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What is the difference between a misdemeanor and felony arrest?

The easiest explanation is the severity of the crime which causes a specific punishment.

  1. A misdemeanor is punishable by incarceration in a county jail for up to one year, probation, monetary fine or a combination of the three.
  2. A felony is punishable by incarceration in a state prison for a predetermined period of time.

When I was arrested the police did not read me my rights. Will this cause my case to be dismissed?

The correct answer is probably not. Miranda laws have changed and only apply to the statements given by a person during an interview with law enforcement. The officers must advise you of your Miranda rights if you have been arrested or in a custodial position and they are soliciting incriminating statements. Consequently, if your Miranda rights were violated only your statements would not be admissible, the remainder of the case will stand on its own.

I have not been arrested but the police want to question me regarding a specific scenario. They called me on the telephone and asked me to come down to the police station to give them my side of the story. Or, they began asking me questions over the telephone regarding the specific scenario. Do I need a criminal defense lawyer since I have not been arrested?

Definitely yes. This is a ploy used by police officers to obtain your statements without having to advise you of your Miranda rights. If you go to the police station and the officer tells you that you are not under arrest and free to leave, he is not required to advise you of your Miranda rights. If he calls you on the telephone and begins asking you questions, again he does not have to advise you of your Miranda rights. Anything you say during that in person interview or telephonic interview will be admissible against you in court. If you answer the officer's questions, either truthfully or untruthfully, you may injure yourself beyond repair. If you answer truthfully you may have admitted to certain elements of a crime and therefore convicted yourself. If you answer untruthfully you my have provided conflicting statements which have a tendency to indicate consciousness of guilt. By answering the officer's questions, without a criminal lawyer protecting you, you are providing the prosecution with the upper hand. What ever you do, make sure you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer with you prior to answering any questions.

I was arrested for Spousal Abuse (Hitting my wife). My wife called the police because she was upset. She told the officers she did not want me arrested but they arrested me anyway. Can she drop the charges against me?

No. The only person who can drop the charges against you is the District Attorney, without a trial. Your wife's statements can be used in your defense and used in a negotiation with the Office of the District Attorney prior to a filing of your case or prior to a trial. You need an experienced criminal lawyer to become involved in your matter in an effort to prevent a filing or use your wife as a witness on your behalf. Spousal abuse cases can be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor. This is another reason why you need an experienced criminal attorney negotiating on your behalf prior to the case being filed.

I was arrested for a misdemeanor. What do I do now? Do I need an attorney or can I defense myself?

There is an old saying which goes: A person who defends himself has a fool for a client. You should definitely consult with an attorney prior to making that decision. Normally, we can handle your entire misdemeanor case without you having to be present in court. There are some exceptions. By having us appear on your behalf you will not miss any work which may cost you more than our fee. It also will eliminate any additional embarrassment that this arrest may have caused.

I was arrested for a felony. What do I do now?

There are two phases to a felony arrest. The first phase will result in a preliminary hearing. This is a hearing in front of a judge only. The prosecution must prove that a crime occurred and you are probably the person who committed the crime. If the prosecution is successful you will be held to answer at the preliminary hearing. Your case will then be set for trial. At a trial you have the right to have your case heard by a judge or a jury of your peers. It is during this trial that the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you attempt to face a felony arrest without an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side, your odds of success are greatly diminished. As a result of a felony arrest you must personally appear in court for each and every courtroom appearance as required by your case.

I was arrested for DUI. I don't know what my blood alcohol content was at the time of my arrest. What do I do now?

There are two phases to a DUI arrest. First, we only have 10 calendar days (weekends and holidays count), from the date of your arrest, to contact the DMV on your behalf and have a stay placed on your driving privileges. Failure to do so will result in your driving privileges being suspended for up to one year. You have the right to a DMV hearing in an attempt to save your driving privileges. By contacting the DMV and requesting a hearing, within the 10 day period, you will be able to continue to drive without restrictions until we obtain the results of the hearing. The results could be months after your initial arrest. Second, we will appear in court on your behalf, without you being present, and enter a plea of not guilty. By doing so we will have the right to obtain all discovery regarding your case. We will review that discovery with you and attempt to identify any discrepancies in the police report or identify any errors in the rules of the law. Once we have established your best possible defense, we will then proceed in the appropriate manner. This could mean anything from negotiations with the prosecutor in an attempt to lessen your penalty, the appropriate motions in court in an attempt to have your case dismissed or proceed to trial for an acquittal. The choice will be yours after you are appropriately advised of all of your options and risks.

Remember, when stopped for a DUI, you are required to identify yourself and submit to a breath test at a police station or a blood test where the blood is drawn by either a nurse or doctor. Failure to submit to a blood or breath test at the police station can result in the loss of your driving privileges for one year and a possible enhancement in the criminal case. You are not required to answer any questions, submit to any field sobriety tests or take any breath tests at the location of arrest. Simply and respectfully advise the officer that you are not willing to answer any questions or submit to any, in field, tests without your attorney being present.

I was caught shoplifting a $50 item from a department store but I was arrested for felony burglary. How can they arrest me for a felony when all I committed was a simple shoplifting? Can I sue them for false arrest?

When committing the crime of shoplifting you had to enter the store to complete the crime. For the crime of burglary you have to enter a structure (store) with the specific intent to commit a theft or any felony. So to answer your question it reverts back to your intent at the time you entered the store. Did you intend to steal at the time you entered the store. They can only prove your intent by a statement you may have given them at the time of your arrest or by any "booster" equipment you possessed at the time you enter the store. Booster equipment could be simply an empty purse, empty paper or plastic bag, a device used to remove the security tags from the merchandise or wearing of oversize clothing which would give you the ability to secrete the merchandise without obvious detection. Again, this is why you do not answer law enforcement questions without the advice of an experienced criminal attorney.

I could list hundreds of other questions but the true fact is every case is different. The charge may be the same but the facts of the case will always differ. As a result it is imperative that we speak personally or by telephone so we can determine the true facts as they relate to your case. Give us a call at 1-800-506-0606 at any time, day or night, seven days a week, and we will be happy to discuss your matter in its entirety. The telephone call and consultation are free. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from our free consultation. Call us at 1-800-506-0606.

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