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Hidden Hills Criminal Defense Attorney

Hidden Hills Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming, regardless of the circumstances. The possibility of facing a trial and potential sentencing can feel hopeless. In this situation, it is important to have someone fighting for you. An experienced Hidden Hills criminal defense attorney can make the process easier.

With years of experience trying cases and defending clients of all types, the right criminal defense attorney will be an invaluable resource if you are fighting criminal charges in Hidden Hills, CA. They are familiar with the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, so they will be able to provide guidance, necessary information, and helpful resources as your case progresses. The right criminal defense attorney will also work with you to build a solid case and fight for you in the courtroom. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, it is important to understand what your charges are, the process your case will follow, and how a Los Angeles County criminal defense attorney can help.
Hidden Hills Criminal Defense Attorney

Civil Charges vs. Criminal Charges

One of the most important aspects of navigating the justice system is understanding the charges that are being brought against you and where those charges originate from. There are two primary categories that your case may fall into: civil and criminal. Each function differently and can have very different consequences.

Civil cases most often involve individuals or businesses. These claims involve disagreements or problems that cause injury or damages but may not necessarily break a law. Once a claim has been filed in civil court, there are distinct steps that follow. First is the pleading, where the offending party responds to the claim that was filed. The case then moves into the discovery phase, where both parties gather evidence, find witnesses, and file motions. If the involved parties are unable to reach an agreement and settle, then the case will move to trial. The outcome of the trial is decided either by a judge or a jury. It may then be appealed if one party is unhappy with the verdict.

Unlike civil claims, criminal charges are filed by the government. These charges are filed when there is clear evidence to indicate that an individual has broken a state or federal law. Criminal cases follow a similar structure as civil cases. However, they tend to be more involved because there is a stronger requirement for proof of guilt, as it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The outcome of the trial, as well as the severity of the sentencing and punishment, will often be determined by whether the case was filed in a state or a federal court.

State vs. Federal Criminal Charges

Criminal charges can be filed against an individual at either the state or federal level. Charges are most often filed at the state level because there are more state laws regulating criminal behavior such as assault, robbery, and murder. This happens because there are more restrictions on what federal lawmakers can regulate, as federal laws are put in place when national safety or interest is at risk. Some examples of federal crimes include crimes that cross state lines, various forms of federal fraud, immigration cases, or crimes committed on federal land.

There are also typically more severe penalties for federal crimes. While state criminal charges are handled in local courts, federal criminal cases are investigated and tried by federal officials. Federal criminal charges are generally more serious, so they also carry heavier penalties even if the type of crime is similar to a state case. One example of this is drug offenses, which have very harsh mandatory sentences at the federal level because the case has put the national interest or safety at risk in some way. Regardless of where your case is tried, there are several different types of criminal cases that you or a loved one could face.

Types of Criminal Cases

Whether you are tried at the state or federal level, a criminal charge can take many shapes. The specific details of each case, such as whether the crime is considered a misdemeanor or a felony, will determine what charges are filed and how intensely the case is tried. The expansive nature of the justice system means that it is in your best interest to work with a Hidden Hills criminal defense attorney who is familiar with an array of criminal charges. That way, they can defend you well regardless of what the charges brought against you are. Some of the most common examples of criminal charges are:

  • Violent Crimes. Any crime that causes physical harm to an individual is considered a violent crime. This may include severe cases such as kidnapping, murder, rape, or murder for hire. It also encompasses cases such as armed robbery, assault, and domestic violence. Crimes related to gang activity could also be classified as violent crimes, depending on how severe they are.
  • Drug Crimes. These cases often carry the most severe penalties, depending on the extent of the crime committed. Drug crimes could be connected with the possession of the drugs in question, the intent to sell those drugs to others, or the misuse of marijuana intended for medicinal purposes. If you have been charged with drug offenses in the past or you are charged with a federal drug offense, you may face more severe penalties.
  • Vehicular Crimes. There are several different categories of criminal charges involving vehicles. Some are very simple, such as a traffic ticket violation. Others are more serious, like a DUI or DWI case, which can carry harsher penalties if you are a repeat offender. Some of the most serious and most devastating vehicular cases are those involving vehicular manslaughter.
  • White-Collar Crimes. These crimes typically do not involve violence, but they can seriously impact the victims. These crimes often involve businesses and significant amounts of money. Some common examples are fraud, money laundering, and various forms of piracy.
  • Blue-Collar Crimes. These crimes are not always considered an official area of the law, but they are still fairly common and can have devastating consequences. Blue-collar crimes are often very easily recognized and leave behind clear evidence. Theft, vandalism, and shoplifting could all be considered blue-collar crimes.
  • Sex Crimes. There is a wide array of crimes that fall into this category, but they are all severe. Some of the most common types of sex crimes include rape, prostitution, and child pornography. In many situations, the prosecution will seek aggressive punishment if an individual is convicted of a sex crime.
  • Juvenile Crimes. When an individual is facing juvenile criminal charges, it is important to have the best representation. There are many different crimes that a juvenile can be charged with. However, with the help of an aggressive criminal defense attorney, they may be able to avoid official charges and be given an opportunity to serve their punishment in an alternative way.

