Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties
If you get arrested for a crime, your liberty, your livelihood, and even your life (Yes, California does have the death penalty) could be at stake. And long after any prison time is served or fine is paid, a criminal conviction can continue to haunt you whenever you apply for a job or professional license, fill out an application for credit or to rent an apartment, seek to exercise your right to vote or own a firearm, and in a myriad of other ways. Any arrest, especially for a felony like a drug crime or theft offense, should be taken seriously. Even getting a DUI on your record can impact you in ways you never realized.
The single most important thing you can do after an arrest is to call a criminal defense attorney before you do anything else – before you call a family member or friend, before you call a bail bond company, before you talk to others in the holding cell, and most definitely before you talk to the police. A criminal defense attorney will vigorously assert and protect your rights, making sure you are treated fairly and put in the best position for a positive outcome with your case. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to call a lawyer, or you may have already seriously jeopardized your rights and ability to get the best result.
After an arrest for DUI, drug crimes or theft offenses in Los Angeles or San Bernardino County, or for help with any misdemeanor or felony charges, call The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. to speak with a knowledgeable and dedicated California criminal defense lawyer. We’ll be your adviser, counselor and advocate, and we’ll work to get you the best outcome in your circumstances.
Your Rights as a Person Accused of a Crime, and How Our Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
As a person accused of a crime, you have many rights guaranteed to you by the U.S. and California Constitutions to make sure you are treated fairly by the government. The right that benefits you the most is the right to be represented by an attorney. No one in the legal system is looking out for you – not the police, not the prosecutor, and not even the judge, who must remain impartial. The only person fully on your side is your attorney, who is duty-bound to represent you zealously and competently.
An attorney does more than represent you at trial or negotiate a plea with the prosecutors. Your lawyer is with you at every step, advising you on your options and making sure that your rights are protected and any decisions you make are based on good information. For instance, call an attorney before you pay a bond company to make bail. We can represent you at your arraignment and often arrange to have you released without bail being required. If cash bail is required, many bond companies will give you a better rate if you are represented by a lawyer who can help ensure you will make your appearances as required.
You also have the right to remain silent, which means you don’t have to agree to speak with the police or answer any questions, other than perhaps give basic information about your identity. This is a right you should definitely exercise. Law enforcement officers are heavily trained in interrogation techniques. This is not just to get you to confess to a crime or admit guilt in some way, but also to trip you up and catch you making inconsistent statements regarding your whereabouts or other relevant facts. By asking the same question in different ways, they can gather seemingly conflicting statements that make you look bad or undermine your credibility. It’s vital not to answer any questions without your attorney present. If you don’t have a lawyer yet, request to call one, and don’t answer any questions until you’ve made that call.
Other important rights include the right to testify or not testify in your defense, to request a jury trial or waive that right, to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, and to subpoena witnesses to testify on your behalf. The prosecution bears the burden of proving every element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the right to assert all applicable defenses and hold the prosecution to its burden of proof. Your attorney will discuss all of these matters with you and formulate an effective strategy considering the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case and your defense, the consequences you are facing, and your desired outcome.
You Have Too Much at Stake Not to Call a Dedicated Criminal Defense Attorney
With fines, fees and court costs, a conviction can be very expensive, and jail is almost always on the table for any offense. Misdemeanors can be punishable with up to a year in jail, and felonies can be punished with anywhere from a year to life in prison. You could also lose your driver’s license, be forced to submit to drug testing, and face numerous restrictions on where and how you live your life.
At The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq., we offer a free, initial consultation to learn about your case, help you understand your situation and your options, and make the best decisions going forward. We’ll work to get the best outcome in your case, whether that means getting the prosecutor to reduce or drop the charges, getting the court to dismiss the charges, agreeing to a favorable result like diversion, treatment or probation, or defending you at trial. We are available anytime, and the sooner you call us the better, so call right away to get the best chance for a positive outcome after an arrest in Los Angeles or San Bernardino County.