Felony Criminal Defense San Diego
For anyone facing arrest and felony charges, the criminal justice system can be a nightmare experience. The formalities of court and the routine nature of rapidly processing crowded dockets gives the appearance of an archaic world indifferent to civil liberties. E. Wicker Law Office is fully prepared to guide you through the criminal justice system. Here are some important facts about California felony cases.
Most cases begin as investigations by a police agency who then turns the file over to the District Attorney for consideration of filing formal charges. This stage is knows as the “pre-filing” stage or “investigation” stage.
In this stage, critical decisions are being made about your case, whether to file formal charges or to drop the case. Decisions are being made on whether to file a misdemeanor or felony charge against you. During this critical stage, there is often an opportunity to contact the District Attorney and provide additional information that may possibly sway their decision against filing felony charges. It is important to begin a felony defense investigation without delay.
Even if felony charges have been filed, there are many options besides jail. The case may be dismissed or it may result in probation or home supervision. Each case is different, but all cases require diligent preparation and a thorough knowledge of all the facts involved.
A felony is any offense that may result in imprisonment in the state prison for one year or more. A misdemeanor is any offense that may result in imprisonment in the county jail for one year or less. The most common felonies in California have a charging range of 16 months, 2 years or 3 years. In addition to the charges you are facing, you may face additional “special allegations” which may add or double your potential jail sentence. Some common special allegations are: gun use allegation, gang allegations and great bodily injury allegations. Sex crimes have special allegations that deal with multiple victims or substantial sexual conduct. Drug cases have special allegations based on the amount of drugs found. The substantial quantity of drugs may result in a higher jail sentence.
Some special allegations that apply to almost all felonies are prior convictions and prior strikes under California’s three (3) strikes law. If you have a prior conviction, there is greater risk that special allegations will apply. Criminal history is always a factor considered by the District Attorney and by the Judge.
A “Strike” offense is any felony that is serious or violent in nature. Some examples of “Strikes” are Residential Burglary, Robbery, or Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Anyone with a strike on their record, who picks up a new felony, has his sentence doubled and is no longer eligible for probation. Anyone with 2 prior strike convictions, who picks up any felony will face 25 years to life in State prison. This is true even if your prior strike happened years ago.
A wobbler is a crime that could be either a Felony or a Misdemeanor. An example is burglary, grand theft or possession of concentrated cannabis.
Contact E. Wicker Law Office for a free case evaluation for any criminal case. Some of the types of cases previously handled are:
Driving While Under the Influence Alcohol/Drugs
Firearm and Other Weapon Offenses
Third Strike Cases