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San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyer
Our San Jose criminal lawyers provide professional legal representation for all types of criminal law. We are the experts who provide experienced legal services tailored to the specific circumstances of your case. Our criminal defense attorneys cover criminal cases ranging from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies and have the experience necessary to protect your rights and fight to achieve your best results.
Aside from minor traffic offenses, having criminal charges brought against you is a very serious matter which can carry significant consequences. To understand your best defense strategy, it is always recommended accused individuals contact a criminal attorney for legal assistance.
Types of Criminal Law
Criminal law refers to rules set by the government to prohibit and punish harmful behavior. Criminal law defines offenses and regulates the apprehending, charging and trial of the suspect. These legal rules are designed to keep the public safe and deter bad conduct.
In most states, the common law of crimes has been repealed by legislation. The result is that no-one can be tried for an offense that is not specified in the statutory law of the state.
If an individual engages in harmful behavior, they may be found guilty of a crime and prosecuted in court. Criminal law generally enforces punishments that aim to achieve five objectives – retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and restoration.
There are four major categories of crimes – Personal Crimes, Property Crimes, Inchoate Crimes and Statutory Crimes.
1. Personal Crimes
These are crimes that cause physical or mental harm to another person. Personal crimes include:
- False Imprisonment
- Rape and sexual assault
2. Property Crimes
These crimes involve interference with another person’s property. They do not usually involve harm to another person. Property crimes include:
- Robbery (Theft involving force)
- Theft (Larceny)
- Embezzlement (To secretly take money that is in your care or belongs to an organization or someone you work for)
- False pretenses
- Receipt of stolen goods
3. Inchoate Crimes
These are crimes that were started but not finished. It involves more than an intention to commit a crime. Inchoate crimes involve:
- Attempt (such as attempted burglary)
4. Statutory Crimes
These are violations of a state or federal statute. Statutory crimes include:
- Alcohol-related crimes (such as DUI)
- Selling alcohol to a minor
This is not a comprehensive list of crimes, but it gives an overall picture of crimes that are generally prohibited in every state. The penalties will vary between states.
Do you need a San Jose criminal lawyer to defend your against criminal charges? Contact us today for professional legal representation at (408) 538-2873.
Levels of Crimes
Crimes can be separated into different levels depending on the seriousness of the crime. The two main categories are misdemeanor and felony.
What is a Misdemeanor?
Generally, a misdemeanor is a less serious crimes such as shoplifting or a DUI. Misdemeanor carries a fine and a possible jail sentence of less than a year.
A crime usually classed as a misdemeanor can be raised to felony under certain circumstances. For example, driving under the influence of alcohol is usually classed as a misdemeanor. However, if anyone was injured or killed as a result of the crime, the charge can be upgraded to felony.
What is a Felony?
A felony is categorized as a serious crime such as murder or robbery. Felony carries at least one year in state prison. Anyone involved with the crime and the felon through aiding and abetting, or becoming an accessory after the crime was committed, can also be charged with felony.
Other Categories of Crimes
Crimes are often divided into further categories depending on the state. For example, personal crimes can be divided into violent and non-violent crimes. These categories are used for sentencing purposes.
Crimes can also be categorized by criminal intent. The main two criminal intent categories are General Intent and Specific Intent. To be found guilty of a crime, the defendant’s state of mind must meet certain criteria within these categories. This is not easy to define, but a professional San Jose criminal defense attorney will be adept at using this in a defense when appropriate.
Why Should You Get Legal Advice?
As previously mentioned, criminal law is complex and can carry serious penalties. There are many different types of crimes and these vary from state to state. Pleading ignorant or failing to understand criminal law is not a valid defense or a means to avoid being found guilty.
Everyone has the right to represent themselves in court, but the results of inadequate legal representation at trial can be serious. Fines and prison sentences can vary greatly, so having a defense lawyer to represent you properly is very important.
Our San Jose criminal lawyer is fluent in the language of the law. If you are facing criminal charges, they are here to help you. They will individually analyze your case and provide you with the strongest defense possible.
What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Offer?
Criminal defense attorneys assist clients throughout the entire criminal justice process. Some people choose to use the services of a lawyer before they are charged, during the period of investigation. This is often because they are a suspect and believe they will soon be charged. The criminal defense lawyer will provide instructions for the suspect to help them during questioning.
A criminal defense attorney can also convince a court to drop charges against the individual due to insufficient evidence.
After an arrest, some suspects are detained pending trial. Release is possible by paying a specified amount of money, known as bail. A criminal defense attorney can sometimes get the bail reduced or removed completely.
During the trial, a criminal lawyer will work out the strengths and weaknesses of a case. They will put together the best defense strategy.
An attorney will explain the pros and cons of pleading guilty. They also help with standard trial procedures, such as providing opening statements and questioning witnesses. If needed, they also assist with the appeals process.
Where Can You Seek Legal Aid?
Our San Jose criminal lawyer is professional, experienced and ready to take on your case today. Everyone deserves the right to get the best representation at all stages of a trial. We are equipped and able to guide you through this complicated, stressful process. Seeking professional legal aid is the only way to achieve the best possible outcome for you. Our San Jose criminal defense lawyer consider each case individually and advise on the best course of action for each case.
For a free consultation, contact our San Jose criminal defense attorney at (408) 538-2873. Schedule a consultation with a criminal lawyer today to discuss how we can help protect you and learn what steps to take.