How much ‘time’ could I be facing?


Again, the client usually wants an immediate answer as soon as he starts talking with the attorney.  The only immediate answer possible is to explain what the Penal Code statute[s] call for.   Every crime carries potential ‘time’ upon conviction, whether in jail for misdemeanors, or prison for felonies.                                         The specific charges actually filed by the prosecutor will determine the maximum ‘time’ totals.

You might not know of all the charges against you yet when you meet with your attorney, but you’ll learn the charges filed and any enhancements, Priors, or violations alleged once you get the Complaint filed in court by the prosecutor when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. You’ll also get copies of all the police reports and prosecutors’ evidence documents and witness statements when appearing for arraignment at the first court hearing.

In California, if convicted of any felony, you potentially face one or more years in prison, plus fines;  on any misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 12 months in jail, plus fines. Priors and Strikes would add formal ‘penalty ‘enhancements’ and affect the prosecutor and judge attitude toward you. If this arrest and charges constitutes a probation violation, factor those new violation charge[s] and old deferred sentence[s] in as well.

Your attorney’s role is to defend you against the charges and allegations, using whatever facts and evidence are available, in order to raise doubt as to your guilt and avoid a conviction. Work with your attorney in every way possible, he is your partner, not your ‘hired gun’.

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