The stakes in a violent crime case in Long Beach are quite high. The next several years, if not the rest of your life, hinges on the outcome of the proceedings. All these possibilities can overwhelm you, especially if you don’t have a legal expert on your side.
You might lose your freedom and pay some of your hard-earned cash to the government, the victim, or both. An experienced Long Beach criminal justice attorney can explain the worst that can happen and advise on ways to avoid it.
How Does California Punish Violent Crimes as Infractions?
Violent crimes considered petty offenses can be punished as an infraction in California. This category of offenses might not attract a jail sentence. However, accused persons could part with significant amounts in fines if they are convicted.
While the offense might not be added to your criminal record, investing in a good defense is still important. Your family and friends might not look at you the same way if you are found guilty of whichever form of violent crime.
What Penalties Can One Expect from a Misdemeanor Violent Crime?
A violent crime as a misdemeanor might be more serious than an infraction. On top of the fines that come with the latter, convicts could be sentenced to jail. One year in jail might sound like a short period until you think deeply about everything you could have done professionally, socially, at home, or in business.
Also, the fines you’ll be forced to pay as a convict could be better invested elsewhere. That’s why it is advisable to invest in a strategic defense and keep off the consequences of the misdemeanor. The goal would be to get the charges reduced or dropped altogether.
How Serious is a Violent Crime as a Felony?
You should be worried if the prosecution brings the violent crime charges as a felony. If you are found guilty, you could be imprisoned in a State facility. It is also punishable by life imprisonment, depending on the circumstances.
The sentencing statute allows judges to give high-term, mid-term, or low-term sentences. Several factors in your case could inform the court’s sentencing decision. A seasoned violent crimes attorney in Long Beach can plead your case and show why you deserve the utmost lenience.
What Determines How a Violent Crime is Punished in Long Beach?
A violent crime in California can be a wobbler offense. This means it can be brought to court as a misdemeanor or felony. The decision is usually informed by:
- Your prior criminal history, if any
- The facts and circumstances of the crime
A minor violent crime for a first-time offender might be brought as a misdemeanor. But if you have a long history of prior convictions, the prosecution will likely bring felony charges against you. Regardless of the nature of charges brought against you, a skilled Long Beach violent crimes attorney can improve your outcomes if you reach out to them.
Are Violent Crimes Subject to the Three Strikes Law?
The “three strikes” law is usually applied to serious and violent offenses in California. Notably, this law aims to prolong your stay in prison and prevent you from being released to continue committing similar crimes.
Under the law, your first violent felony receives the normal statutory penalty. The second violent felony conviction might attract double the normal statutory penalty. But with the third violent felony offense, you cannot get under 25 years in prison. And in some instances, convicts can get up to life in prison for the third offense.
What Offenses Attract Penalties Associated with Violent Crimes?
If you have been charged with any crime in Long Beach, it helps to find out whether it falls under the category of violent crimes. You have more reasons to invest in your defense if you’ve been charged with:
- Sex crimes involving violence
- Certain acts of violence
- Certain acts of extortion
- Threats to witnesses
- Certain acts of arson
The list of violent crimes is not limited to the ones listed above. So, make sure that you reach out to an experienced violent crimes attorney in Long Beach to find out whether the offense in your charge sheet is one of them.
What Other Consequences Await Perpetrators of Violent Crimes?
Violent crimes are punished in several ways, depending on the circumstances. Apart from fines and extensive periods in confinement, convicts might face:
- Inadmissibility to the United States if they are non-citizens
- Deportation if they are immigrants
- A permanent criminal record
- Loss of rights to own or purchase firearms
- Orders to attend an Anger Management Program
- Loss of custody rights
- A restraining order
The above eventualities are avoidable if you take proactive steps to prove your innocence. Waiting for the truth to reveal itself might not work to your advantage because the person accusing you might be going the extra mile to set you up for a conviction.
Can a Good Defense Help Me Avoid Violent Crime Penalties?
The defense you could use to avoid the harsh penalties of a violent crime depends on the nature of the case.
And a defense used in one violent crime proceeding might not apply in another incident. But some commonly used approaches include:
- You acted violently in defense of someone else or yourself
- Your actions did not cause the accuser’s injuries
- The accusations are out of malice or anger
- The accusations are meant to make you lose a custody battle
Apart from the above defenses, accused persons can explore other options such as pre-trial diversion or plea bargains for lesser charges.
Legal Guidance from A Professional Criminal Lawyer
California laws punish perpetrators of violent crimes extremely harshly. If you are accused of such an offense, you need an experienced and aggressive attorney that can investigate the incident and fight for the best possible outcomes.
Our criminal defense law firm has been representing clients like you for years. We can explore weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and use them to your advantage. We will also use evidence supporting your side of the story to support your arguments in court. Talk to us today to begin the strategizing process.