Common Types of Criminal Cases We Handle
Our firm represents people facing a wide range of misdemeanor and felony charges, including:
- Weapons charges: Convictions on weapons charges can carry severe penalties. California also imposes “gun enhancements” that increase criminal penalties if a gun was involved in an underlying crime. Our experienced team knows how to handle these complex cases and defend your rights.
- Domestic violence: Whether the incident was a misunderstanding, a mistake, or a complete fabrication, you need a strong defense attorney if you’ve been accused of domestic violence. There are many potential defenses in these cases, so the sooner you begin working with an attorney, the better.
- Drug crimes: California regulates controlled substances that it believes pose a threat to society. There are separate charges for possession, sale, and manufacture of controlled substances. No matter what type of drug charges you are facing, a skilled attorney can help you understand the defenses available to you.
- Violent crimes: Violent crimes, in which serious bodily harm is inflicted, can carry severe penalties. Prosecutors go hard for convictions in these cases, often seeking the maximum sentence possible. You need a defense attorney who will fight tooth and nail on your behalf.
- Sex crimes: Sex crime convictions carry a stigma that offenders often can’t shake even after they’ve done their time. A trusted defense attorney can help you understand the charges you’re facing and fight to minimize the impact on your life.
- Assault and battery: There are many defenses that can be used to push for charges of assault and battery to be reduced or dropped. Before you take a plea, talk to a skilled defense attorney about your options.
- Homicide: The unlawful killing of another human being may be charged as first-degree murder, second-degree murder, or manslaughter. No matter what type of charge you are facing, you need a lawyer who has handled cases like your before.
- Robbery, theft, and burglary: Taking or possessing the property of another without their consent is a crime in California. If you’re been charged with robbery, theft, or burglary, talk with a defense attorney as soon as possible.
- Gang crimes: Gang activity is criminalized in the State of California. Prosecutors will seek maximum penalties if they can show you committed a felony while participating in a gang or committed a crime for the benefit of a gang. It is crucial that you have a knowledgeable gang crimes defense attorney on your side.
- White-collar crimes: Embezzlement, fraud, and other non-violent crimes committed for financial gain are often referred to as white-collar crimes. As soon as you realize you are under investigation for a crime, even if you have not been arrested, you should speak with an attorney. Even early on, a lawyer can protect you from saying or doing anything that could later be used against you.
- DUI: It is crime to operate a motor vehicle in California while under the influence of alcohol. Harsher penalties are triggered if you injure or kill someone while driving under the influence. Do not wait to get legal advice after a DUI.
- Probation or parole violations: Seemingly simple mistakes can have major consequences for those on probation or parole. If you are accused of violating the terms of your release, a defense attorney can help.
- Expungements: There are so many long-term negative consequences that stem from a conviction. An expungement may be an option for you to wipe the slate clean.
- Civil rights violations: Unfortunately, civil rights abuses occur at every level of the criminal justice system. If your civil rights were violated during an arrest or incarceration, you may be entitled to financial compensation. We can help.
Penalties for a Criminal Conviction
Criminal penalties largely hinge on whether the crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor offense can be punished by a jail sentence of up to 1 year. A felony offense can be punished by a prison sentence of greater than 1 year. Felonies also result in much heftier fines than misdemeanors.
Even after you serve your actual sentence, the consequences of a conviction may not be over. If the crime in question is a felony, you may be forced to forfeit certain civil liberties, such as the right to own a gun, obtain federally funded housing, and hold a professional license.
Furthermore, some crimes, such as sex and drug crimes, carry a stigma that is difficult to shake. With a conviction on your record, it may be difficult to find a job and rent an apartment. If you are involved in a child custody case, your parental rights could be affected.
How Our Van Nuys Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
The apprehension, the fear, the uncertainty – it can be difficult to think clearly when you’re charged with a serious crime. However, the choices you make in the wake of an arrest can mean the difference between a maximum sentence and the best-case scenario.
When facing criminal charges of any kind, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney from the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling can review your case and lay out all the potential defenses. We work to ensure the rights of our clients are protected at each stage of the process.
Contact the Law Offices of Justin E. Sterling today to for a free and confidential consultation on your case. We will analyze the evidence and identify every potential weakness in the case against you.