Los Angeles Felony Attorney
Felony Charges Are Serious
A California felony conviction comes with serious life-changing consequences. At best, you could get formal probation with little or no jail time but in the worst case scenario, punishment could include a state prison term of from 16 months all the way up to life behind bars. A felony conviction also comes with collateral consequences such as the loss of a business or professional license, loss of employment, travel restrictions, firearms ban, and if the person convicted is not a Unites States citizen, even deportation. If you have been charged with a felony offense, you need to contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Stephen G. Rodriguez and Partners at your earliest opportunity. We are aggressive attorneys with over 70 years of combined legal experience and if retained by you, we will stand by your side, fully review the evidence against you and do all that is possible to safeguard your rights.
Felony Criminal Lawyer in Los Angeles
Felonies include nonviolent crimes ranging from petty theft (shoplifting) with prior conviction to violent offenses such as
domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon,
sex crimes and
murder. Types of felony crimes include:
White collar crimes, such as bribery, fraud,
identity theft and computer crimes;
- Drug crimes, such as possession, selling, manufacturing, distributing, and possession with intent to sell;
Sex crimes, such as sexual abuse, sexual assault, illegal possession of pornography, continuous sexual
- Serious and violent crimes, such as mayhem, or involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, arson, grand theft involving a firearm, California felony DUI (4th time in 10 years).
Three Strikes Law
While a felony conviction can be a disaster anywhere, the California Three Strikes Law is especially severe, making California the worst state in which to face a felony conviction. The "Three Strikes and You're Out" felony law requires that repeat offenders face increasingly higher punishments:
- If a defendant has one earlier "strike" conviction and is convicted of any new felony, he or she automatically faces a doubled prison sentence and tripled actual time in custody due to the law's reduction of good behavior credit.
- If a defendant has two "strikes" and is convicted of a third felony (even if it is not a strike), "Three Strikes" comes into full effect, and the accused can be automatically sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Under California Penal Code section 666, (Petty Theft with three Priors or more), a person previously convicted of three theft-related crimes faces serious California felony penalties if he or she commits another theft-related crime. This means that a "two strikes" defendant charged with a minor shoplifting misdemeanor may be upgraded to a felony charge—and face 25 years to life in prison.
Felonies in California can be punished with a Determinate Sentence (a set prison term) or an Indeterminate Sentence (a variable term - such as life in prison). Most California felonies are punishable under the Determinate Sentencing laws. This means a judge may impose one of three prison terms: low, middle or high term. For instance, first degree burglary is punishable by the low term of 2 years, middle term of 4 years or upper term of 6 years. Indeterminate sentencing is reserved for murder and a few other crimes such as kidnapping, robbery or rape, and aggravated mayhem.
Usually the judge chooses the middle term, but the final sentence depends on many factors, including the judge's discretion, the crime's seriousness, the defendant's criminal history and other mitigating (less serious) or aggravating (more serious) factors.
- A mitigating factor would include playing a passive role in the crime.
- An aggravating factor would include using a weapon during the crime.
Under California law, some crimes are called "wobblers" due to their ability to be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. When
expungement or sentencing hangs in the balance over the status of a wobbler, legal representation by an attorney at our firm can tip the justice scales in favor of a misdemeanor and minimize the impact and punishment of a wobbler crime. Some examples of wobblers include:
- Domestic violence
- Hit and run
- Certain drug offenses
- Criminal threats
- Possession of a firearm.
Los Angeles Felony Attorneys
Even the lightest felony conviction can ruin many aspects of every day existence for you by limiting your employment and housing opportunities and the very quality of your life for years to come. In 2003, 68% of the adult arrests in California resulted in convictions. With that number in mind, choosing the right criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between jail and freedom. If we are retained as your legal counsel, you can rest assured knowing that we will aggressively pursue any and all defenses and options to secure the best possible outcome. That includes arranging for alternative sentences which may help you avoid jail altogether and taking your case to trial if necessary.
Stephen G. Rodriguez, and his expert team of California criminal defense attorneys aggressively defends California felony charges, in the Southern California and Los Angeles areas. Protecting your record from a criminal conviction is our primary concern. We will aggressively pursue any and all options to secure the best possible outcome available to you, including trial and alternative sentencing. If you are facing California felony charges, we can HELP.
Contact a Los Angeles felony attorney
at our firm to receive full legal representation to protect your rights and help you achieve the best possible results in your case.