FELONY DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY CA
Felonies are the most severe criminal offenses you can be accused of in San Bernardino, and individuals facing allegations of felony crimes face the most devastating criminal penalties, typically including incarceration in state prison and costly fines, among other consequences that can affect virtually every aspect of their personal and professional life. If you are facing criminal charges for a felony offense in San Bernardino, regardless of the circumstances of your case, your first course of action should be to consult a San Bernardino defense attorney specializing in felony criminal defense. Being charged with a felony crime means your freedom and your future are on the line, so don’t wait to protect your legal rights. Contact Seyb Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation with a top San Bernardino felony defense attorney.
Affordable San Bernardino Felony Defense Attorney
San Bernardino and other cities throughout Southern California have taken a tough stance against felony crimes, and criminal offenses that fall into the category of “felony” are aggressively prosecuted in San Bernardino and the surrounding areas. If you are facing charges for a felony crime, your first course of action should be to hire a lawyer to represent your case, but not just any lawyer will do. You need the legal expertise of a criminal defense attorney who has a clear understanding of San Bernardino criminal law and how it applies to your case, so you can be fully aware of the legal implications of the allegations against you and the defenses available to you based on the specific facts of your case. At Seyb Law Group, we offer potential clients a free initial consultation, which means you can have a premiere defense attorney examine the strengths and weaknesses of your criminal case with no obligation to hire our firm. It is important to find the right defense attorney for your legal needs, but don’t wait to begin protecting your rights. Felony criminal charges require immediate intervention and our defense lawyers at Seyb Law Group will act quickly to secure a satisfactory resolution on your behalf.
Criminal offenses in San Bernardino are generally divided into two broad categories: misdemeanors, which are typically less serious crimes, and felonies, which are more serious crimes. The most severe criminal offenses in San Bernardino, like murder and rape, are almost always prosecuted as felonies, but others, like battery, can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on certain factors, including the severity of the offense. For example, if you are arrested for willfully and unlawfully using force or violence against another person in San Bernardino, you could be charged with the crime of misdemeanor battery. However, if you commit the crime of aggravated battery, or battery causing serious bodily injury, you could be charged with a felony instead. Some possible felony offenses in San Bernardino include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- DUI of drugs (DUID)
- DUI with injury
- Hit and run
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Drug possession
- Domestic violence
- Assault and battery
- Sexual assault
- Child pornography
- Child molestation
- Criminal threats
- Weapons charges
- Grand theft
- Federal crimes
Penalties for San Bernardino Felony Offenses
The main difference between misdemeanor and felony crimes in San Bernardino is the severity of sentencing. Generally speaking, a felony crime is one that is punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison, while a misdemeanor crime carries a maximums sentence of up to one year in county jail. Criminal offenses can be categorized even further, and in terms of felony charges that can be brought against a defendant, there are “straight” felonies and “wobblers.” A straight felony is exactly what it sounds like – a criminal offense that is always charged and sentenced as a felony, meaning it cannot be charged as, or reduced to, a misdemeanor, regardless of the circumstances of the individual case. A wobbler, on the other hand, is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor, a distinction that typically depends on the specific details of the case and the defendant’s criminal record, if any. In some cases, a defendant can get his or her San Bernardino felony conviction “expunged,” or dismissed, but not all felony crimes are eligible for conviction expungement.
California’s “Three Strikes” Sentencing Law
There is a law in place in California called the “Three Strikes” sentencing law, which imposes significantly more strict prison sentences on repeat offenders convicted of multiple serious or violent felony offenses. Under this law, a defendant facing charges for a serious or violent felony in San Bernardino who has a prior “strike” offense on his or her criminal record could face double the prison sentence otherwise required by law. And a defendant with two or more strike priors on his or her record charged with a subsequent serious or violent felony could face an automatic sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
San Bernardino Felony Criminal Court Process
Facing charges for a felony offense can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you have little to no experience with the San Bernardino criminal justice system. The truth is, San Bernardino criminal law is complex, and it can be difficult to know what to expect when facing felony charges in criminal court. The best way to ensure that you understand the allegations against you and the defense options available to you based on your specific situation is to hire a San Bernardino criminal defense attorney to represent your case. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to have a clear picture of how the criminal process works, so you can be prepared. Generally speaking, the felony criminal court process follows this basic order of events:
- Arrest – A criminal case typically begins with an arrest, usually occurring when a law enforcement officer witnesses you committing a crime, has probable cause to believe you have committed a crime, or is operating under the authority of an arrest warrant.
