Being charged with a crime is a stressful experience. The possibility of a conviction that leads to strict legal penalties, expensive fines, and damage to one’s reputation is difficult to deal with. In addition to these negative consequences, simply navigating the complicated legal process of a criminal investigation can be overwhelming. The best way to meet the challenges posed by a criminal proceeding against you is to invest in an excellent defense attorney who will walk you through the court process and vigorously advocate on your behalf.
Since 1991, Southwest Legal has represented people dealing with the stress and uncertainty of criminal arrests, investigations, and charges. As Banning criminal defense attorneys with decades of experience, we understand what it takes to successfully represent a client’s interests at any stage of their case. We can effectively navigate the system like no one else can, proving that pleading guilty is not the only option. Even when the odds seem stacked against you, a compelling case can be built that asserts your rights and shares your side of the story.
Are you facing criminal charges in Southern California? Call Southwest Legal - Criminal Defense Attorneys today at (951) 425-4332 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our criminal defense attorney in Banning!
"After I spoke with him, I appreciated his straightforward no-nonsense approach and hired him."Thomas W.
"I hope I never get a ticket ever again but if I do Southwest Legal will be the first person I call."Charles W.
"Southwest Legal took care of it, got the hold off my license since the car is registered to me and got the citation dismissed."Robert G.
Criminal Cases We Handle
Southwest Legal offers comprehensive legal services for criminal cases in Southern California, with offices in Banning, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Indio. Here are the types of criminal cases we handle:
We also provide legal assistance for traffic violations, including CDL violations and speeding. If you have a past conviction, our Banning criminal defense lawyers can help you clear your record. Our team provides reliable and trusted counsel for both misdemeanor and felony offenses.
What is a Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who specializes in representing individuals, businesses, and organizations accused of committing a crime. Their job is to provide clients with legal advice and prepare legal strategies in order to obtain the best possible outcome for their clients.
The role of the criminal defense attorney is to protect the rights of their client, challenge evidence presented by prosecutors, investigate facts related to the case, negotiate deals with prosecutors, help craft plea agreements, and represent their client in court if necessary. A criminal defense attorney can also work to reduce or eliminate sentences that could be imposed on their client as part of a conviction.
Here are a few of the many benefits of hiring a criminal defense lawyer after an arrest:
- Knowledge of Laws and Court System: A criminal defense attorney will be familiar with the local laws governing your case and the procedures for navigating the court hearing process. This knowledge could prove essential in helping you reach a favorable outcome in your case.
- Skilled Negotiator: An experienced criminal defense lawyer will have established relationships with prosecutors, judges, and other officials involved in your case, which allows them to negotiate a favorable plea bargain, which could result in reduced penalties or even dismissal of the entire case. Furthermore, they will be familiar with the prosecutors’ strategies and tactics and can anticipate their moves in order to develop effective countermeasures.
- Access to Resources: An attorney will have access to experts, investigators, and other resources that may be required for your defense. For example, an attorney may hire a private investigator to uncover evidence or enlist the services of an expert witness who can testify on your behalf.
- Avoid Making Mistakes: A criminal defense lawyer has experience in dealing with these types of cases and can help you avoid making mistakes that could damage your case or put you at risk of conviction. They can also provide advice on how best to present yourself during court proceedings so as not to jeopardize your defense.
Ultimately, they strive to ensure that justice is served while looking out for the best interests of their client. By working closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Banning, individuals facing criminal charges can ensure that their rights and interests are being represented.
Criminal Process in California
The criminal process in California generally follows these steps:
- Arrest: A person is taken into custody by law enforcement officers, either with or without a warrant.
- Arraignment: The accused is brought before a judge and informed of the charges against them. They will be asked to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
- Pretrial: This is the stage where negotiations may occur between the defense and prosecution. This may include plea bargaining, where the accused agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.
- Trial: If the case goes to trial, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the charges.
- Sentencing: A judge will determine the appropriate punishment if the accused is found guilty. This may include probation, fines, community service, or imprisonment.
- Appeals: The accused can appeal the verdict and/or sentence if they believe their rights were violated or there was an error in the trial.
What are the Penalties for Criminal Charges in California?
The penalties for criminal charges in California can vary depending on the type and severity of the crime. Here are some possible penalties for criminal charges:
- Fines: A person convicted of a crime may be required to pay fines ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
- Probation: Probation is a period of supervision and monitoring by a probation officer. The terms of probation can vary but typically include conditions such as regular check-ins, drug testing, and community service.
- Community Service: Community service may be ordered as part of probation or as a separate penalty. Community service can range from a few hours to hundreds of hours.
- Jail or Prison Time: A person convicted of a crime may be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison. The length of the sentence can range from a few days to life in prison, depending on the severity of the crime.
- Restitution: A person convicted of a crime may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, which can include compensation for medical bills, property damage, or other expenses related to the crime.
- Driver's License Suspension: Some criminal convictions, such as DUI or hit-and-run, can result in the suspension or revocation of a person's driver's license.
- Deportation: Non-citizens convicted of certain crimes may face deportation or other immigration consequences.
It's important to note that the penalties for criminal charges can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history.
Contact Our Banning Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Timing is everything with criminal cases. Whether you’ve already been taken into custody or have just discovered that you are under investigation for a suspected crime, you need to move quickly and retain an attorney. Involving a Banning criminal defense lawyer early on in the process can make all the difference, even presenting the possibility of you avoiding formal charges altogether.
Contact Southwest Legal today to schedule a FREE consultation with our criminal defense lawyer in Banning!
At Southwest Legal, we believe it is important for you to be able to trust that your legal representative will advocate on your behalf, defend and protect your rights.
We understand how important your case is and we make ourselves available 24/7 by telephone or e-mail to answer any questions you may have.
Our Criminal Justice Attorneys have over half a century of combined experience defending those charged with DUI/DWI and other criminal offenses.