Long Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer
Chudnovsky Law is a criminal defense firm serving clients in Long Beach and Orange County. Our dedicated Long Beach criminal defense lawyers have experience handling all criminal charges in local courts.
Law enforcement can jeopardize your constitutional rights before the prosecutor files charges. Always contact a Long Beach criminal defense attorney as soon as you learn of any criminal investigation against you.
The experienced defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law can help protect you from:
- Incriminating yourself during an interrogation
- Evidence that police officers seized without a warrant (or valid warrant exception)
- Accidentally waiving your right to silence, to a preliminary hearing, to legal counsel, or other important constitutional protections (including the right to a jury trial)
- Accepting a prosecutor’s version of the case without getting legal advice from someone on your side
- Unfair plea deals
When you face criminal charges, the full force of the government is working against you. No defendant has to take on the police and prosecutor by themselves. The sooner you have an experienced defense attorney fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights are. Call us today for your free consultation.
We regularly help clients obtain case dismissals or not guilty verdicts, and we fight to keep everyone we represent out of jail. Reach out today if you face criminal allegations.
We Defend Against Long Beach Felony Charges
There are many felonies created under California law. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, and the sentencing for felonies reflects this fact. Defendants need to have the opportunity to consult with an experienced Long Beach criminal defense lawyer about any felony charges. Never speak to the police, appear in court, or discuss plea negotiations without getting advice from a defense lawyer who is actually on your side.
Common examples of serious California felonies include:
- Murder (and attempted murder)
- Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence
- DUI with multiple prior convictions
- Grand theft
- Sex crimes
- Aggravated assault
- Sale of controlled substances
The Penalties For Felonies
Felony offenses carry the strictest punishments possible. California has not banned the death penalty, although a federal court and Gov. Gavin Newsom placed a moratorium on it. This means that some defendants still receive death sentences that the state has not carried out.
More commonly, a defendant convicted of murder will get a life sentence in prison. This sentence can be either with or without the possibility of parole, depending on the circumstances. When you face consequences as permanent as the death penalty or life in prison, there is simply no substitute for the advice of an experienced felony defense lawyer.
While the most serious felonies carry the possibility of life in prison, it is more common for a felony to carry a potential sentence involving years in prison. Imprisonment can sometimes be for decades.
Sometimes, it is worth the risk of trial to let a jury determine whether you are guilty. Often, however, a good defense lawyer can negotiate a plea deal that will cut years (or even decades) off of the prison sentence a defendant faces at trial. The investment of attorney’s fees can give a defendant years of freedom.
A defendant can receive a probation sentence instead of serving prison time for a felony. Serious felonies usually require formal probation, in which the defendant must regularly check in with a probation officer. Common requirements include community service, substance abuse screening, and drug or alcohol testing (depending on the nature of the charges).
In less serious cases, the defendant might receive informal probation. Here, they do not have to check in regularly with a probation officer, but they do have to meet certain basic requirements. The court can revoke formal probation if the defendant gets a new arrest, fails to maintain a job, or violates other basic conditions of probation.
The Collateral Damage of a Felony Conviction
In addition to prison time and fines, many other consequences affect a person’s life after a felony conviction. A felony conviction results in the automatic loss of certain civil rights. A person cannot vote, serve on a jury, or legally own firearms with a felony on their criminal record.
In some cases, people can have these rights restored after years of keeping a clean criminal record, but there is no guarantee. A felony conviction can also make getting a job or housing difficult. It can even make it difficult to enroll in school or access credit from a financial institution. Hiring a good defense lawyer at the start of your case can help mitigate these risks and consequences.
An attorney can sometimes arrange for a plea deal to lesser misdemeanor charges. Other prosecutors are willing to let a defendant “earn” a misdemeanor – while they initially file felony charges, the prosecutor may allow the defendant to plead guilty to a misdemeanor as part of a plea deal or after completing a diversion program. This program might require community service, alcohol counseling, or other terms that are specific to your case.
These are just some of the many options available for mitigating the damage of a felony conviction. Our Long Beach criminal defense attorneys work hard to prevent wrongful convictions and mitigate the collateral damage of a conviction by negotiating fair plea agreements.
We Defend Against Misdemeanors in Long Beach
Many offenses are misdemeanors under the California Penal Code, making them crimes anywhere in the state.
Common examples include:
- Shoplifting and petty theft
- Receiving stolen property
- Public intoxication
- Disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct
- Driving on a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Violating a restraining order
- Domestic battery
- Assault and battery
- Drug possession
In addition to the misdemeanors created under California state laws, there are also misdemeanors under the Long Beach Municipal Code. These offenses can result in misdemeanor charges within the City of Long Beach’s jurisdiction.
