Common Types of Criminal Cases We Handle
Encino criminal defense attorney Justin E. Sterling has helped countless people successfully fight all types of charges, from misdemeanors to felonies.
- Weapons charges: Gun crimes are strictly punished in California as a means of reducing firearm-related violence. Common gun crimes include illegal possession of a gun, selling a gun without a license, and assault with a deadly weapon.
- Domestic violence: The infliction of physical force on a current or former partner without consent is a crime in California. There are two kinds of domestic violence in California: domestic battery and corporal injury to a spouse. Domestic battery only requires unconsented touching of the victim. Corporal injury requires the spouse to suffer a bodily injury.
- Drug crimes: California heavily regulates controlled substances that it considers a threat to society. People may face charges of possession, possession with intent to sell, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, and related crimes.
- Violent crimes: Crimes involving violence are punished especially harshly. Common violent crimes include murder, manslaughter, battery, corporal injury to a spouse, and assault with a deadly weapon.
- Sex crimes: Sex acts conducted without consent or with a minor are crimes in California. Common sex crimes include rape, sexual assault, forced copulation, and child molestation.
- Assault and battery: Although these terms are often used interchangeably, assault and battery describe two different crimes. Assault is an attempt to inflict force on another person, while battery involves the actual infliction of force. When a person is charged with battery, they are usually charged with assault as well.
- Homicide: Generally speaking, there are three kinds of homicide in California: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter. An important factor that distinguishes these crimes is the element of malice aforethought.
- Robbery, theft, and burglary: These three offenses are easy to confuse. Robbery entails the uncontested taking of another person’s property from their immediate person using force or fear. Burglary does not actually require the taking of property. Rather, it simply requires breaking into private property with the intent of committing a felony. Theft describes the unconsented taking of another’s property.
- Gang crimes: Gang activity is criminalized in California. You may face serious charges if you commit a felony while participating in gang activities or commit a crime to benefit a gang.
- White-collar crimes: Two common white-collar crimes are embezzlement and fraud. Embezzlement involves the taking of property entrusted to you for your own benefit, depriving the owner of its value. Fraud is the material misrepresentation of a fact for the purpose of depriving another person of their property, legal rights, or otherwise causing an injury.
- DUI: Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in California. The penalties increase considerably if you injure or kill someone while driving drunk.
- Probation or parole violations: A simple mistake or misunderstanding can lead to serious consequences if a person violates the terms of their probation or parole.
- Expungements: Expungement releases you from many of the consequences arising out of a conviction. For example, you may no longer have to disclose the conviction when applying for a job. However, expungement is only possible in certain circumstances.
- Civil rights violations: Unfortunately, despite the progress over the last few years, civil rights abuses occur at every level of the Southland criminal justice system. If your civil rights were violated during an arrest or incarceration, you may be entitled to compensation.
Penalties for a Criminal Conviction
The penalties for a criminal conviction vary widely and depend in part on whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction may result in up to 1 year of incarceration, while felonies are punished by the more than 1 year of incarceration.
Penalties for common crimes include:
- First-degree murder: 25 years to life in prison
- Assault with a deadly weapon: Up to 4 years in prison
- Corporal injury to a spouse: If charged as a felony, up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000
- DUI manslaughter: A prison sentence of up to 4 years and a maximum fine of $10,000
- First-degree robbery: Up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Lewd conduct: A jail sentence of up to 6 months and a maximum fine of $1,000
Besides fines and prison time, you may also be stripped of certain civil liberties, such as the right to own a gun, obtain federally funded housing, and a hold a professional license.
How Our Encino Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
You lose your temper, make a dumb decision, or simply appear in the wrong place at the wrong time – you may find yourself facing criminal charges for a host of different reasons. Regardless, the consequences of a conviction would be severe.
The first thing you should do after an arrest is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Encino. An attorney can analyze the facts of your case, launch an investigation to uncover critical evidence that undermines the prosecution’s case, and craft a personalized defense.
The Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling believes everyone should be presumed innocent unless the prosecution can prove otherwise. It’s this belief that drives our work fighting for Encino residents every single day.
If you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer who puts clients first, contact the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling today for a free and confidential consultation.