Felonies Attorneys in Bakersfield, California
When you’re up against felony charges, your entire future hangs in the balance. A conviction could devastate nearly every aspect of your life, from your family to your career and everything in between. Don’t let one mistake define you. If you’ve been accused of a felony in California, reach out to a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys who can provide your case with the attention it deserves.
At Underwood Law Firm, we’re ready to help you build a strong defense against your felony charges. As we navigate your case, we’ll provide you with knowledgeable guidance and dedicated advocacy in the hopes of achieving a favorable result. Contact our office in Bakersfield, California, today to learn how we can defend your rights and your future. We also serve clients in Lamont and throughout Kern County.
Examples of Felonies in California
According to the Penal Code of California, a felony is a crime punishable by death, or — depending on the nature of the felony — incarceration in county jail or state prison. Common examples of felonies include:
Assault with a firearm
Embezzlement of public money
There are certain crimes California law recognizes as “wobblers,” meaning each can be punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Sexual battery, grand theft auto, and burglary are all examples of wobbler offenses. In a case of a wobbler crime, the prosecution will decide which type of charge to file.
How Are Felony Sentences Determined?
Rather than using subcategories to classify felony crimes and their punishments, the state of California outlines fixed sentences for each crime. This means rather than being given a range of 10–25 years in prison, a defendant will be sentenced to a specific amount of time, such as three years.
Once someone completes their sentence, they will be released on parole or to a probation supervisor. However, they may become eligible for parole before their sentence is up.
Not all felony offenders in California are assigned determinate sentences. Those convicted of violent crimes like murder can be given indeterminate sentences, such as 25 years to life in state prison.
The Legal Process of a Felony Charge
Being arrested is just the start of a long and often complicated criminal justice process. Luckily, you don’t have to go through it alone. At Underwood Law Firm in Bakersfield, California, we’ll fight fiercely to protect your future as we walk you through each step of the legal process.
The Arraignment Hearing
Once the prosecution has officially filed felony charges against you, you will need to attend your first court appearance: an arraignment hearing. During this hearing, the judge will outline your charges and give you the option to enter a plea of either Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest.
The Preliminary Hearing
If your case is not settled or dismissed during the arraignment hearing, the judge will hold a preliminary hearing to assess the need for trial. During this hearing, the judge will examine the evidence and decide whether there is probable cause that you committed the crime in question. If a judge decides there is, you will be arraigned once again and asked to enter a plea. The case will then go to trial.
Before the Trial
Prior to trial, both the prosecution and the defense will select a jury and participate in discovery, or the exchange of information. Once each side has reviewed the information, they can file motions to rescind the complaint, suppress certain pieces of evidence, or dismiss the case entirely. During this pre-trial period, you can also change your plea.
Both sides will give their opening statements, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. After the closing arguments, the jury will deliberate and deliver a guilty or not-guilty verdict.
If you are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you will then be sentenced according to the crime in question. However, you also will have the right to start the appeal process. If you are found not guilty, you will be acquitted, but your arrest will remain on your criminal record.
When you choose Underwood Law Firm to defend you against a felony charge, we’ll explore every possible option. Some of the defense strategies we could use include trying to prove coercion, entrapment, and lab errors that led to false results. It is our goal is to help you reduce your potential sentence or get your charges dismissed entirely.
Start Seeking Justice Today
Contact us at Underwood Law Firm to set up a free consultation of your case. From our office in Bakersfield, California, we’re proud to defend the rights of clients throughout Kern County. Reach out today if you were recently charged with a crime in Lamont or anywhere else in the surrounding area. We’re ready to provide you with personalized and dedicated defense representation.
Serving Bakersfield, California
Facing felony charges can be incredibly overwhelming. Hand your case over to a team of compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys. At Underwood Law Firm, we’ll leave no stone unturned as we build you a solid defense strategy. Reach out to our office in Bakersfield, California, today to schedule a free consultation.