no expense (i.e., unable to afford necessities). Public defenders are working with for the state of California. Public defenders are frequently overworked, as they are given big case loads. Meeting a public defender is not like a private attorney's meeting. In your case, public defenders have little or no personal investment.


If you plead guilty or are sentenced, they are there to remind you of the charges and the repercussions you may face. If you have a defense, they will also have little time to develop a criminal defense strategy. Public defenders will often try hard to get the case to be settled by a criminal defendant before it reaches trial since it is always in the court's interest to settle the case before trial to lower time and costs.


Private Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys have your best interests in mind in this regard and don't do anything to save time or money for the court. Depending on the venue and the experience of the criminal defense lawyer, private attorneys differ in cost. Hourly or flat rate rates are paid by many. Private criminal defense attorney will tell you of the allegations and the repercussions you face if convicted.


A private criminal defense lawyer can also educate you on your rights and support you in protecting them. If you want to fight the charges at trial or help you settle the case before trial, private criminal defense will provide you with the best chances of fighting your charges. You can choose whatever path for your criminal defense, but a private criminal defense lawyer can take the time, most importantly, to advise you about your chances of success. This will assist you in making the best possible decision.


As you can see, who they work with is a major difference between public defenders and private criminal defense lawyers. A public defender is working for the same government who is prosecuting you. While they can help indigent defendants manage the course of criminal prosecution, many do not have the time or motivation to fight on your behalf vigorously.


On the other side, private criminal defense lawyers work for you. They will take the time to better represent your needs and, because you pay them to, will fight for your rights in court. In retrospect, the decision not to employ a private criminal defense attorney was regretted by many defendants who were were prosecuted. The costs of fines, penalties, jail time and other sentencing provisions also far outweigh the costs of a criminal defense lawyer fighting for you.


When you face criminal charges, and if you have a public defender, talk with a criminal defense attorney. You can get very good idea of what you can do to fight your charges and not just deal with your case by working with a private lawyer. Even if you decide not to employ a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, you can deal with your case with more confidence by talking to a pre-screened California criminal defense attorney about your rights.


How Do I Request An Unbiased Referral To A Pre-Screened, Ethical Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney?

  1. You can submit a request online 24 hours a day. Free case review within 15 minutes.

  2. By chat, you'll be connected with a California criminal defense lawyer within 5 minutes.

  3. By calling the 24-hour lawyer referral hotline at 1-661-310-7999

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