Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense lawyer

Being arrested in Los Angeles can be frightening and confusing. You likely have concerns about how to protect your rights and your future. Let The Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling help by answering common criminal law questions in the following criminal case FAQ.

What Should I Do Immediately After Being Arrested in Los Angeles?

Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately after an arrest in Los Angeles. Getting legal representation right away can protect you from saying or doing something that could be used against you.

You have the right to remain silent. If law enforcement attempts to question you, exercise this right and ask to speak to a lawyer. Be polite, but do not provide the police with any information without your attorney present.

How Does the Criminal Defense Process Work in California?

The criminal process in California goes through several phases:

  • Arrest – After an arrest, your defense lawyer can try to get the charges dropped, resulting in your release. If that is not possible, your attorney can negotiate bail and help you post a bond.
  • Arraignment – An arraignment is the first time you will appear in court. The judge will read your charges. You will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest (which has essentially the same effect as a guilty plea).
  • After arraignment – If you plead not guilty, your lawyer will start building your criminal defense case and attempt to negotiate a plea agreement.
  • Trial – Your attorney will mount a defense before a jury if your case goes to trial. If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced.
  • Appeal – You have the right to appeal a guilty verdict.

What Are My Rights When Accused of a Crime?

You have rights when accused of a crime in Los Angeles, including:

  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to a phone call
  • The right to a criminal defense attorney
  • The right to a speedy trial

Can the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling Defend Me Against Any Type of Criminal Charge?

Our law firm can answer your criminal defense questions and defend you against all types of criminal charges, such as:

  • Traffic offenses
  • Robbery, burglary, and theft
  • Drug offenses
  • Fraud
  • Sex crimes
  • Assault and battery
  • Violent crimes
  • Homicide
  • Weapons charges
  • White collar crimes

What Makes a Defense Attorney Effective in Court?

An effective Los Angeles defense lawyer is knowledgeable, prepared, and tenacious. You need someone with a proven track record of success and experience handling cases similar to yours. A defense attorney is most effective when you disclose all the details of your case to them, so make sure to hire someone you feel comfortable with.

What Are the Possible Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in Los Angeles?

If convicted of a crime in Los Angeles, the consequences will depend on the crime and whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. You could face monetary fines and jail or prison time. If your conviction is for a DUI or traffic offense, you could also lose your driver’s license. Your criminal defense lawyer can explain the potential penalties associated with your case after reviewing the facts of your case and any prior criminal background.

How Can I Afford a Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles?

Public defenders are lawyers appointed by the court to people who cannot afford a private defense attorney. They are highly qualified attorneys, just like private criminal defense lawyers. However, they have busy caseloads and usually work on multiple cases simultaneously. At The Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling, we strive to make our legal services affordable and accessible. We can answer all your questions about fees during an initial consultation.

Contact the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling for Answers Today

If you were arrested in Los Angeles, the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling can help. Our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense team can inform you of your options and build a solid defense on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.