Frequently asked questions
What is the arraignment?
The arraignment is the defendant’s first court appearance. During this appearance, the judge will explain:
- The charges
- The defendant’s constitutional rights, and
- The defendant’s right to a public defender
The defendant then enters a plea and decisions regarding bail or release will be made.
How can lawyers beat criminal charges?
A case can be dismissed by a court or a prosecutor. This is the best outcome for any criminal case. One of the first things our attorneys will do is determine whether there are any grounds for dismissal before a plea bargain or trial.
Some grounds for dismissal can include:
- Illegal stop, search or seizure
- No probable cause for arrest
- Lack of evidence the defendant committed the crime
- Loss of a key witness needed to prove the defendant committed the crime
Although it’s uncommon, some cases are dismissed during the appeals phase – after the defendant has gone to trial and lost.
Can my conviction be expunged from my record?
Possibly. In California, some convictions can be “expunged” or hidden from your criminal record. Typically, eligible crimes are misdemeanors or wobbler offenses that were charged as felonies, but could have been misdemeanors.
Felonies are not usually eligible for expungement, but the rules can be complicated. Our attorneys can help you through the expungement process if your charges are eligible.