you are under investigation or charged with a crime whether
it is a felony or a misdemeanor you need representation by
an excellent lawyer right away. Delay usually is very damaging
to the client. The criminal process is complicated. You need
a trained, experienced lawyer to help you.
LISA DEWBERRY NOW! (415) 979-9944
You may be arrested for an alleged violation of civil or criminal law. A criminal
arrest is most often accomplished by presenting an arrest warrant but any one
can exercise their right to make a "citizen's arrest" without a warrant
if they witness you committing an alleged felony. Please note that you have
the right to immediate counsel regardless of the circumstances surrounding
If you have been accused of committing a serious offense you may be eligible
to be released from custody while you await your trial. The court has the power
to decide whether or not you are entitled to bail and you do not have the absolute
right to bail. However, the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States does provide that "excessive bail shall not be required".
If you qualify for bail, the court will place a monetary value on your freedom.
You may pay the ordered amount in cash, or by signing over the title to any
property you have, or by using the services of a Bail Bonds company. A Bail
Bonds company is like an insurance company because they require a cash premium
from you (approximately 10% of the total amount of your bail). They rely on
you to comply with the court's instructions and, if you don't, they have the
authority to apprehend you, return you to jail, and keep your money.
Evidence presented in court must be directly related to your charge. The rules
governing evidence (Common Law, the basis of our judicial system) began in
Britain during the 16th century. Even though the rules regarding evidence have
been modified to reflect modern times, they are still extremely complicated.
In short: the prosecution must establish that the evidence presented pertains
specifically to the charges against you, each juror must prove neutrality,
each juror must swear to being unbiased, and must advise the court of any immediate
knowledge of the dispute.
A major crime is a felony. Generally a major crime is any crime that is punishable
by death or more than one year in prison. Felonies are usually tried by juries,
and in some states, you must first be indicted by a grand jury. Other consequences
of being convicted of a felony include loss of citizenship rights, deportation
if you are an alien and more severe sentencing for future offenses.
An indictment is a formal written accusation naming specific persons and crimes.
An indictment may be issued by a grand jury if they determine that the evidence
presented to them is sufficient to support the charges brought against you.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution safeguards your right to a preliminary
hearing by a grand jury in major federal cases. The U.S. Constitution stipulates
that no person may be tried in a federal court for a serious offense without
a formal indictment, but beware that less than 50% of the states honor your constitutional
right to a preliminary hearing. Make sure that your attorney insists on your
Fifth Amendment rights.
A minor crime that usually carries a fine and/or a sentence of less than one
year in prison is called a misdemeanor. Being convicted of a misdemeanor does
not cancel citizenship or subject aliens to deportation.
You may be released from prison before you have served your complete sentence
on the condition that you agree to restricted activities and agree to report
to an officer on a regular basis. If you violate the terms of your early release
you may be returned to prison.
A search warrant is a written order by an official of a court authorizing an
officer to search a specific place for specific objects and to seize them if
found. Your Fourth Amendment rights guarantee that a search warrant may only
be issued on oath or affirmation that a crime was probably committed. The U.S.
Supreme Court does not recognize evidence presented if it was obtained without
a proper search warrant.
A sentence is the punishment that a court orders if you are convicted by a judge
or jury or both. Sentences usually consist of fines, imprisonment or a combination
of both. The court will impose a sentence including prison for more serious crimes
and usually a fine only for misdemeanors. . In many states Many states will impose
longer sentences if have recurring felony convictions. In this case, a "three-strike" law
could apply which carries a mandatory long-term sentence or life imprisonment.
A warrant is a written order usually issued by a judge or court clerk and given
to a law enforcement agency (sheriff, marshal, local officer of the peace and
constable). The most common types are search warrants and arrest warrants.