Felony Lawyer in Vista, CA
In California, if you’ve been charged with a crime and a conviction carries a potential penalty of more than a year in jail, it is considered a felony. Felonies are the most serious offenses, and in addition to incarceration and fines, there are many other consequences of having a felony on your record that can impact your life well after you’ve served your time and paid your fine. Learn more about an experienced Vista felony lawyer.
If you’ve been charged with a felony, it can be difficult to understand what your next steps should be, or even which steps are available for you to take. A Vista, CA felony lawyer at Dod Law, APC will work hard to develop a defense strategy focused on helping you to have the best possible outcome for your case.
What Types of Crimes are Considered Felonies in Vista, CA?
There are two types of felonies in California. Straight felonies are charges that cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. The types of crimes that are considered straight felonies include murder, rape, selling illegal drugs, vehicular manslaughter that includes gross negligence, lewd acts on a child, or first-degree burglary.
Wobbler felonies are crimes that can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s past criminal history. Wobbler offenses include crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, forgery, sexual battery, and vandalism.
Wobbler felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors only when certain conditions are met, such as completion of felony probation. Felony probation is provided as a form of rehabilitation that typically involves little to no jail time but instead requires the defendant to serve out their sentence under the supervision of a probation officer.
Potential Consequences of a Felony Conviction
Felony convictions can result in incarceration in the county jail or state prison. California felony sentencing is generally punishable by one of three terms of incarceration that include a low, middle, or high term. While the law spells out a specific period of incarceration for some types of convictions, the conviction of other types of crimes automatically includes low or middle-term sentencing unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as the defendant has a lengthy criminal history or the crime involved an extreme act of violence.
California’s three strikes law requires a sentence of 25 years to life for individuals who have been convicted of three felonies. Additionally, this law can double the sentence for individuals who have been convicted of a felony after already having a conviction for a violent or serious felony.
Other consequences facing a person who has been convicted of a felony include the requirement that they disclose their conviction on job applications if asked, potentially impacting their ability to obtain employment. Educational institutions and even those offering rental housing can also ask about a person’s prior criminal record.
Potential Defense Strategies Your Vista Felony Defense Attorneys Can Use
An experienced Vista felony lawyer can help someone who has been charged with a felony to develop a defense strategy aimed at reducing or eliminating the impacts one faces if they are convicted of the crime. Depending on the facts of the case, some potential defense strategies include:
- Denying the crime and challenging the credibility of witnesses, evidence, or showing fault in the investigatory processes used by law enforcement.
- Denying the crime and providing evidence such as an alibi or proof that the defendant was acting in self-defense when the crime occurred.
- Filing motions to exclude certain evidence.
- Working on a plea deal that would require the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence.
- Conducting a pre-filing intervention, which can sometimes lead to a reduction in charges or even result in the prosecutor dropping the case.
Criminal defense attorneys often provide free case evaluations, which are a time that an attorney sets aside to discuss the case with the defendant, help them understand the potential consequences of their crime, and even begin brainstorming possible defense strategies. A Vista felony defense attorney can also protect their client’s rights throughout the criminal court process.
If You’ve Been Charged with a Felony in Vista, Contact Dod Law, APC
A felony is the most serious type of crime to be charged with or convicted of in California. The legal team at Dod Law, APC understands that being charged with a felony is a stressful and alarming situation because your lifestyle, freedom, and future are on the line. We have spent over 19 years working within the criminal justice system to ensure that the rights of those who have been accused of crimes in California are protected throughout the investigation and court process and that they’re given the time and attention they deserve.
Serious charges call for aggressive representation. If you’ve been charged with a felony, a Vista felony defense lawyer can evaluate your case for free, answer your questions, and help you determine the best path forward based on the unique details of your case. Contact us by calling our San Diego office (619) 814-5110, | Vista office 760-814-6025 or send us a message online.