Felonies are the most serious criminal charges someone can face in California. Not only are convicted felons subject to severe criminal penalties but accused individuals may also face significant collateral consequences that affect every part of their lives, from their ability to spend time with loved ones to attend the educational institution of their choice.
Given everything riding on the line in a felony case, accused individuals must have aggressive defense counsel on their side at every stage of their case, from beginning to end. After an arrest, seek help from a criminal defense attorney immediately.
The team of Orange County felony lawyers at Chudnovsky Law is ready and willing to defend you against your felony criminal charge and pursue a dismissal of your case in court. We also have the necessary negotiation skills to pursue an effective plea deal on your behalf with the state prosecutor handling your case.
When you allow our legal team to represent you against your criminal charge, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands and that we will explore all of your legal options with you in detail. We can also answer all your questions and help you make intelligent and informed decisions throughout your case.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Orange County felony lawyer, please contact our firm today.
Why Choose Us to Represent You?
If you are currently pending a felony criminal charge, you want the best possible legal team to advocate for you and defend you in court.
The skilled California criminal defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law have more than 65 years of experience handling criminal cases in court and representing criminal defendants. We understand how state prosecutors build their cases and how to combat these tactics to your advantage. In fact, our legal team has several former prosecutors and veteran criminal defense lawyers.
In total, we have defended 9,000 cases and jury trials. Our legal team has also fostered positive working relationships with criminal court judges and prosecutors, and we use those relationships to our advantage when taking criminal cases to trial and securing favorable plea deals on behalf of our clients.
Our legal team also has a solid and favorable track record of success.
Specifically, the following media organizations have featured our team in their publications, websites, or newscasts:
- The Washington Post
- The National Trial Lawyers
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- NBC News
- NY Daily News
- Los Angeles Times
- CBS News
We have also received numerous favorable ratings and awards, including:
- 10.0 Superb Rating on AVVO
- 5 Star Rating on Findlaw
- Rated best criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles & Orange County by Expertise
- 10.0 Lawyer Rating on Justia
- 5 Star Peer-Reviewed on Martindale-Hubbell
- 5 Star Ratings on Google Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach
- 5 Star Rating on Lawyers.com
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association
When you entrust us to defend you against your felony criminal charge, you can rest assured that we will aggressively fight for your legal rights and interests and zealously pursue the best possible result in your criminal case.
Helping You Achieve the Most Favorable Outcome
In any California criminal case, including one that involves one or more felony charges, the state prosecutor has the sole legal burden of proof. For the prosecutor to obtain a conviction against the accused individual, they must satisfy every element of the underlying felony charge beyond a reasonable doubt or beyond a doubt based upon ordinary common sense and reason.
If the prosecutor fails to meet their legal burden, they should not obtain a conviction against the accused individual. As a result, the accused will not incur any penalties from a sentencing judge.
Also, because the accused has a Fifth Amendment constitutional protection against self-incrimination, the accused does not have to take the witness stand at trial or testify in their own defense at any time. However, our legal team can successfully raise one or more legal defenses on your behalf in court.
Successfully raising a legal defense to your charge at trial may prevent the state prosecutor from satisfying their legal burden. As a result, your entire case may be subject to a complete dismissal.
As an alternative to taking your felony case to trial, we can secure a favorable and carefully crafted plea deal from the state prosecutor. In a plea deal arrangement, the accused individual typically pleads guilty to some criminal charge in exchange for the prosecutor making some concession.
For example, the prosecutor may be willing to reduce the felony charge down to a misdemeanor charge, or they may offer the accused person a period of probation. If the individual successfully completes every term of their supervised or unsupervised probation, they may escape a criminal conviction on their record.
Before accepting a plea deal, accused individuals must understand all the implications of what they are doing and the legal rights they are giving up. Specifically, by pleading guilty to a crime, accused individuals effectively waive their constitutional right to a trial by jury. They also give up their right of appeal in the case.
Before accepting a plea deal, the accused must state verbally, on the record, that they agree to the plea deal willingly, freely, and voluntarily. They must also indicate that no one has coerced them or threatened them in any way.
At Chudnovsky Law, our knowledgeable and understanding California criminal defense attorneys can help you explore your legal options and weigh the pros and cons with you. We can also help you make the best possible decisions for your case that will achieve the most favorable result for you.
Types of Felony Offenses in California
In general, a felony offense in California carries one or more years of incarceration upon conviction. Since these are grave criminal offenses, you should have qualified legal representation in your corner from the very beginning of your case until the end.
