Facing Criminal Charges in Gold River, CA

If you’re facing criminal charges, it means that you’ve been formally accused of that crime. The charging process usually starts with the citation or arrest. The police will then send a copy of their report to a prosecutor, who will then initiate the criminal case. The prosecutor will:

  • Make an independent verdict on what charges should be filed, or
  • Call citizens to serve as the grand jury to conduct a legal proceeding, investigate the case, and determine what criminal charges should be brought.

Facing criminal charges can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused, and add to that the ramifications it can bring in your life. If you’ve been charged with a crime, seeking the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Gold River, CA is best.

Gold River Criminal Defense Attorneys

Facing Criminal Charges?

Our Sacramento County criminal defense attorneys are near you in Gold River, CA. We are ready to fight for you. Contact The Chastaine Law Office to schedule a consultation and begin your defense today.

get a case evaluation

Levels of Offenses

Criminal charges in California are divided into three categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. The type of charge will dictate the possible penalties you will receive (a fine or jail time), and those facing misdemeanor or felony charges should seek legal assistance and advice from an experienced Gold River criminal defense law firm to discuss their rights.

Infractions

Out of the three categories, criminal infractions are less serious violations that typically subject a person to nothing more than a monetary fine. These include traffic offenses for minor violations and other low-level misconduct. Infractions are also called petty offenses, petty misdemeanors, and violations. Generally, penalties for criminal infractions are only limited to fines and don’t include jail time.

The most common types of infractions are jaywalking, loitering, and traffic violations, such as running the red light, speeding, and failing to signal a turn. However, more serious offenses such as DUI or hit-and-run are considered crimes that can carry the potential for the punishment of incarceration or a conviction.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanor crimes are more serious than infractions, but they are only typically punished by up to one year in jail. Common examples of a misdemeanor include:

  • Drunk Driving 
  • Assault 
  • Possession Of An Unregistered Gun
  • Shoplifting 
  • Assault And Battery
  • Reckless Driving
  • Drug Possession

It is important to note that most misdemeanor offenses escalate to a felony if you commit the offense again.

Usually, individuals commit the mistake of not consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney for their case. Individuals charged with misdemeanor usually have little knowledge about the legal system, have never had a brush with the law, and have the wrong presumption that a defense attorney is only needed for felony charges.

In California, misdemeanor charges can have grave consequences, such as jail time, fines, court hearings, probation, and other court restrictions that can bring more additional charges and penalties.

If you’re facing misdemeanor charges, the criminal defense attorneys at the Chastaine Law Office can provide legal assistance and help you with your case. Our Gold River defense lawyers know that a criminal conviction can affect your quality of life and impact your ability to apply for a job, rent an apartment, or get approved for a loan.

Felonies

Felonies are the most serious kinds of crimes. In general, a crime is considered a felony if it is punishable by more than one year in prison. Common examples of felony crimes include:

Felony crimes are serious offenses and they require the experience and knowledge of a criminal defense lawyer. In California, a criminal conviction for a felony charge has long-term consequences, aside from having a punishment of jail time, fines and court costs, probations, and/or post-conviction restrictions. 

We understand that your future is at stake when facing felony charges. If you’ve been arrested, our Gold River criminal defense attorneys would take your case seriously and look at all the possible options to minimize the consequences you might face. We will provide you with the best defense possible against your case, and help defend your rights.

Prima Facie Case

You might not be familiar with this term, but it’s an early and very important part of every legal action and has significance in every criminal case. It’s a Latin term which translates to, “the case at first sight.” It’s a way to evaluate a case at its early stages to see if there is any valid reason for bringing it to trial. The party with the burden of proof, or the prosecution, presents a prima facie case where they can present evidence to support their claim.

In criminal law, the prosecution in a criminal case carries the burden of proof. This means that they must present a prima facie case that proves that the defendant is guilty of the crime being charged against him. If the prosecution fails to present evidence that supports each part of the crime, the defendant will be acquitted even without presenting any evidence.

For example, a prosecutor has charged you with burglary. The prosecution must present enough evidence that you’ve actually entered the premises without the proper authorization to do so. If the prosecution can only show that you’ve entered the premises only after the burglary has taken place, this evidence alone cannot support the crime being charged against you. The defendant, in fact, no longer needs to offer any evidence to rebut the case, but could instead request for acquittal after the prosecutor’s failure to present a prima facie case. 

However, if the prosecutor has evidence, such as a testimony of an eyewitness, then they have satisfactory evidence for a prima facie case. Even if the defendant has evidence that will nullify the statement of the eyewitness, they can’t immediately move for a verdict but instead must present that evidence in rebuttal.

Successfully presenting a prima facie case doesn’t mean that the party has already won the case. The defendant has the opportunity to offer evidence that will rebut the prosecutor’s prima facie case. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Gold River, CA, can help with your criminal case and find the best defense that is best for your situation.

Protect Yourself With the Help of a Defense Attorney in Gold River, CA

Being falsely accused or charged with a crime can be extremely stressful, especially if it happened all of a sudden. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is best to seek the help and advice of an experienced Gold River criminal defense attorney right away. Taking action early on can have significant effects on the outcome of your case. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.

Defense for Your Assault & Battery Charges in Sacramento County

At The Chastaine Law Office, we will explain the process for you, help safeguard your legal rights while your criminal case is pending, and develop legal defenses to your charges. Assault and battery charges are serious and can change the course of your future. If you are facing criminal charges in Folsom, Gold River, Rancho Cordova or the surrounding communities, we can help you.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION