Oakland Felony Charges Lawyer
Every criminal charge is a serious matter that can have a profound and damaging impact on your life. If you are found guilty of felony charges in California, you may be facing years in prison, large fines, and a permanent criminal record. If you or a loved one is charged with a felony, it is important to seek an experienced felony defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Elliot Silver has spent over 20 years defending clients who have been charged with serious crimes. He will use his experience and dedication to fight against the devastating charges being thrown at you.
Contact Silver Law Firm to discuss your case with a seasoned felony defense attorney. Call us at (510) 995-0000 for a free initial consultation.
Felonies in California
There is a wide range of crimes that are considered felonies, including acts of theft, fraud, assault with a deadly weapon, and murder. Maximum felony sentences range anywhere from 12 months of incarceration to life in prison. Additionally, the death penalty is a possibility for those convicted of murder with special circumstances. It is important to note, though, that California has not executed anyone since 2006.
If you are convicted of a felony, you may have considerable restrictions placed on your life. For example, after a felony conviction, you won’t be able to:
- Own or possess a firearm
- Serve in the military
- Run for public office
- Seek certain employment within law enforcement, some positions in labor organizations, or the insurance industry
Felony Sentencing Guidelines
California law assigns each felony three different prison terms that can be imposed. This is called a “triad.” The three terms vary in length, and are referred to as the low term or mitigated term, mid term, and high term or aggravated term. For example, if you are found guilty of first-degree burglary, you may be punished by a term of two, four, or six years in prison. The judge sentencing you will consider many factors in determining your sentence, and your felony defense lawyer will work to convince the judge that it is reasonable for you to receive the lowest possible sentence if you are found guilty.
Things considered during sentencing include:
- You past criminal history
- Whether any aggravating factors exist, such as the use of a weapon or extreme violence
- Whether any mitigating factors exists such as genuine remorse or emotional problems that may have played a part in the crime
- If you had a minor role in a crime that was largely carried out by others
Additionally, some felonies in California have a fine imposed by law, and a judge can impose a fine of up to $10,000 when the law does not specify a fine. Alternatively, you may be sentenced with three to five years of felony (formal) probation, which will be served after, at most, one year in county jail.
A “straight” felony is one that can only be charged and sentenced as a felony. It cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. There are also offenses referred to as “wobblers.” These are crimes where the prosecutor has the discretion to charge the offense as either a felony or a misdemeanor, or a judge may set the crime as a misdemeanor or felony after the preliminary hearing. Examples of felony wobblers are:
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Battery
Felony Crimes and Deportation
You may be subject to deportation if you are convicted of a crime that involves “moral turpitude” or a sentence of more than one year of incarceration. If your crime involved drugs, weapons, or domestic violence, then you may also be subjected to deportation.
Although most felony crimes can result in more than one year of incarceration, alternative sentences are common. A seasoned attorney will help you fight for a lesser criminal charge or a reduced sentence, such as probation, in order to avoid penalties that may lead to deportation.
The Felony Court Process
It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney while facing felony charges. Attorney Elliot Silver understands what the prosecutors and judges are each seeking as your case progresses. He will help guide you through the felony court process, and to a positive resolution.
Your case will usually proceed in the following manner:
- Arraignment – This is the first time you will be in court. You will be informed of the charges against you. This is where we plead not guilty and get the police reports and begin the review of the prosecution evidence in your case. A bail hearing will sometimes follow your plea.
- Pretrial motions and plea bargains – Your lawyer will use pretrial motions to take actions such as requesting the withholding of improper evidence that is set to be used against you in trial. You may be offered a plea agreement by the prosecution where you will plead no contest or guilty to a lesser charge in order to end further prosecution of your case. Your Oakland felony lawyer can help you determine if a plea agreement is in your best interest.
- Preliminary hearing – During this hearing, the prosecution is required to show the court that there is enough evidence to proceed with prosecution for the felony charges you are facing. If the prosecution fails, your case should be dismissed. The prosecution has to show that there is probable cause that a crime was committed by you. Your case can move forward only if this happens.
- Trial – If your case goes to trial, the prosecution will have to convince a jury of 12 people that you are guilty of every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Your felony defense lawyer will work hard to show that the case against you is lacking evidence and you must be found not guilty. However, if you are found guilty, an appeal can be filed if it is likely that your rights were violated during the court process.
Silver Law Firm Can Help In Your Felony Case
Felony charges can be extremely serious, and you may be facing a lengthy prison sentence along with fines and a permanent criminal record. If you or a loved one are in this situation, you need a highly skilled and passionate Oakland criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. Attorney Elliot Silver will stand beside you if you are accused of any felony crime. He will work to help you avoid the most serious consequences of a conviction.
If you are facing felony charges, contact Silver Law Firm today. Call (510) 995-0000 to schedule a free initial consultation. Elliot will answer your phone call, text message, or email right away.