- Booking – After being arrested, you will be taken into police custody and “booked,” or processed. During this stage, a law enforcement officer will record your personal information and details about the alleged crime, and will also take your fingerprints and photograph and confiscate your personal property. You will then be placed in a holding cell to await arraignment.
- Arraignment – Your arraignment is the first time you will appear in court and it is during this stage that you will hear and answer to the criminal charges against you, entering a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.
- Bail review – After you have entered your plea, your defense attorney will argue for release without bail or for reduced bail. If you are granted bail, you may pay the bail amount in exchange for release, which is contingent on your promise to appear at all scheduled court proceedings.
- Court date – If you enter a plea of not guilty, the court will set dates for future proceedings. If you are released on bail, you will be free to return to your home pending the resolution of your criminal case. If you are denied bail or you are unable to post bail, you will be held in custody until your case is resolved.
- Plea bargaining – A plea bargain is a legal agreement between the defense and the prosecution, whereby you plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence or a reduction in charges. If your defense attorney can get your felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor, you could face less severe criminal penalties.
- Trial – During trial, the prosecution and defense will each argue their case, presenting evidence and examining witnesses to establish the facts of the case for the judge and jury. If you are found not guilty at trial, you will be immediately released. If you are found guilty, you will be taken into custody to await sentencing.
- Sentencing – During sentencing, the judge decides on the appropriate punishment for the felony crime, taking into consideration the specific circumstances of your case. A felony sentence in San Bernardino can include incarceration, fines, probation, community service, restitution, and/or participation in a rehabilitation program, among other potential penalties.
- Appeal – It is your right to appeal a criminal conviction or sentence. Your defense attorney may file an appeal on your behalf on the basis of any legal errors allegedly committed by the jury, judge or prosecutor.
San Bernardino Felony Crimes Defense
A felony criminal conviction can carry devastating penalties, not to mention a negative social stigma that can haunt you for years to come, and it is easy to feel like your life is over after being arrested for a felony crime in San Bernardino. However, the most important thing to remember when faced with felony criminal charges is that an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. Just because you have been accused of a felony crime does not automatically mean you will be found guilty of any wrongdoing. Proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard of evidence required for a criminal conviction in San Bernardino, and that means the prosecution must prove each “element” of the felony offense to the extent that there could be no reasonable doubt in the mind of a reasonable person that you are guilty of the crime. And thanks to a crucial legal principle known as the “presumption of innocence,” you are legally presumed innocent unless the prosecution is able to present evidence to the court that satisfies the requisite burden of proof.
How Hiring a Felony Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
The criminal justice system is designed to control and prevent crime by arresting, prosecuting and convicting those who break the law by committing a crime. Unfortunately, innocent people are falsely accused of crimes all the time. And if this is the case, you may think that your innocence is all the defense you need. Sadly, the criminal justice system is inherently flawed, and just because you are innocent of a crime does not mean you can’t still be convicted and sent to prison. Whether you committed the crime or not, a felony conviction in San Bernardino can result in a number of direct legal penalties, plus a potential loss of employment, a ban on your right to own or possess a firearm, a loss of your driving privileges, and a loss of your child custody rights, among other lasting collateral consequences. Additionally, with a felony conviction on your criminal record, you could find it difficult to obtain decent housing or employment for years to come.
Any time you are facing felony charges, a good defense attorney may be the only thing standing between you and a lengthy prison sentence. At Seyb Law Group, our legal team has more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, and we are intimately familiar with the inner workings of the San Bernardino criminal justice system. We are committed to protecting the rights of the criminally accused in the community, and we can help you get the best possible outcome in your criminal case, whether that means securing a reduction in charges, negotiating a lighter sentence or getting the criminal charges dismissed altogether. When it comes to fighting felony criminal charges, there is no substitute for skill and experience, and that is what our defense team at Seyb Law Group has to offer. We understand that all criminal cases are different, with unique circumstances that can influence prosecution and sentencing, and we will work tirelessly to provide you with the legal representation you need based on your specific case.
Contact Our San Bernardino Felony Defense Attorneys
A felony conviction in San Bernardino can ruin your reputation, cost you your job, damage your relationships with friends, colleagues and even family members, and effectively alter the course of the rest of your life. Depending on the severity of your felony charges, hiring the right San Bernardino attorney to defend your case can mean the difference between walking away with your freedom intact and spending a lifetime behind bars. If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony crime in San Bernardino or the surrounding areas, you need an experienced felony defense attorney on your side who can advocate for you and represent your best interests in court. Consult our San Bernardino criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group as soon as possible to begin strategizing your defense.