Things to Know if Charged With a Sacramento Felony
There are two general categories of crimes: Misdemeanors and felonies. A Sacramento felony is considered a much more serious crime than a misdemeanor. In fact, if you are charged with committing a felony, you may face many years in jail depending on the nature of the crime.
This article will explain what you should know if charged with a Sacramento felony. Because criminal law and the criminal complex can be fairly complex, you will want to contact a Sacramento criminal attorney to help provide you with legal guidance throughout your case. Whether you were charged with a felony in Boulevard Park, Land Park, Natomas or another part of Sacramento County, Attorneys.com can help connect you to Sacramento criminal attorneys. Just call 1-877-913-7222, or fill out the form on this site. After answering a few questions, Attorneys.com will put you in touch with at least one Sacramento criminal attorney. The lawyer will contact you within two business days, or you can reach out to him at your own convenience.
Sacramento Felony Types
In general, there are two types of Sacramento felony charges: Crimes against people and crimes against property. Both are serious charged and can result in hefty fines as well as multiple years in prison.
Examples of crimes against people include:
- Assault and battery
Examples of crimes against property include:
Some crimes are considered wobblers. This means they can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges depending the specifics and severity of the crime committed. Examples of wobblers in California include:
- Some kinds of assault
- Possession of a firearm
- Domestic violence
If you have questions about your criminal charges, you should contact a Sacramento criminal lawyer.
Rights of Those Arrested for a Sacramento Felony
At the time you are arrested, you retain certain rights. One of the most important rights you have is the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to answer questions from investigators or law enforcement. This right is intended to protect you from incriminating yourself.
In addition, you have a right to have a lawyer, specifically when you are being questioned by authorities. You may have the opportunity to contact a lawyer once you are taken to the station for booking. Otherwise, you can search for a Sacramento criminal attorney prior to your trial. If you are incarcerated and are unable to interview attorneys to hire, you can entrust a friend or family member to investigate attorneys on your behalf.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to a pubic defender. A public defender is a court-appointed attorney who represents those who cannot afford legal representation.
The Sacramento Felony Process
After you have been arrested and gone through the booking process, you will have to appear in court for your arraignment. The arraignment is when the charges against you are read aloud, and you have the opportunity to respond with your plea. In Sacramento, there are several plea options available to you, including:
- Guilty: This means you do not dispute the charges. After entering a guilty plea, you will be sentenced by the judge.
- Not guilty: This means you dispute the charges. After entering a not guilty plea, the judge will schedule a trial date.
- No contest: This means you do not dispute the charges, but you also do not admit guilt. The court will then enter a guilty plea and sentence you.
- Mute: This means you enter no plea, allowing you to dispute the criminal process up to that point. After entering a mute plea, the court will schedule a trial date.
If you do not enter a guilty or no contest plea, the judge will set bail. Bail is the money you must put forth as security to ensure you show up for your next court date. A judge may also choose to refuse to set bail, requiring you to remain in jail.
Prior to your trial, your attorney may have the opportunity to enter into a plea agreement with the prosecution. A plea agreement means you agree to admit guilt to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. For example, if you are charged with felony assault, your attorney may be able to bargain with the prosecution to get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor.
Whether you enter a plea agreement or not, you will still have to show up for trial. If a plea agreement has been made, you will enter a plea of guilty to the reduced charges. If no plea agreement has been reached, your attorney will assert a criminal defense to convince the jury you are not guilty.