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Being arrested can be one of the scariest and most disorienting experiences of your life, especially if you have never before dealt with the police or the criminal justice system. If you are in an unfamiliar place, especially a big city like Los Angeles, this can make the situation all the more daunting. While you may feel frozen in place or helpless, however, it is important to know that this is not the case. There are several vital steps you can take immediately after your arrest or citation that can serve to protect your rights and give you the best chance at getting the charges downgraded or dismissed. Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Eric D. Davis , Attorney at Law provides honest and dedicated legal defense to help you represent your rights.
The most important of these steps is to reach out to an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney like Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law as soon after your arrest or citation as possible. Because important events that could set the tone of your whole case will occur very quickly after your arrest, it is vital that you contact us right away so that we can have time to prepare and appear by your side. We will leave no stone unturned fighting to get your charges downgraded or dismissed and to bring the matter to the most positive possible resolution for you and your future. For a free consultation, call our firm today at (626) 628-9596.
Thousands of Satisfied Clients
“Great results without unnecessary fees”
“Eric fought hard for me when I was wrongfull accused. He produced great results without churning up unnecessary fees. I’m so happy I found him”
“Eric Davis saved my career”
“Eric Davis saved my career. Charges reduced and expunged. I couldn’t of done it with out him. He stood by me, and supported me. I highly recommend Eric D. Davis Attorney at Law.”
“Now everything is ok. He cleared everything”
“I just want everyone to know what a good lawyer Eric Dalton Davis is. He helped us with a DUI and now everything is ok. He cleared everything. We really recommend his services. We are very grateful to you. THANK YOU!”
“Quickly resolved charge in a timely fashion”
“Eric Davis Law quickly resolved a DUI charge against an out-of-state defendant in San Bernadino County by referring to Tom Wilson Counseling’s online DUi classes to complete court ordered DUI classes in a timely fashion”
When Should You Hire a Defense Attorney?
For some minor charges and infractions, including most traffic tickets, a police officer will simply write you a citation and send you on your way. However, it is a bad idea to throw such a citation aside and pretend like it never happened. The citation will usually have a court date on it, or a summons with a court date will follow in the mail. If you ignore your court date and fail to appear, the judge will most likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A bench warrant means that anytime that you come into contact with law enforcement, even during a routine traffic stop, the officer will place you under arrest and transfer you to the proper jurisdiction to appear before the judge whose court you missed.
Instead, as soon as you receive a citation, you should reach out to a knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense attorney like Eric Davis. By getting in touch with us quickly, you will give us the best chance of reviewing your case, reaching out to the prosecutor, and potentially working out a deal for the entire matter to be resolved in a single court appearance. In some cases, your attorney even may be able to appear in court on your behalf and handle the entire matter themselves.
Usually, however, when the police suspect you of having committed a crime, they will arrest you, either on the spot if they have probable cause or after a criminal investigation into the matter. A criminal investigation might involve may aspects, including the police conducting interviews with potential witnesses. If the officers try to speak with you, you should refuse until you have retained an experienced defense attorney who can be by your side for the questioning and make sure that you are not answering questions that could come back to bite you later, even if you do not believe you have anything to hide. Similarly, if the police try to search your home or other property without a warrant, you should not allow them to do so, and if they show up with a warrant your first call should be to a defense attorney who can examine it and make sure the officers have followed proper procedure.
What Types of Crimes Does Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Handle?
In California, crimes are generally separated into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Felony charges are the more serious of the two, but both types of charges can come with the possibility of long jail sentences, high fines, and other serious consequences including a criminal record that could haunt you for years to come. Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law has many years of experience successfully defending clients on all sorts of charges, but below we list some of the types of cases our office most commonly handles.
There are a number of different crimes related to the use of illegal drugs, including charges for possession, manufacturing, distribution, and possession of related paraphernalia. Manufacturing and distribution are the more serious charges and are usually charged as felonies. The severity of these types of charges and the potential penalties that follow will also depend on the type of drug involved and the amount of the drug involved. For some first-time drug offenders, we may be able to convince the court to allow you into a drug treatment program which, if completed successfully, would result in the charges against you being dropped.
Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence is not one particular crime under the California criminal code, but rather an umbrella term for a group of crimes if they are committed against a particular class of people. This class of people includes spouses and romantic partners, but also non-romantic roommates, ex-lovers, those with whom you share a child, and blood relatives, even if you have never lived together. The crime can be anything from assault and battery to cyberstalking to harassment, and the penalties will usually be increased versus if you had committed this crime in a non-domestic situation, including a potential restraining order being issues that could leave you without place to stay if you live with the alleged victim.
There are a number of different crimes in California that involve stealing things. Theft is stealing from someone without force, like a pickpocket, while if you use force to commit the theft, it will be charged as robbery. Burglary is the act of breaking into a building under certain circumstances with the intent to commit a felony such as robbery.
Like crimes of domestic violence, there are a wide variety of crimes that can be considered “sex crimes.” This can range from rape to a lesser form of sexual assault, to posting naked pictures of someone online without their consent. Sexual crimes against children are considered some of the most serious types of crimes you can face, and convictions come with long jail sentences as well as a requirement to register as sex offender, often for the rest of your life.
A felony is a crime that is of a more serious nature than a misdemeanor. Felonies can be violent or they can be nonviolent and are generally punishable by federal prison sentences of one year or more. Felonies are incredibly serious and require immediately engaging the professional guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, CA. Crimes classified as felonies generally include very serious offenses, such as:
- Homicide or attempted murder
- Human trafficking
- Intentionally or negligently spreading HIV/AIDS
- Serious property damage
- Prison escape
- Interference with custody rights
- Assisting another person in committing a felony
- Child pornography
- Child abuse
- Money laundering
It is standard that because felonies are such serious crimes, the punishment and the process of deciding on a punishment for them are considered equally as serious. Some factors that can influence sentencing for felonies include:
- The severity of the harm done by the crime
- Any mitigating factors presented by your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney
- Aggravating factors, like the targeting of children or the elderly
- The attitude of the community towards this particular type of crime
- Any prior convictions
- Whether or not the defendant is already on probation or parole
- Whether or not a deadly weapon was used to commit the crime
A particularly serious category of felony is sex crimes. A conviction for a sex crime can mean being required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. If you’ve been accused of a sex crime, do not settle for just any lawyer. Your future will depend on finding an attorney to fight hard for you. Eric D. Davis is an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who can defend your rights.
A misdemeanor crime is the category of criminal offense that is considered to be more serious than a simple citation but less serious than felony criminal charges. Since they tend to be less serious crimes, they tend to also be associated with less serious punishments. Usually, the main difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is that a misdemeanor is punishable by a sentence of up to one year in county jail rather incarceration in a federal prison. Misdemeanor offenses can include the following types of charges:
- Traffic offenses, particularly those related to DUI
- Assault and battery, and similar non-felony charges involving bodily harm
- Theft, larceny, and other non-felony crimes involving misuse of property
- Minor drug offenses
- Gun possession
Criminal punishments for a misdemeanor crime can involve a combination of jail time, criminal fines, and probation. Consequences for criminal misdemeanor charges are also much more dependent on the exact details of the crime involved. For example, for a misdemeanor vandalism sentence, the defendant might be required to perform community clean up and repairs, or write a heartfelt letter of apology to the owner of the vandalized property. Misdemeanor punishments for DUI can involve completing mandatory DUI classes or substance abuse treatment. Call Los Angeles criminal lawyer Eric D. Davis for all kinds of misdemeanor cases in LA and surrounding California counties.
The fact that a misdemeanor charge is technically not as serious as a felony charge does not mean that you shouldn’t have legal representation. Any criminal conviction on your record will have a serious impact on the rest of your life and your rights should be protected by our Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is what occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, meaning that the driver has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater. When the person driving is a minor or holds a CDL, the legal limit is even lower. In California, you can be required to pay fines and fees as high as $2,000 for a DUI conviction. In addition, you could spend two days in jail. Often, the jail time is substituted for community service. Other times, it might be waived, if you already served that time after being arrested. Your penalty will also include completing a mandatory alcohol awareness course, which can take months to accomplish.
