Steps to Take When Faced with Felony Charges
In criminal law, there’s a distinction between felony charges and misdemeanor charges. A felony includes a wide range of crimes which can involve alcohol or drugs, white-collar crime, sex crimes, and crimes of violence. Without proper knowledge facing a felony charge can be confusing. A felony is any crime that is punishable by one year or more in jail. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor is one year in jail.
Facing any type of criminal charge is scary, but going into it well prepared can save you from time in jail down the road. Hiring a criminal defense attorney provides you with the best chance at beating your case, clearing both your name and your record. Understanding the criminal system, the charges faced, and the vital steps to take will help you confront the situation better.
Don’t Post Bail Until You’ve Called an Attorney
No one wants to sit in jail, which is why posting bail might seem like your only option. Hiring an experienced attorney will help you review the facts of your case and guide you in the right direction. It’s not always the case, but there is a chance that you can save thousands of dollars or avoid the need to post bail at all.
- In some cases, felony charges are dropped at the arraignment or they are reduced to a misdemeanor. If this happens, the accused would be released from custody in two or three days without the need to post bail.
- A bail bondsman’s fee is 10% of the bail amount. If an attorney represents you, you’re entitled to a reduction in bondsman’s fees from 10% to 7%. If the bail is set high, this could be a significant saving.
- If the judge raises the bail at the arraignment, there’s a good chance the defendant returns to custody, and you won’t be able to get back the bail bond fees you already paid.
Suggested Advice to Follow
Facing jail time is stressful, which is why hiring a criminal defense attorney can help you organize your case. In the instance where an attorney is not retained in time, following the steps below can aid your case.
- Avoid incriminating yourself by invoking your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Request an attorney before answering any questions.
- Facing felony charges is frightening, especially if you believe that you’re innocent or your rights have been violated. If you are arrested, it’s crucial to cooperate and to remain calm to avoid additional charges being filed against you.
- Call an attorney. Every moment you spend in custody without an attorney representing you can damage your case. Your attorney is the only one who can use the technicalities of the law to fight on your side for your freedom.
- Be honest with your lawyer. You don’t need to avoid the truth when speaking to your lawyer; the more accurate the information they have about your case, the better your attorney can prepare and offer you the best defense possible.
- Don’t speak about your case to anyone except your attorney. It might be tempting to talk to your friends and family, but except for your spouse, anything you tell others can potentially be used against you in court.
- With the stress and upset of an arrest, you might forget a crucial detail. Write down the facts of your case as soon as possible. Also, make a list of witnesses who could testify on your behalf.
Griffin Law Office Can Help You Today
Griffin Law Office has extensive experience defending people who face felony charges in San Diego, California. Contact us or call us on (619) 552-4058 for a phone consultation. Our experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney will fight tirelessly on your side to help get the best outcome for your case.