The Process of a Criminal Case in Hidden Hills, CA

When an individual is facing criminal charges, there is a very specific process that their case will progress through, though the specifics of each case will vary depending on the severity of the charges. There are typically ten overall stages in a criminal trial, though some may be simpler or more involved. The ten stages of a criminal trial are:

  1. Investigation. This is when law enforcement officers and government bodies are seeking evidence and information regarding a crime that was committed.
  2. Charges. Once the investigation is complete, then charges will be filed, depending on the evidence and support that is found.
  3. Arraignment. The initial hearing is when the defendant is given more information about the charges and what their rights are moving forward.
  4. Discovery. This stage is when the defense and the prosecution are learning as much about the case as they can, gathering evidence, and finding the best witnesses for their case.
  5. Plea Bargaining. A deal may be offered if there is a strong case against the defendant. They may plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence or less strenuous punishment.
  6. Preliminary Hearing. This is a key stage of the process if the defendant pleads not guilty. At a preliminary hearing, the prosecution must prove that they have enough evidence to justify charges against the defendant, or else the judge may drop the charges.
  7. Pre-Trial Motions. Before the trial officially begins, the prosecution may ask for certain decisions to be made about the case, such as a change of venue. Only the judge can decide these motions.
  8. Trial. This is the most involved part of a criminal case. All evidence and testimony is presented to a jury, and they will decide whether the defendant is guilty or not.
  9. Post-Trial Motions. These motions are only filed if a verdict of guilty is handed down. There may be a motion filed for a new trial or an acquittal, depending on the circumstances of the case.
  10. Sentencing. When a defendant is found guilty and there are no successful post-trial motions, the judge will then deliver a sentence. The severity of this punishment will be determined by factors such as what crime was committed, whether the person has a history of criminal activity, or precedents that have been set.

Not every criminal case will reach every part of this process, but these are the most common steps that are followed. In some cases, following sentencing, there is an opportunity for an appeal. This is not a new trial, but rather an opportunity to address problems or errors that may have occurred during the course of the original trial. The process of a criminal case is long and involves much work from beginning to end. It is important to have the best defense attorney on your side to ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves and that there is someone fighting for you.

How to Choose a Hidden Hills Criminal Defense Attorney

Regardless of the circumstances of a criminal case, it is important to have the best representation on your side. A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney will guide you through every step of the trial process with ease and confidence. They will also be able to provide you and your loved ones with helpful and relevant resources and information to give you peace of mind during the case. There are many things that you should take into consideration when choosing a Hidden Hills, CA criminal defense attorney, but some of the most important are:

  • Practice Areas. Every attorney must complete law school, but that does not automatically qualify them to help with your case. There are many different ways that an attorney can specialize in their practice, so it is important to know what their primary practice areas are. If they do not work with cases similar to your own, then it is best to move on.
  • Reputation. Knowing how other clients, or colleagues, feel about the attorney you are considering can help you make a more informed decision. You can use this information to choose an attorney that will be a good fit for both you and your case.
  • Team. Some attorneys choose to practice on their own, while others work with partners or assistants during a case. Both methods are effective, but you may need more support if your case is particularly complex. Take time to consider who will be working on your case and how much attention you would like it to receive.
  • Cost. It is true that you will receive the value that you pay for, but it is important to understand how much of an investment your legal representation will be. Discuss costs with the attorneys you are considering to ensure that you will receive the best legal representation that is still affordable for you and your family.
  • Communication. Working through a criminal case is a long and often difficult process. It can be understandable for an attorney to get caught up in work and lose touch, but that may not be the best option for you as a client. If you are more comfortable with consistent communication between you and your representation, then find an attorney who will guarantee regular updates on your case.

Criminal Defense Attorneys FAQs

Q: What Is a Criminal Charge?

A: A criminal charge is a formal accusation or claim that a crime has been committed. These charges are brought against an individual by a government body. It is important to note that receiving a criminal charge does not mean that you have been convicted of a crime. Rather, there is probable cause to believe you may have committed the crime. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, then your best course of action is to find a criminal defense attorney.

Q: How Can a Hidden Hills Criminal Defense Attorney Help?

A: Navigating the court system can be difficult, particularly if you are not familiar with how it functions. The right criminal defense attorney will partner with you to ensure that your case is handled properly from beginning to end. They will provide you with the guidance and resources you need as your case progresses. A good criminal defense attorney will also fight for you in court to ensure that the outcome of your case is fair and is in your best interest.

Q: What Can I Expect From the Criminal Case Process?

A: The specific details of each criminal case will be different, but every case will follow the same general format. There will be an initial investigation, followed by charges being filed. At the initial hearing, called an arraignment, you will be told what the charges against you are. After the first hearing, the defense and the prosecution will gather evidence, testimonies, and witnesses. There will then be a trial. The outcome of the trial will be decided either by a judge or a jury and may be appealed.

Q: What Is the Average Cost of a Criminal Defense Attorney and How Do You Choose the Best?

A: There is no single set cost for a California criminal defense attorney. The average cost is $200-$500 per hour, but there are many factors that you need to consider when choosing the best attorney for you. When you are assessing criminal defense attorneys, it is important to look at their education, how long they have been practicing law, what their specific practice areas are, and more. Once you are better informed, you will be able to choose an attorney that best meets your needs.

The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein: Your Hidden Hills Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing criminal charges can be scary and overwhelming, particularly if you are not familiar with the court system. It is important that you or your loved one are prepared for every aspect of a criminal trial, but you likely will not have the proper experience or knowledge. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced Hidden Hills criminal defense attorney can make the process easier.

The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein can help. With over two decades of criminal defense experience, we have handled thousands of criminal cases. We can represent you well in both state and federal courts so that you can have the best support throughout your case. We have extensive experience with various types of criminal charges, ranging from sex crimes to violent crimes and white-collar charges. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, contact the team at the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein today.

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