The following is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions. If you need more information do not hesitate to contact us anytime for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation.
If I am convicted of a crime, will anyone know that I have a conviction on my record? Although a conviction such as a drug crime, juvenile crime, sex crime, white collar crime or violent crime is public record and may be reviewed by the general public, you may be able to expunge a conviction depending on the nature of the crime committed. Back to the Top
Is a misdemeanor conviction public record? Yes; however it is possible to have the misdemeanor cleared from your record with an expungement. Back to the Top
Is a felony conviction public record? Yes; however it is possible to have the misdemeanor cleared from your record with an expungement. Back to the Top
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony? A misdemeanor is not as serious an offense, and it usually only carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail. On the other hand, a felony is a very serious crime that may carry a sentence of over one year in state prison. Felonies can result in life imprisonment or even the death penalty. Back to the Top
Should I represent myself? You can always represent yourself without the services of an attorney; however that decision is one that you may regret for the rest of your life. If you are only facing a small fine, you may want to save the money and represent yourself. However, if you are facing a misdemeanor which may result in county jail time, or facing a felony which may entail years in prison, or you wish to avoid any kind of conviction, you MUST hire a private criminal defense attorney to look after your interests. Back to the Top
Why would I ever plead guilty to the charges? Most judges will offer a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea at the arraignment. By pleading guilty and avoiding a court trial, you may receive a lesser punishment and avoid a potential harsher penalty. In addition, a guilty plea quickens the criminal process and eliminates a lengthy and extremely stressful trial process. Back to the Top
When do I tell my story? Tell us your story immediately. Your story is a critical piece of the puzzle that aids the judge and jury in deciding the outcome of your case. Whether you are charged with embezzlement, molestation, drunk driving, drug possession, petty theft, domestic violence or any other crime, it is important to tell your story to a criminal defense lawyer while the incident is still fresh in your mind. It is crucial to remember that what you say may be used against you, so do not tell your story to anyone besides YOUR criminal attorney. Of course the trial is the primary period of time where you have the opportunity to present your story, however there are many other options to avoid going to trial. Back to the Top
Do I need an attorney at my arraignment? YES! Although many people believe they may be able to handle this hearing without the presence of a criminal lawyer, it is very helpful to have a criminal lawyer there defending you. A criminal defense attorney may be able to lower your bail or even negotiate to have you released on your own recognizance (O.R.) without putting up any money. Back to the Top
What if I don't like my public defender? Your rights are limited to the appointment of the public defender that is chosen for you. To receive a new public defender, you must prove to the court that his/her representation is incompetent. It can be very difficult. To avoid this predicament, it is best to hire a criminal defense attorney who you are comfortable with and know will get the job done right. If you are charged with any crime such as burglary, battery, assault, child abuse, domestic violence, embezzlement, petty theft or any other criminal charge, you should not take chances with your freedom. Contact our criminal defense law firm now so that we may provide you with a confidential and free consultation. Back to the Top
What if I think the judge or prosecutor is biased? If you have a fair argument as to why you believe the judge or prosecutor is biased against you, your attorney may ask the judge to withdraw from the case or your attorney may file a motion with the court. Back to the Top
What are my Miranda Rights? Once you are in police custody, you must be informed of your constitutional right to remain silent before being interrogated. If the police did not inform you of these rights, called Miranda Rights, your constitutional rights have been violated. In the event that your rights have been violated, that does not necessarily mean that you are not guilty. It means that our criminal lawyers will have a good opportunity to have any statements made or any evidence gathered as a result of the violation found inadmissible in a court of law - and that would significant help in your defense. Back to the Top
What type of sentence will I receive? Sentencing is decided by the judge. The judge looks at the surrounding circumstances, specifically the nature of the case, your past criminal history, and whether you are a threat to the community. Sentencing options range from mere community service to imprisonment in a penitentiary. Back to the Top
How long does a misdemeanor trial take? A misdemeanor trial may take anywhere from one day to two weeks. Our criminal lawyers have extensive experience in all misdemeanor trials from drug crimes/alcohol crimes to theft crimes. Back to the Top
How long does a felony trial take? The length of a felony trial depends on the nature of the case. Generally, felony cases take between two months and one year to complete. Our criminal attorneys have extensive experience in all felony trials from sex crimes and violent crimes to white collar crimes and juvenile crimes. Back to the Top
Can I just have my attorney represent me, so I don't have to show up? There are stages of the criminal process where you do not need to appear. However it is very important to check with your attorney before you decide to be absent. If you are not able to appear you must contact your attorney or the court clerk and inform them of your situation. Please contact our criminal law firm and discuss your case so that we may determine whether or not your appearance is necessary at your next court date. Back to the Top
When can a police officer search me or my property? A police officer can search your person or your property if you provide the officer with consent to do so, or if the officer presents you with a search warrant. It is important to note that a police officer may conduct a search without your consent and without a search warrant under special circumstances such as emergencies. Back to the Top
Thank you for all your time & caring. Your firm, I feel is a godsend to me.
Because of your law firm, my son got passionate representation, and now he will be home with us for Christmas. You saved us!
My husband has been railroaded by the system his whole life. Finally we hired a firm that wasn’t afraid to actually fight for him.
ATTORNEY ADVERTISING: This website may be construed as legal advertising. DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is intended as general educational material only and does not constitute legal advice. Any information contained on this website should not be relied upon without consulting with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which your matter arises. Laws and legal requirements are subject to revision and interpretation. We make no representation, warranty or claim that the information contained on this website is current. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions in the resources or information available at or from this website. Any results portrayed in this advertisement are dependent upon the facts and law applicable to each particular case, and results will differ based on the particular facts and law applicable in each case. Nothing contained on this website constitutes a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of a specific legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is formed by the use of this site, by requesting further information, or by submitting information via any form on this website. Legal services are not available in all jurisdictions. Michael Terani, Esq. of the law firm Terani Law Corporation is licensed to practice law in the State of California and is responsible for this communication. Terani Law Corporation maintains Of Counsel or other contractual relationships with attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. Your case may be assigned to Of counsel or contracted associated attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction in which the particular legal matter is pending.
**Spanish language translation is provided by non-attorney staff assistants employed by Terani Law Corporation. The non-attorney staff assistants are not members of the State Bar of California and are not licensed to practice law. Español proviene de asistentes no abogado personal contratados por la Corporación de derecho Terani. Los asistentes no abogado personal no son miembros de la barra de estado de California y no tienen licencia para ejercer la abogacía.