Fontana, CA Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you might be wondering what comes next. The criminal justice process is complicated and the average person would not know how to proceed. Each stage of the process comes with unique challenges to overcome and decisions to make. The best way to get through this ordeal is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Our Fontana, CA criminal defense lawyer can represent you at every stage of your trial. We will work with you to protect your rights and provide you with the best defense possible for your case. For a free and confidential legal consultation, call Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (909) 861-8075.
Being Arrested for a Crime in Fontana, CA
Sometimes, arrests happen at the scene of the crime. Other times, arrests occur later and take the defendant by complete surprise. Either way, being arrested tends to be a frightening, humiliating, and very messy experience. After you hire a criminal defense attorney, you should speak to them about your arrest and explain all the details you can remember. If arrests do not follow specific procedures, the police run risk of violating your rights, and the arrest could be deemed unlawful. An unlawful arrest can be used as grounds for a defense, depending on the circumstances.
Many arrests will be made under arrest warrants. Arrest warrants are issued to the police by impartial judges or magistrates. The police must demonstrate to the judge or magistrate that a crime has occurred and there is enough probable cause to suggest you are the culprit. Ultimately, the judge or magistrate has the final say on whether the probable cause is sufficient. If the warrant is granted, the police will find you and take you into custody at any time and any place. You could be arrested at home, at work, or while you are out shopping.
Sometimes the police may make arrests without any arrest warrant. The circumstances for a warrantless arrest are limited. Generally, the police may arrest you without a warrant if they see you commit the crime. If the police did not witness you commit the crime, they could still arrest you without a warrant if they believe you have just committed a felony. Generally, this rule applies when the police see a fleeing suspect.
Your Rights While Being Questioned by the Police About a Crime in Fontana, CA
After your arrest, you will probably be taken to your local police department. First, the police will book you, which usually involves taking your photo, fingerprints, and personal information. After that, they may begin questioning you. Before the police can ask any questions about your alleged crime, they must inform you of your Miranda rights. These rights are often heard on television and in movies, and they usually begin with “You have the right to remain silent….”
These rights are so necessary that if the police fail to mention them, any information they obtain through questioning can be thrown out. The key things to remember from your Miranda rights are your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney.
When in police custody, you might feel as if you have to answer all questions asked of you. Many people feel uncomfortable saying no to a police officer. You are not actually required to answer any questions at all. You can choose not to answer any incriminating questions and your silence will not be held against you in court.
You also have the right to have an attorney present when you are questioned. If you want an attorney, the police must cease all questioning until an attorney arrives. You can even have an attorney appointed for free if you cannot afford one. Remember, you must invoke these rights very explicitly. If you want an attorney, you must tell the police you are invoking your right to an attorney. Saying something like “maybe I should have an attorney” is not explicit enough to invoke your rights effectively.
If you believe your rights were violated during or after your arrest, call our Fontana, CA criminal defense attorney for help.
Ways to Avoid a Criminal Trial in Fontana, CA
Not every arrest has to end with a trial. Every criminal defendant has a right to a trial, but this right can be waived if the defendant chooses. In many cases, prosecutors will offer a plea bargain or plea agreement to the defendant. A plea bargain involves the prosecutor reducing the charges or agreeing to recommend a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea from the defendant. Plea bargains are very common and if every single defendant had a trial, the criminal justice system would come to a standstill.
The terms and conditions of a plea bargain may vary from case to case. If you find some terms unfair or disagreeable, we can negotiate with the prosecutor for something better. Sometimes prosecutors will ask you to accept or decline a plea bargain by a specific deadline, usually before trial starts. Other times, prosecutors leave the offer open throughout the trial. Some defendants have accepted plea bargains right in the middle of trial. If your case is not very strong and you think a trial might not be helpful, a plea bargain is worth considering.
Diversion Programs for Criminal Defendants in Fontana, CA
Another way to handle your case is to get into a diversion program. Diversion programs are used as a means to rehabilitate offenders and help them avoid prison or jail. In some cases, your charges could be dropped after completing the program. Which program is right for you will depend on your case and your needs.
For example, many defendants participate in diversion programs for drug offenses. Defendants will plead guilty to their charges, but their plea will be held in abeyance, which means it will be set aside for now. Then the defendant must complete things like treatment for drug and alcohol and educational courses while remaining substance-free and staying out of legal trouble. If you complete the program, your guilty plea is withdrawn, and your charges dropped.
There are many different diversion programs in California. Each program will have its own set of criteria for eligibility. Call our Fontana, CA criminal defense lawyer to discuss diversion programs and see which ones you might be eligible for.
Call Our Fontana, CA Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Legal Consultation
If you have been charged with a crime, contact our Fontana, CA criminal defense attorney immediately. Call Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (909) 861-8075 to schedule a free consultation on your case.