This page provides a hypothetical about what you may experience with a Los Angeles County criminal case, along with references to helpful related content and resources. This is not a substitute for legal advice. If you are facing a criminal accusation, you should promptly obtain representation from a licensed attorney.
You have just been arrested, or learned that you are being accused of a crime. Maybe you had a misunderstanding, made a mistake, had a momentary lapse in your better judgment, or a civil dispute which has been exaggerated by the other party. Perhaps the local police department has requested you make a formal statement about the incident.
Since you have never faced this type of situation, you are a bit unsure about what to do. Your first instinct may be to handle this on your own. However, you realize that you are in uncharted territories. You determine that you need advice from an attorney before deciding how to proceed.
You find an article about evaluating an attorney at: How to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer as well as this webpage about Attorney Representation. You develop a better understanding about the importance of legal representation at the onset. You then contact an attorney, and have a thorough discussion about the process you are facing.
You have developed a good feeling and confidence about this attorney’s ability to help, and move forward with formal representation, a partnership in essence. Your attorney now stands as a buffer between you and the legal system, and provides you peace of mind, communicating with the police department on your behalf. Your attorney maintains regular communication with you about case developments, so you are able to keep order in your personal and work life, as well.
Maybe your case involves a hit and run, perhaps shoplifting, a restraining order violation, or criminal threat allegation. Since you have no record, your attorney is aggressively pursuing all possible options, including alternative programs. Your attorney previously provided you an overview of these possibilities in an article at: Los Angeles Diversion Program, as well as in this discussion at: Alternative Sentencing Los Angeles.
Your case may have resolved because of early intervention on behalf of your attorney, perhaps not, but you are confident that your attorney is hard at work on your case, which is now set for the first court appearance. Your attorney has readied you for this process, and also directed you to an additional article at: How to Prepare for an Arraignment.
First Day of Court – The Arraignment
Today your case is set for the Arraignment. Your attorney has already prepared you, and explained where you need to be, what you need to say, and how you need to respond to the judge. You are ready. Your attorney also explained to you the misdemeanor process: arraignment, pretrial, jury trial. Your attorney has explained to you the felony case system: arraignment, preliminary hearing setting, preliminary hearing, 2nd arraignment, pretrial, jury trial.
Your attorney understands that this is a stressful time in your life and has prepared for the court hearing. You are not left for hours in the courtroom wondering what will be happening in your case, as your attorney is on time and makes efforts to handle your case promptly that morning.
Your case may have some mitigating circumstances or legal defenses. Thus, your attorney is now exploring pretrial solutions and possible resolutions. Your attorney prepared you for this process, and also referred you to an additional resource at: Plea Bargain Los Angeles.
You have had ample time to evaluate and thoroughly discuss your options, including: How do you get a jury trial? Your case may be resolved at the pretrial stage, or it may go to trial.
Early Termination of Probation and Expungement
If you had a plea agreement or other resolution, your attorney has likely explored the possibility of Early Termination of Probation. Your attorney also answered your questions about how long a misdemeanor stays on your record, and eligibility of your case for a felony or misdemeanor expungement.
Your careful preparation, selection, and partnership with your attorney have provided you efficient and effective representation uniquely suited for you during this challenging time in your life. You are thankful that the process is now over, as you move forward in your life to undertake your chosen endeavors.
Disclaimer: Results in criminal cases depend upon unique facts and circumstances. Attorneys cannot guarantee specific results in any case. Individual results vary.
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