El Segundo Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you been accused of a crime in El Segundo, CA? If you have, it’s critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your case. Whether you’ve been charged with a minor infraction or a serious offense, our skilled El Segundo criminal defense lawyers will explain your rights and help you navigate the criminal justice process.
The Rodriguez Law Group will work hard to vigorously defend your case from start to finish. You can trust us to provide you with top-rated legal representation, as we’ve successfully defended our clients against all types of criminal charges. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
How The Rodriguez Law Group Can Help if You’ve Been Charged With a Crime in El Segundo, CA
At The Rodriguez Law Group, our El Segundo criminal defense attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in criminal law. We’ll put our expertise to work for you and aggressively defend you against any criminal charges you face. We’ve won not-guilty verdicts for numerous high-profile charges, ranging from murder charges to DUI charges to sex crime charges.
One of the firm’s attorneys, Ambrosio Rodriguez, has been featured on television stations such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC because of his unique background as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.
When you hire one of our attorneys, we’ll do everything we can to help you get the best outcome in your case, including:
- Gathering exculpatory evidence to build your case
- Challenging the prosecutor’s evidence if any of it should be excluded
- Interviewing witnesses in your case
- Researching case law to develop a defense strategy
- Drafting, filing, and arguing motions in your case
- Negotiating with the prosecutor in your case to try to have the charges dropped or reduced
- Aggressively representing you in court and taking your case to trial if necessary
- If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of your case, filing an appeal on your behalf
Contact our office serving El Segundo, California, to learn more about how we can help with your criminal case.
What Are Your Rights if You Are Accused of a Crime in El Segundo, California?
It’s important to know your rights in case you are questioned by police, arrested, or charged with a crime.
Your Rights With the Police
You have many rights with the police if you are being investigated for or accused of a crime. These include the rights to:
- Due process, which means to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without certain legal safeguards
- Be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
- Be told you are being arrested and the charges against you
- Be told your constitutional rights if you are under arrest (often called Miranda rights)
- Contact someone to tell them you’ve been arrested
- Have an attorney and speak with them privately
- Have a court-appointed attorney if you can’t afford to hire one
- Remain silent and stop answering questions at any time
- See a judge within a reasonable amount of time after you’re arrested
If you are questioned or detained by police, keep these rights in mind. Then, contact the Rodriguez Law Group as soon as possible, so we can help you handle speaking with the police. Hiring an attorney early in the criminal justice process can help you achieve a better outcome in your case.
Your Rights in Court
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may have to appear in court many times. You have specific rights in court. These include the rights to:
- Due process
- Be represented by an attorney in court
- Adequate legal representation
- A speedy and public trial by a jury of your peers
- Defend yourself, present evidence on your behalf, and confront witnesses
You could represent yourself in court, though most defendants will benefit from legal representation by a trained attorney. A strong criminal defense attorney will ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process and will fight for you to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
What Are the Steps in a Criminal Case in California?
Below is a basic overview of the steps involved in a criminal case in California. Having a basic understanding of this process can help you feel more comfortable and informed. Not every case will include all of these steps.
Charges Are Filed
Many criminal cases begin with the prosecution filing a complaint that contains the basic information of the charges. This will include when the offense occurred, who was involved, and what type of crime is being charged. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be arrested before or after these charges are filed.
The arraignment hearing is when the defendant is formally informed about the charges against them and their rights. You will have an opportunity to enter a plea, such as not guilty, guilty, or nolo contendere, at this time.
During the discovery phase, the prosecution and the defense will share information and investigate further into the other party’s evidence. This may include sharing documents, sharing the names of witnesses, conducting depositions of witnesses, and more.
During the discovery phase, the parties can file motions asking the court to exclude or limit certain evidence. For example, evidence that violates the rules of evidence or that was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights might be excluded.
During the discovery phase, the parties may have ongoing plea bargain discussions. In addition, if the crime charged is a felony, there may be a preliminary hearing during this phase, where the prosecution has to prove to the judge that there is enough evidence for the case to proceed.
If the parties do not reach a plea agreement and the defendant chooses to not plead guilty, then the case will proceed to a trial. At trial, the prosecution will have to prove to the jury that the defendant is guilty of the charge or charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the defendant is found guilty of a crime at trial, then the case must proceed to sentencing. Sometimes, sentencing occurs shortly after a trial. Other times, the sentencing hearing will be many months after the trial. The parties will have time to gather and present evidence for sentencing and present arguments about their recommendations. However, the judge will ultimately decide the sentence and must follow the applicable laws and guidelines at sentencing.
Once you’ve been sentenced, you may have several options if you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of your case. For example, you may be able to file an appeal, ask for your sentence to be reconsidered, or ask for your record to be sealed or expunged after a certain amount of time passes.
What Are the Possible Penalties for a Crime in El Segundo, CA?
If you plead guilty to a crime or are found guilty at trial, then you will likely be sentenced. Depending on the severity of the offense and your criminal record, your sentence may include:
A fine is a monetary penalty that is often imposed in criminal cases, whether the crime is a minor infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony. For minor infractions, a fine may be the only penalty imposed.
Probation is a court-ordered term of supervision for someone convicted of a crime. Probation typically includes a set of conditions that the individual must comply with. These may include sobriety monitoring, maintaining a job, reporting regularly to a probation officer, and staying within a specific geographical area.
If you are convicted of a more serious misdemeanor or a felony, the court may impose a sentence of jail or prison time. Jail time is often served in a local or county jail and is ordered for sentences of less than one year. Prison time is served in a state or federal facility and is imposed for sentences of greater than one year.
In some cases, a person who would otherwise be sentenced to jail or prison time may be able to serve their sentence out in the community. This is known as alternative sentencing. There are many factors a judge will consider to determine if you can participate in the alternative sentencing program. These will include whether the current offense or any prior offense included violence or demonstrates a risk of harm to the community.
Similar to probation, alternative sentencing will include a set of conditions the individual must comply with, such as attending counseling, completing community service hours, attending substance abuse treatment, or paying restitution to the victims.
Do I Need To Hire a Private Defense Attorney in Los Angeles County?
It’s important that you have adequate legal representation if you are accused of a crime in Los Angeles County. Some people may qualify for a court-appointed attorney if they are unable to pay for one on their own. The court will conduct a review of your financial information to determine whether you qualify for a court-appointed attorney.
The Los Angeles County Public Defenders are skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys who work hard for their clients. However, like public defenders throughout the country, they have heavy caseloads, are often overworked, and lack many of the resources of private defense attorneys.
The attorneys at the Rodriguez Law Group are highly skilled and experienced in criminal law and taking cases to trial. We are able to limit our caseloads so we can dedicate the time and attention you deserve to your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our El Segundo Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime in El Segundo, California, an experienced criminal defense attorney can be instrumental in protecting your rights and ensuring that you don’t receive an unfair outcome in your case. Our attorneys will help you navigate the criminal justice process, protect your rights, and aggressively fight to defend your case.
Contact the Rodriguez Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable El Segundo criminal defense attorneys.