Although it is only a misdemeanor conviction, a DUI on your criminal record can have devastating consequences, especially if you drive professionally. Do not underestimate the value of having a skilled DUI attorney on your side in Los Angeles County to fight for the reduction or dismissal of your charges.
Other crimes Eric Davis can handle include, but are not limited to the following:
- Assault + Battery
- Juvenile Crimes
- Public Intoxication
- Disorderly Conduct
- Underage Drinking
- Illegal Possession of a Firearm
- Welfare, Unemployment, or Insurance Fraud
How a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You at Each Stage of Your Criminal Case
The criminal process can take a long time, and there are many different events that are a part of it. Below we explain how Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law can assist you at each stage in protecting your rights and moving the matter toward a positive resolution.
The arraignment is the initial appearance in your case where the judge will read the charges against you, advise you of your rights during the criminal case process, and ask you to enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty. At this point, a veteran Los Angeles attorney for a criminal arraignment like Eric Davis is almost certain to advise you to enter a not guilty plea while we collect all of the evidence and assess the strength of the prosecutor’s case against you. In felony cases, there will be a second arraignment where you are asked again to enter a plea, after the preliminary hearing has occurred and the judge has decided that there is probable cause for the case to move forward. In cases where you are in custody, the arraignment must occur within 48 hours of your booking unless it is a weekend or a holiday. In cases where you are not taken into custody, the arraignment may not occur for several weeks.
If you were held in jail after your arrest, at or around the same time as the initial arraignment, there will be a bail hearing where the judge decides whether or not you can be released while the case makes its way through the system. Typically, the judge will only choose to hold without bail those accused of the most serious crimes like rape or homicide or those who have an extensive criminal record or record of not showing up for court in the past. In some cases where you are charged with something minor and do not have an extensive criminal record, the judge may choose to release you on your own recognizance, meaning without bail or any non-monetary conditions aside from showing up for court as required.
Most of the time, the judge will set bail of either a monetary condition or some non-monetary condition like attending drug counseling, wearing a GPS ankle bracelet, or regularly checking in with the court. If money bail is set, the judge will consider the amount suggested in the state bail guidelines, but will also have discretion to set it higher or lower in most cases. Some factors the judge will consider in making a bail decision include the nature and severity of the charges against you, your ties and contributions to the local community, and your criminal history or lack thereof. Eric Davis knows how to use these factors to make the most persuasive argument that you should be released on little to no bail.
The preliminary hearing only takes place in felony cases, not misdemeanor cases. Essentially, the preliminary hearing serves as a sort of “mini-trial” where the prosecutor must show the judge, through their evidence and witnesses, that there is probable cause for the case to proceed to the trial phase. Your attorney will in turn have the opportunity to present rebuttal evidence and to cross-examine the witnesses presented by the defense. While it is not often that a judge will dismiss the entire matter at the preliminary hearing, it is nonetheless a useful event as it gives your attorney the opportunity to see a sort of preview of the case the defense will present at trial, including how well their witnesses hold up in court.
After you have been released from jail and arraigned, Eric Davis will focus his attention on getting any outstanding discovery from the prosecutor and filing any necessary motions, like a motion to suppress evidence gained as a result of an illegal search and seizure, and trying to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. In some cases where you are facing low-level charges and do not have an extensive criminal history, you may be eligible for a pre-trial diversion program which, if completed successfully, will result in the charges against you being dropped and you not having a criminal record. If pre-trial diversion is not on the table, other possible deals include the prosecutor downgrading the charge to something less serious or agreeing to recommend a lenient plea to the judge in exchange for your guilty plea.
Of course, if you do not wish to take a deal or are not satisfied with the deal offered, Eric Davis is always reach to fight for your innocence in the courtroom. Most times, your trial will be a jury trial where you must be unanimously convicted by your peers in order to be found guilty. Other times, it will be a bench trial where a judge will make the ruling on guilt or innocence. In either case, we will leave no stone unturned fighting to make the case that reasonable doubt exists and you should not be convicted.