Common Criminal Defense Questions

General Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Domestic Violence Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Drug Crimes Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

DUI & BUI Defense Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Expungement Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Federal Crimes Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Felony Crimes Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Gang Crimes Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Juvenile Delinquency Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Murder, Homicide, & Violent Crimes Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Professional License Discipline Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Three Strikes Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

Victim Representation Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

White Collar Crimes Common Questions

What is the statute of limitations for filing charges? +

For a misdemeanor, charges must be filed within one year of the date of offense. For a felony, the minimum statute of limitations is three years, for some felonies there are longer statutes of limitations, and for murder there is no statute of limitations.

My husband just learned that he has a warrant for a parole violation. How much time will he have to serve in jail? +

There are a variety of factors that can affect the length of time he could receive on a violation of probation. Start by looking at the sentencing report prepared by the probation department. It will state the amount of time they’re recommending if the judge sends your husband to prison. The probation department will also prepare a one or two page document with a recommendation of sentence on the violation. The judge is permitted, however, to leave your husband on probation and not send him to jail at all. If the judge uses this option, your husband could receive local time in jail, adult offender work program or electronic monitoring. A criminal defense attorney will be able to help you fully understand the implications.

How to find the right attorney for my criminal case? +

You can look up the profiles of the attorneys you are interested in on Avvo. Most offer free initial consultations, so you can call or consult with them to see which one you like. There are other resources such as Super Lawyers and Martindale.com that can help you find a highly qualified attorney.

Can the same attorney handle your criminal and professional license matter? +

If you have been charged with a crime, it may be beneficial for the same lawyer to represent you in the criminal matter and the matter before the licensing board. Due to geographical limitations, however, it may not be practical to do so. Criminal cases often involve numerous court appearances, and it may not be cost-effective to hire an attorney to represent you if that attorney resides a long distance from the court in which you are being prosecuted. If you hire someone else to represent you in a criminal matter, it is beneficial for your professional license attorney to coordinate with your criminal defense attorney at an early stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can consult with your criminal defense attorney about issues involving plea bargaining and sentencing that may affect your professional license.

Is it necessary to hire a local attorney for a professional licensing matter? +

No. Unlike a criminal case, which often involves multiple court hearings, the vast majority of the work performed by your professional licensing attorney is performed in the office by letter and by telephone. A large portion of the matters in which a board files an accusation is resolved by a settlement, rather than by having a hearing before an administrative law judge. Even when a hearing does occur, it would require your attorney to travel only for this one occasion. It is much more important that you have an attorney skilled in professional licensing than it is to have an attorney who lives in your locale.

Have you previously been convicted of a crime and now want to apply for a professional license? +

There are numerous things you can do to increase your chances of successfully applying for a professional license. These include petitioning the court to have a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. You also have the right to seek expungement of a criminal conviction for which you successfully completed probation.

What is Drug Diversion? +

Drug diversion goes by different names, but they are all the same program. It is referred to as Deferred Entry of Judgment, PC 1000 (Penal Code 1000 is the code section that authorizes the program) or simply “drug diversion.” This program is the first option if you are going to plead guilty. Drug Diversion allows you to enter a guilty plea but no sentence is given. Instead, you attend a drug rehabilitation program (which can include meetings, in-patient or out-patient treatment, depending on whether you are addicted and depending upon the degree of addiction), and then when you successfully complete the program you case is dismissed.

How does Prop 36 affect possible charges and punishment? +

If you go into the Prop 36 program, you plead guilty and are sentenced, but if you complete the program you can petition to have the case dismissed.

Do I need a lawyer for a DUI charge? +

An attorney skilled in DUI defense can be of great assistance, even if the attorney is unable to get a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict. The attorney can work for a more favorable sentence, advise you on the DMV consequences, and represent you at DMV hearings (which a public defender cannot do). A private attorney will also work with you to minimize increases in the cost of insurance. In the event you are convicted of a DUI, the attorney can advise you on how best to obtain an expungement of the conviction at the end of probation.

I am a physician and was stopped and arrested at a DUI checkpoint. What are the implications toward my medical license? +

You are correct, this can have an impact on your professional license. You should have an attorney look at every aspect of the situation – including a review of the licensing issues – to reach the best possible outcome. A full review of the cast with an experienced attorney is the best option.

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