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When Should You Hire a San Jose Assault Defense Lawyer?

Assault charges can be very serious in California. They range from a swung-and-missed punch to assault with a deadly weapon. If police have recently arrested you for assault, you need to find a San Jose assault defense lawyer. If this is your first time in the criminal justice system, you may be surprised at how quickly it moves. You need a San Jose criminal lawyer to represent you in court as soon as possible.

Assault charges can be misdemeanors, less serious crimes liked the aforementioned missed punch, or felonies, which are more serious crimes, such as assault with a deadly weapon.

Misdemeanor charges in California still have serious consequences. A guilty conviction in San Jose of a misdemeanor assault may result in a sentence of up to six months in a county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

A person convicted on felony assault charges faces a possible sentence of up to four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Hopefully, these possible penalties for a San Jose assault arrest have convinced you that the answer to the question, “When should you hire a San Jose assault defense lawyer” is now.

The San Jose Criminal Justice Process

If police catch you in the act of assaulting another person, they will arrest you on the spot. Obviously, there will be no time to consult an attorney before your arrest. As soon as you are able to make a call, you should either phone a San Jose criminal defense attorney or call someone to help you find an attorney.

In other instances, the police or district attorney’s office may investigate allegations of an assault after the fact. If you get wind of this, you should contact a San Jose criminal lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Following an arrest, you will have an arraignment, which is when you stand in court and plead guilty or not guilty. Ideally, you’ll have already hired an attorney who will be at your side during this procedure.

If you do not yet have a San Jose criminal lawyer, pleading not guilty will preserve your options, such as trying to get the prosecutor to lower the charges against you or even going to trial. If you plead guilty, you will go straight to sentencing.

Whether you are from Blossom Valley, West San Jose or any other part of the city, if you truly cannot afford an attorney, the court will assign you a public defender. If your income doesn’t qualify you for free legal representation, you need to find a private San Jose criminal defense lawyer.

Hiring a San Jose Assault Defense Lawyer

To find an attorney quickly, ask around your friends, family members or acquaintances to see if they know any criminal lawyers. Or, you could also use the attorney-search service of Attorneys.com.

Once you have a name or two, call the lawyers to meet them. Many criminal defense lawyers in San Jose will meet you in a no-obligation, first meeting called an initial consultation. At the initial consultations, you can:

  • Discover if an attorney’s background and experience is what you need to handle your assault case
  • Discuss your legal options and possible assault defenses, and formulate a strategy for dealing with your charges
  • Decide whether this is the attorney you want to hire

Based on your first meetings, you should be able to determine which attorney would do the best job for you. Once you have hired your San Jose assault defense lawyer, you are ready to face your charges.

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