If you have been charged with a crime in the Van Nuys area, it is important to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer. The Law Office of James E. Silverstein is a highly respected Van Nuys criminal defense firm. We have dedicated our practice to defending individuals against a wide range of criminal charges, including:
- Drug crimes
- Drug possession
- Violent crimes
- Domestic violence
- Sexual violations
We understand that facing criminal charges can be a daunting experience. Therefore, we are committed to guiding our clients through the legal process with compassion and knowledge. With years of experience and a deep understanding of criminal law, we have successfully defended countless clients in the Van Nuys Courthouse. If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney in Van Nuys, the Law Office of James E. Silverstein is the firm to trust with your case.
Criminal Defense Practice Areas
As a seasoned criminal defense firm, we represent clients on a wide range of criminal charges, including:
- Drug Crimes: This involves any crime involving drugs, from selling drugs to possession to trafficking. Charges can be associated with any kind of drug, including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs.
- DUI: This involves driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Violent Crimes: Any crime involving an act of violence against another person is considered a violent crime. These include murder, assault, battery, and manslaughter.
- Domestic Violence: Domestic violence involves any act of violence against someone you live with. These people could be family members, romantic partners, or roommates.
- Fraud: This is a nonviolent crime that relies on deception to illegally obtain something from its owner. Offenses include identity theft, blackmail, and money laundering.
- Theft: This includes a wide range of offenses and a correspondingly wide range of penalties. Minor crimes include petty theft. More severe offenses encompass crimes like grand theft auto.
- Criminal Charges: Regardless of the specific criminal charge you are facing, we are committed to protecting your rights. Our firm can offer a vigorous defense against any criminal charges you may be facing.
If you are facing criminal charges in the Van Nuys area, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of James E. Silverstein. We can provide legal representation for any of these offenses.
California Misdemeanor vs. Felony for Criminal Charges
In California, criminal charges can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the offense.
- Misdemeanors: These are less serious offenses, such as minor drug offenses, petty theft, or disorderly conduct. Misdemeanor charges are punishable by up to one year in jail, fines, and other penalties as determined by the specific charges.
- Felonies: These are more serious offenses, such as murder, rape, burglary, or drug trafficking. Felony charges carry more severe penalties. These include imprisonment for more than one year, fines, and a range of other consequences.
The decision to charge an individual with a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the specific facts of the case, including:
- The nature and severity of the offense
- Any prior criminal history
- Any aggravating or mitigating factors
In some cases, certain offenses may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. This is known as a “wobbler” offense. The decision to charge as a misdemeanor or a felony will be based on the specific facts of the case and the prosecutor’s discretion.
The consequences of a criminal conviction, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony, can be serious and long-lasting. This can include a criminal record, difficulty finding employment, and the loss of certain rights, among other consequences. If you are facing criminal charges in California, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can help you understand your legal rights and options.
What to Do If You Are Facing Arrest and Criminal Charges in California
If you are facing arrest and criminal charges in California, it is important to take action quickly and protect your legal rights. Here are some steps you should consider:
- Stay Calm: It is important to remain calm and composed during an arrest. Do not resist or argue with the police officer, as this can make the situation worse.
- Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. Use this right, and do not make any statements to the police until you have spoken with an attorney.
- Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney: It is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can help protect your rights, advise you on the legal process, and provide guidance throughout your case.
- Know Your Rights: You have the right to an attorney, the right to a fair trial, and the right to remain silent. Make sure you understand your rights and exercise them.
- Gather Evidence: If possible, gather any evidence or witnesses that can support your case. This may include physical evidence, witness statements, or photographs.
- Attend All Court Appearances: Make sure to attend all court appearances and follow any conditions of your release. Failure to do so can result in additional charges and consequences.
Facing criminal charges can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. It is advisable to follow the steps above and work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. By doing so, you can protect your legal rights and work towards the ideal outcome for your case.
Work to Get Van Nuys, CA, Criminal Charges Dropped or Reduced
Getting criminal charges dropped in Van Nuys, CA, can be a complex process. The possibility of doing so depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Here are some general steps you can take to increase your chances of having charges dropped or reducing penalties:
- Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney: A skilled attorney can review the details of your case and identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They can then work to have the charges against you dropped or reduced.
- Gather Evidence: If possible, gather any evidence that may support your case, such as witness statements, surveillance footage, or expert opinions.
