Common Defenses in Violent Crime Cases
Police and prosecutors will act like they have an airtight case against you, but that doesn’t mean they do. There are many ways to fight violent crime charges when you have an aggressive defense attorney on your side. Some of the defenses that could come into play in your case include:
- There was a mix-up somewhere along the way, and it is a case of mistaken identity.
- There was a false accusation of violence.
- What happened was an accident with no intent behind it.
- You were acting in self-defense.
- Police misconduct was involved, such as the illegal seizure of evidence.
- The police did not read your Miranda Rights.
When Los Angeles violent crime attorney Justin E. Sterling takes your case, he will immediately begin investigating what happened to identify all possible defenses. Our goal is to expose all the holes in the prosecution’s case. We then use these weaknesses to fight for the charges against you to be dropped or reduced.
What Are Common Penalties for Violent Crimes?
The penalties for a violent crime conviction vary depending on the specific charges. Most of these crimes are classified as felonies, which means the penalties can be extremely harsh. If you are convicted of a violent crime, you could be facing:
- Up to life in prison
- Thousand of dollars in fines
- Restrictive probation terms upon release
Even after a sentence is complete, there are still life-altering consequences from a conviction. These could include:
- Loss of the right to own a firearm
- Loss of employment and housing opportunities
- Loss of custody of children or loss of visitation rights
If a conviction is unavoidable, attorney Justin E. Sterling has extensive experience negotiating favorable plea deals and fighting for the minimum possible sentence.
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Understanding California’s Three-Strikes Law
California’s Three-Strikes Law affects anyone who is facing a second or third conviction for a serious or violent felony.
- For a second conviction, the defendant faces a doubled prison term.
- For a third conviction, the defendant faces 25 years to life in prison
The Three-Strikes Law applies no matter how much time has passed between convictions. If you have been convicted of a felony in the past and are facing a new charge, speak with attorney Justin E. Sterling immediately about your options.
Tips for Protecting Your Rights After an Arrest
Although it may feel like your rights have been stripped from you during and after an arrest, you do have the power to contribute to your defense.
- Stay polite with law enforcement. Even if they are being rough or rude, try to keep your cool.
- Remain silent. It is OK to give the officers your name, address, and basic contact information. But do not answer any questions about what happened. The only thing you should say is, “I want to speak to an attorney.”
- Do not sign anything or try to negotiate anything without a lawyer. Even when law enforcement and prosecutors act like they are trying to help you, they are not.
- Watch what you say in any phone calls. Law enforcement will monitor your calls to family and friends.
- Write down everything you can remember about the arrest. This includes the names and badge numbers for the officers involved, as well as contact information for any witnesses, if you have it.
- Save any recordings you made during the arrest.
- If you were injured during the arrest, ask for treatment at the jail and take photos of your injuries.
- Talk to a trusted California violent crime attorney as soon as possible about your options. There are many ways an attorney can work to fight your case, even before you have formally been charged. The sooner you have someone in your corner, the better.