Violent crimes are in a category of their own in California. The courts punish these crimes more harshly than other offenses. You might face an expensive fine, a prison sentence, and a criminal record that follows you wherever you go. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is essential to protect your rights and future if you are charged with a violent crime.
Turn to the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling for help. We are a hard-hitting Los Angeles criminal defense firm with over two decades of experience representing individuals accused of or charged with violent offenses in California. Every person deserves a strong defense. You can count on our firm to provide strategic legal services to deliver the best possible outcome under the law. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Los Angeles violent crime defense attorney.
What is a Violent Crime in California?
The California legislature imposes special considerations for sentencing individuals convicted of extraordinary crimes of violence against others. According to state law, a violent crime includes offenses like:
- Any felony punishable by life imprisonment or death
- Murder or voluntary manslaughter
- Rape (including spousal rape), sodomy, sexual penetration, or oral copulation
- Lewd and lascivious acts
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Assault with a firearm on a firefighter or peace officer
- Attempted murder
- Criminal threats
Most — but not all — violent crimes are felonies in California. Regardless, you should expect aggressive prosecution and harsh penalties if convicted of a violent offense.
Types of Violent Crimes We Defend
At the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling, we defend clients charged with all types of violent crimes, including:
- Child abuse
- Weapons charges
- Domestic violence
- Sex crimes
- Battery on a police officer
- Elder abuse
- False imprisonment
- Criminal threats
- Assault and battery
- Assault with a deadly weaponSet up a free consultation with us today to learn how we can help you.
Understanding California’s Three-Strike System
California’s Three Strikes Law imposes enhanced sentencing on offenders with multiple serious felony convictions in California. A person convicted of a violent felony could face additional time in prison for each prior felony conviction on their record.
For instance, a second conviction for a serious violent felony will double a defendant’s sentence. A third conviction means the defendant will face a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.
Those convicted of second, third, and subsequent violent felonies are not eligible for probation or suspended sentences. That means they must serve their entire prison terms without the possibility of early release.
How a Violent Crime Defense Lawyer Can Help You
At the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling, our legal team will start working immediately to determine the best defense strategy for your case. But no case is created equal. First, we need to examine the unique circumstances surrounding your violent crime charge.
Possible defenses to violent crime charges include:
- Mistaken identity – The victim or a witness might have falsely identified you as the perpetrator. An alibi or other solid evidence can prove you were elsewhere during the crime.
- Self-defense – You can argue you acted in self-defense because you believed you were in danger and using force was the only way of protecting yourself from injury or death.
- Defense of another person – Self-defense extends to the protection of others. You must show you reasonably believed protecting another person by using force was necessary to prevent them from an imminent threat of danger.
- False allegation – An alleged victim might accuse an individual of a violent crime in retaliation or revenge for a perceived slight. For example, a person might accuse their spouse of child abuse during divorce proceedings to gain custody of the children.
- Insufficient evidence – The burden of proof is on the prosecutor in any criminal case. They must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there isn’t enough evidence to support their case, we can file a motion to dismiss the charges against you.
- Consent – This defense may be possible with certain offenses, especially sex crimes. If a defense lawyer can show that the alleged victim consented to a sexual act, you might not be guilty of a violent crime.
The Benefits of Hiring a Violent Crimes Attorney in Los Angeles
The value of hiring a violent crimes defense lawyer cannot be overstated. A conviction means more than prison time, hefty fees, and other court-ordered rehabilitation. The consequences can follow you long after you serve your time.
People convicted of violent crimes may struggle to find housing, secure a loan, or obtain professional certifications to advance their career opportunities. These convictions can also cost them friendships and family connections they cherish and value. But remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. An attorney from the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling can fight for you to get your charges reduced, secure a fair sentence, or dismiss your entire case.
Our approach will depend on various factors related to the charge and criminal offense. We will:
- Advise you of your rights. We will guide you through each step of case proceedings, from entering a plea to defending you at trial.
- Gather evidence to discount the prosecutor’s case. Security camera footage, witness statements, police reports, expert testimony, and physical evidence from the scene can tell the true story of what happened. Our firm has a team of in-house investigative professionals, most of whom previously worked in law enforcement, to assist with our investigation.
- Determine if law enforcement violated your rights. Illegally obtained evidence is usually not admissible in court. If we find the police violated your rights, we can file a motion to suppress the evidence the prosecutor tries to use against you.
- Negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor, if appropriate. Attorney Justin E. Sterling has longstanding professional relationships with local prosecutors and will work to negotiate the best outcome possible for you.
Contact a Violent Crime Defense Attorney in Los Angeles Now
If you were arrested for a violent crime or are under investigation, defending yourself against the charges requires help from a reputable lawyer. At the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling, we understand your freedom and livelihood are at stake. You can rely on us to do everything to get you through this traumatic ordeal and move forward. Call or contact us online for a free consultation today.