- Negotiate With the Prosecutor: Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have the charges against you dropped or reduced. In exchange, you can enter into a plea deal or other agreement.
- File a Motion to Dismiss: Your attorney may file a motion to dismiss or reduce the charges against you. In some situations, they might find that there is insufficient evidence against you. In others, they might find proof that your rights were violated during the arrest or investigation.
- Attend Court and Follow Court Protocol: It is important to attend all court appearances and comply with any court orders. Failure to do so can result in additional charges, penalties, and consequences.
- Be Patient and Persistent: Getting charges dropped can be a long and challenging process. It is important to be patient and trust in your attorney’s knowledge and strategy.
It is important to note that getting charges dropped or reduced is not always possible. However, by working with an experienced criminal defense attorney and following the steps above, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
How to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Van Nuys, CA
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Van Nuys, CA, can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Here are some steps to help you find and hire the right criminal defense lawyer for your case:
- Research and Identify Potential Attorneys: Look for attorneys with a focus on criminal defense. Also, try to find one with experience in the type of case you are facing. You can find potential attorneys through referrals, online searches, or legal directories.
- Check Their Credentials and Experience: Look for attorneys who are licensed to practice law in California and have experience handling criminal cases in Van Nuys, CA. You can check their credentials and experience through their website, online reviews, or by contacting the State Bar of California.
- Schedule a Consultation: If you have found a potential attorney, schedule a consultation to discuss your case. You can use this to determine if they are a good fit for you. During the consultation, ask about their experience, strategy, and fees.
- Ask for References: Ask the attorney for references from past clients. This can help you get a better sense of their experience and track record.
- Consider Their Communication Style: Choose an attorney who communicates clearly and regularly with you. It is important for an attorney to keep you informed about the status of your case.
- Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, it is important to choose an attorney you feel comfortable working with. It is critical to hire an attorney you can trust to represent your interests effectively.
It is important to note that the right criminal defense lawyer for your case may not necessarily be the most expensive or well-known attorney. Take the time to research and identify potential attorneys. Consider their experience, credentials, and communication style. By following these steps, you can find the right attorney for your specific needs and circumstances.
Van Nuys Criminal Defense FAQs
Q: What are reasonable criminal defense attorney fees in Van Nuys, California?
A: The average hourly rate for criminal defense attorneys in California ranges from $250 to $400 per hour. For flat-fee arrangements, the amount charged will depend on the type of case, the amount of work involved, and the attorney’s experience. For example, a simple misdemeanor case may be charged a flat fee ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Conversely, a more complex felony case may range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more.
Q: What is the most common felony offense in California?
A: The most common felony charges in California can vary from year to year. However, based on recent statistics, some of the most frequently charged felonies in California include:
- Drug offenses, such as possession, distribution, and trafficking of illegal drugs
- Property crimes, such as burglary, robbery, theft, and grand theft auto
Other common California felony charges are for violent crimes, fraud and white-collar crimes, and sex crimes. The frequency of specific felony charges can vary depending on a variety of factors. These include changes in laws, law enforcement priorities, and trends in criminal activity.
Q: How many felony arrests in California result in conviction?
A: The percentage of felony arrests that result in conviction in California can vary widely. It largely depends on the specific charges and the strength of the evidence. According to data from the California Department of Justice, in 2021, the overall felony conviction rate in the state was approximately 62%. However, the conviction rate can vary significantly depending on the type of offense.
Q: What city in California has the highest crime rate?
A: The city with the highest crime rate in California can vary depending on the year and the type of crime being measured. According to the FBI’s 2019 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program data, the city with the highest violent crime rate in California was San Bernardino, followed by Oakland and Stockton. The city with the highest property crime rate in California in 2019 was Modesto, followed by Bakersfield and Stockton.
Q: What city in California has the lowest crime rate?
A: There are several cities in California that have low crime rates. However, the rankings can vary depending on the type of crime being measured and the year of the data. Based on the FBI’s 2019 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program data, the city with the lowest overall crime rate in California was Imperial, followed by Hillsborough and Danville.
Build a Strong Defense Against Your Van Nuys Criminal Charges
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Van Nuys or the surrounding areas, do not wait to seek legal representation. The Law Office of James E. Silverstein has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. We are here to help you fight for your freedom and protect your future. Contact the Law Office of James E. Silverstein today to schedule a consultation with our team.