Criminal Defense FAQ
What are the different types of criminal charges in California?
There are 3 main types of criminal charges:
Infractions - Infractions can also be called “violations.” This typically includes minor crimes, such as speeding, that are punishable by fines but not jail time.
Misdemeanors- While less serious than felony charges, a misdemeanor charge can still result in jail time. Common types of misdemeanors include minor assaults, battery, driving under the influence, drug possession, petty theft, and more.
Felonies - Felonies are the most serious type of criminal charge that you can face, as conviction of felony charges can result in several years in prison or even a life sentence. In some cases a repeat misdemeanor offense can even be elevated to a felony charge. Common felony charges include: Murder, kidnapping, rape, gross vehicular manslaughter, child molestation, etc.
If you find yourself facing criminal charges, you need to contact a Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney immediately. Do not delay!
Do I need a lawyer if I want to plead guilty?
Even if you’re planning to plead guilty to your criminal charges, you still need a Santa Barbara criminal lawyer to represent you. There are several reasons for this: For one, it may not actually be in your best interest to plead guilty, even if you think it is. Our defense attorneys in Santa Barbara can review your case and help you decide whether or not this is really what you want to do. Secondly, your case doesn’t end when you plead guilty. You will still need to face sentencing. Our team can help you understand the penalties you’re facing and can sometimes even work to reduce sentences on your behalf. Before you make up your mind to plead guilty, speak with a Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney to ensure it’s really what’s best for you.
What is California's 3 Strikes Law?
California is one of the states that carries more severe sentences for individuals who have been convicted of a serious or violent crime two times prior to their third conviction. Third strike offenders in California may face a minimum 25 year sentence, and can even face up to a lifetime sentence if convicted. The crimes that fall under the 3 strike law are defined by the California Penal Code and include crimes such as: Murder, arson, felonies involving firearms, first degree burglary, sale of certain illegal drugs, and more. If you have been convicted of multiple crimes in the past and are facing a third conviction, it’s extremely important that you contact the team at Appel & Morse today. Our team will fight aggressively to defend your freedom and your rights.