At Kajioka and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know that when it comes to understanding the criminal defense aspect, there are many questions. We have taken the frequently asked questions and answered the most common among them at this time. If you notice your question or questions were not answered here today, contact us to schedule a consultation.
Criminal Defense FAQ
Should I speak with law enforcement when I am arrested?
It is advised that you do not speak with any law enforcement before you hire and speak with an attorney following an arrest. Many individuals do not realize they are not required to give a statement or confession to a police officer. You have the right to a lawyer and to remain silent. You should invoke these rights as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Police officers will use anything you say against you in court.
If I plan on pleading guilty should I still hire an attorney?
It is imperative you have a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights, regardless of what you plan on pleading. Typically, the prosecution seeks to implore the harshest penalties possible in criminal cases, so representing yourself in court is never ideal.
What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor charge?
Misdemeanor charges keep you from not facing a prison sentence longer than one year whereas a felony is punishable by one or more years in prison. Crimes that are considered less serious are generally misdemeanor crimes as opposed to the felonies in the criminal justice system. No matter what type of criminal charges you are facing, always have a reputable attorney to defend your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.
What is the difference between parole and probation?
Parole is a shortened amount of time spent in prison and probation is the alternative to prison time. Probation sentences can suspend your jail time in exchange for following specific terms set by the court. These conditions can include checking in with a probation office on a regular basis, attending rehab programs, and/or attending your job/school. After completing a portion of their prison sentence, parole is designed to allow people to complete their time outside of jail.
Is there a difference between getting an expungement and a dismissal?
When a prosecutor drops your case, it is considered a dismissal. When the evidence against you isn’t strong enough or your case is not worth prosecution the assistant district attorney that reviews your case can easily decide to dismiss the charges. A dismissal can be given if you perform community service or attend specific classes under certain circumstances. When your case is erased it is then an expungement. You can truthfully state on job and loan applications that you have never been convicted of a criminal charge as the court records relating to your case are destroyed with an expungement. Expungements are difficult to obtain; a defense attorney can help you.
Do cases always end up in trial?
There are many factors that will determine if your case will go to trial; the details of your case, your attorney, and other circumstances. A verdict cannot be reached prior to going to trial when charges are filed against you, going through the court process is the only way to resolve the case unless it is dismissed or bargains are agreed upon.