If you have been charged with a felony crime in California, you cannot afford to represent yourself. Felonies are the most serious crimes, and representation by an experienced Orange County felony defense attorney is essential to protect your interests.
Felony crimes in California are punishable by 16 months or more in state prison. Far greater sentences are possible for many felonies, especially violent felonies such as robbery, rape, arson or murder. However, a felony conviction does not necessarily mean that you will serve time in prison; in some instances, probation following a conviction is possible. Limiting the time served in prison and minimizing sentencing is one aspect of the felony criminal process where an experienced defense attorney can make a major difference.
Certain crimes may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, according to the discretion of the prosecutor. These crimes, which are recognized as less serious than typical felonies, are called "wobblers". Whether a wobbler is charged as a felony or misdemeanor depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the crime, the defendant's past criminal history, and whether aggravating factors are present. This is another area where a veteran criminal defense attorney can provide assistance.
Felony convictions have serious long-term impacts. For example, in some jurisdictions, a felony conviction can limit the right to vote, own a firearm, serve on a jury, and to obtain certain professional licenses. Certain "serious" and/or "violent" felonies count as "strikes" under California's "three strikes" law. Felony convictions appear on your criminal record and can seriously impact future employment prospects. Expunging or removing the conviction from your record is possible for most felonies, and other steps may be taken over time to improve your criminal record.
The Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera has successfully represented individuals charged with felony crimes for almost 40 years. We have in-depth knowledge of the criminal process, and will work diligently at all stages of your case to limit the impact on your life. Call us today at (949) 662-1791 for a confidential consultation.