The Penalties For Misdemeanors
Most misdemeanors come with a set sentence written directly into the statute. These sentences generally do not exceed up to one year in jail and a possible fine of $1,000. When the statute lays out no specific sentence, the California Penal Code has a default sentence of up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1000, or both for any misdemeanor conviction.
Added Penalties For Domestic Violence Offenses
A jail sentence or fine is not the only penalty a person faces for a misdemeanor conviction. Some offenses have collateral consequences. In the case of domestic violence, these consequences can be permanent.
The Brady Bill went into effect after the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. The law aimed to limit handgun ownership, and, as a result, anyone with a conviction of a domestic violence offense (even a misdemeanor) permanently loses the right to own a gun legally. You cannot reinstate the right to own guns later, and there is no appeals process to challenge the ban once you have a conviction.
Always consult with a Long Beach criminal defense lawyer before pleading guilty to any offense – even if it seems minor. Even if the state does not classify your case as domestic violence, federal law might, and the Brady Bill can still apply.
In addition to the Brady Bill, there are other collateral consequences to a conviction for domestic violence. A family court can use the conviction against you during divorce or custody proceedings. The best way to mitigate this damage is to have the best possible defense in the criminal court. This will help prevent an unfair outcome to criminal charges that can follow you from the criminal court to the family court.
FAQs About Long Beach Criminal Cases
What courts hear Long Beach criminal cases?
The court where the prosecutor files your case depends on where the alleged incident occurred and what charges they bring. Superior Court cases in Long Beach occur at the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse. Cases can also happen in other Superior Court locations within Los Angeles County, depending on where the alleged acts occurred. Some Los Angeles municipal courts may also have jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases arising within city limits.
Serious cases with federal jurisdiction can also occur at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana. Wherever you face charges, the experienced defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law are here to help. Our team has experience litigating all kinds of criminal cases in all the courts of Long Beach and surrounding areas.
What cases does your firm handle?
The Long Beach criminal defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law have experience handling all types of criminal charges.
We handle both felony and misdemeanor cases involving:
- Assault and battery
- Vehicular crimes and DUIs
- Domestic violence offenses
- Disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace
- Shoplifting, petty theft, and grand larceny
- Drug crimes
- Sex crimes
Whatever charges you are facing, our defense team is here to help. We know how to protect your constitutional rights while getting a fair resolution to any criminal charge.
Do I always need a lawyer to handle my case?
Yes. Representing yourself in a criminal case will hurt your case and future in many ways. First, you may not know of legal violations committed by the police in the investigation of your case. Our lawyers file motions to suppress unlawfully collected evidence. This means that a jury cannot hear about that evidence at all.
When judges grant these motions, a prosecutor is sometimes left without much of a case and agrees to dismiss the charges altogether. Without a defense lawyer on your side, you might not even know that you have the right to suppress inadmissible evidence. This example is just one of many ways our lawyers use established legal procedures to protect your constitutional rights.
There is another critical reason to hire an experienced defense lawyer. Across the U.S., most criminal cases wrap up through plea agreements. An agreement with the prosecutor—not a judge or jury—will most likely settle your criminal case. A plea agreement waives the right to a trial, a jury, and other important constitutional protections. You need an experienced defense lawyer on your side when you give up these important rights.
A defense lawyer will help you understand what rights you will give up and your risk of conviction if you go to trial. Most importantly, your defense attorney will advise you on whether the offered deal is fair. A plea deal is not fair simply because the prosecutor says it is. Remember, the prosecutor is actively working against you to get a conviction. Your lawyer can compare similar cases and outcomes to advise you on the plea deal.
A defense lawyer can explain the pros and cons of taking a plea deal and even give you an opinion on whether you should take it. Ultimately, however, the decision is yours. You do not have to make this important decision on your own. Contact our experienced Long Beach criminal defense lawyers before signing any plea documents with the prosecutor.
Experienced, Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyers For All Long Beach Charges
If you face charges of a crime, the power of both the police and the prosecutor's office can come down hard on you. You don't have to take on the government alone. The experienced Long Beach criminal defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law fight hard to protect our clients' constitutional rights.
We know how to hold police accountable for constitutional violations, and we know how to work with prosecutors to negotiate fair plea deals. When necessary, we take our cases to trial to protect our client’s right to a jury trial. Contact us at (562) 800-4080 for your free consultation. The longer you wait to hire a lawyer, the more vulnerable you make yourself, and the harder you make it to get a fair resolution to your case.
“Attorney Nicole Enyart recently handled a complex case for me. She and her office did an excellent job. We were hoping for a plea reduction to dry reckless on a Santa Barbara DUI charge. Ms Enyart got the charges dismissed entirely with no fines. I can highly recommend her and her firm to anyone looking for an excellent criminal defense attorney.”