Some of the most common felony crimes in California include:
- Child abuse
- Weapons violations
- Aggravated battery
- Domestic abuse
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Burglary, robbery, or theft
- Sex crimes, including rape
- Embezzlement or fraud
- Drug trafficking offenses
- Grand theft auto
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
In addition to these felony offenses, several crimes in California are wobbler offenses. This means that the state prosecutor, in their independent discretion, may decide to charge the offense as a felony or as a misdemeanor. The prosecutor will typically make this determination based on the accused individual's prior record.
To incur felony charges in California, either a grand jury or a judge must determine probable cause. As part of this determination, the judge or grand jury must look at the available evidence and determine if there is sufficient cause to charge the accused with the felony offense. If there is, a judge may issue an arrest warrant in your case, and a police officer can arrest you for the underlying crime.
Potential Penalties for a Felony Conviction
For an accused individual to receive penalties in a felony case, the state prosecutor must first successfully establish their legal burden of proof. If the prosecutor obtains a conviction against a criminal defendant, the sentencing judge has a duty to impose various penalties in the case, depending upon a state statute.
Penalties for a felony offense may include:
- Significant jail time
- Monetary fines
- Restitution to the alleged crime victim
- Driver's license suspension
- Inability to own or possess a handgun
In addition, courts can tack on various enhancements and aggravating factors to felonies, depending upon the circumstances. The most common aggravating factor that an accused might face is the so-called Three Strikes Law.
Under this law, a state prison sentence of between 25 years and life is mandatory for any individual who sustains a third conviction for a serious or violent felony. Also, under this law, if you previously sustained a conviction for a felony, you will receive an additional five years of incarceration for each of your previous felony convictions.
In addition to these legal penalties, a convicted felon may also face severe collateral consequences upon conviction.
First, they may have difficulty gaining admission to the educational institution of their choice, including a college or university. This consequence typically happens because admissions officers routinely perform criminal background checks on applicants. If they uncover a felony conviction on your record, they are likely to deny your admissions application.
Next, convicted felons who are current students may risk losing their scholarship funds or financial aid from their educational institution.
Convicted felons may also have difficulty finding a job since most employers run criminal background checks on prospective candidates.
Finally, a criminal conviction can significantly affect your reputation in the community, both personally and professionally.
At Chudnovsky Law, our legal team will work hard to minimize any lawful penalties and collateral consequences that you incur. We can represent you at your criminal court hearing and argue for a fair and reasonable penalty based on the circumstances of your charge.
Defending against a Felony Charge in Court
If you are currently pending a felony criminal charge, the experienced defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law can raise one or more legal defenses on your behalf in court. By successfully raising a legal defense, we can prevent the state prosecutor from establishing their legal burden of proof. As a result, your criminal charge may be subject to a complete dismissal.
Some of the most common successful defenses in felony criminal cases include:
- Lack of specific intent to commit the underlying felony charge
- Fourth Amendment violations
- Fifth Amendment violations by government officials
- Defense of others
- Mistaken identity
Our legal team can help you determine if you are eligible to raise one or more of these legal defenses at your criminal court trial. If you are, we can argue the appropriate defense on your behalf and help you pursue a complete dismissal of your felony charge or an acquittal in your case.
What Should You Do if You Face a Felony Criminal Charge?
In California, a judge or grand jury may determine probable cause to arrest you for a felony charge without your knowledge. You may not even know about the charges until a police officer comes to arrest you. Once that step occurs and the police officer takes you into custody, contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
At Chudnovsky Law, our legal team can be present with you during any police questioning and at all other stages of your case. We can also represent you at your criminal court hearings, including your sentencing hearing if necessary. Our team will do everything possible to help you secure the best possible result in your felony criminal court case.
Call an Experienced Orange County Felony Lawyer Right Away for More Information
If you are currently facing a felony criminal charge, time is of the essence. A conviction can affect your freedom, finances, and future. Fortunately, there are defense professionals who can stand up for your rights. By securing experienced legal counsel as quickly as possible, you significantly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable result and saving your future.
At Chudnovsky Law, our legal team can aggressively represent you at a jury trial and pursue an acquittal when necessary. We can also help you obtain a favorable plea deal from the state prosecutor if you choose to plead guilty.
No matter what you decide, you can rest assured that we will be by your side every step of the way, aggressively fighting for your legal rights and helping you get the best possible result, given your circumstances. We keep you informed and help you weigh your options. Reach out to a criminal defense attorney.
With the stakes this high, it is always best for you to reach out for help. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Orange County felony attorney, please call us at (949) 750-2500 or contact us online to learn more.