OC Criminal Defense - Frequently Asked Questions
Answers from a Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer
Law Office of Michael L. Guisti is a top-rated criminal defense firm serving clients throughout Orange County, California. With more than 15 years of successful criminal defense cases behind us, we are committed to providing personal attention and outstanding case results.
Do you have questions about your criminal case? Attorney Michael Guisti has the legal knowledge, training, and courtroom experience needed to provide you with comprehensive answers. Read through some common questions below before you pick up the phone and schedule your free consultation with an Orange Country criminal lawyer. Contact us at (714) 530-9690 to get started!
- Will I go to jail?
- What penalties am I facing?
- What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
- Can I fight a DUI even if I fail the breath test?
- Can I have a conviction removed from my record?
- What is a plea bargain?
- Will I have to register as a sex offender?
- What are my rights during a search and seizure?
- What does "you have the right to remain silent" mean?
- Why should I choose Law Office of Michael L. Guisti?
Will I go to jail?
Whether or not you go to jail depends on the crime. Infractions and traffic tickets generally only require payment of a fine. If you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, however, the officer will take you to the station, where you will be booked and placed in a holding cell.
You may be able to avoid staying in jail by posting bail. Then, if your charges are dropped at your arraignment or during your criminal trial, you will not have to return to jail. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony and the judge sentences you to jail or prison, however, you will be required to serve that sentence.
What penalties am I facing?
Your penalties depend entirely on what charges you are facing. Misdemeanors generally involve a fine and possibly some jail time. You may be eligible for probation. Felonies involve higher fines and a possible sentence in state prison, during which time you may or may not be eligible for parole. Serious felonies, such as murder in the first degree, could land you in prison for life without chance of parole.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Misdemeanors are lesser offenses that incur smaller fines and a possible sentence in the county jail. Felonies are more serious and will incur higher fines and a state prison sentence.
Can I fight a DUI even if I fail the breath test?
In many cases, yes, you can still fight your DUI even after failing a breath or blood test. Your DUI defense attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding your DUI stop and your arrest. He or she will also investigate how your arresting officer conducted your breath or blood test. If there as any misconduct, such as failing to correctly calibrate the machine, then your BAC test results could be thrown out.
Can I have a conviction removed from my record?
In California, certain individuals may be eligible to have certain convictions "expunged" from their records. Expungement is available for individuals:
- Whose sentence involved probation
- Who successfully completed the terms of their probation
- Who are not facing subsequent charges or serving a subsequent sentence
Other requirements may be involved. Speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer to determine whether or not you can have an old conviction erased from your record for good.
What is a plea bargain?
Plea bargains occur when the prosecutor makes an agreement with the defendant – also known as a "copping a plea" – where the defendant agrees to plead guilty for their alleged offense in exchange for something from the prosecutor, such as reduced charges or a shorter sentence.
Will I have to register as a sex offender?
Most sex offenses in California will require sex offender registration if you are convicted. These sex crimes include:
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual assault / rape
- Forced sexual acts
- Most sex offenses involving minors
What are my rights during a search and seizure?
Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to tell a police officer "no" if he or she asks to search your person, car, home, cell phone, or other personal property. As long as the officer does not have a warrant and does not have "probable cause" to search you or your property, then he or she must first have your consent to do so.
In some cases, the police may conduct a search and seizure even after you deny consent. In these cases, your criminal defense attorney could take the matter to court and have your case dismissed based on a violation of your constitutional right to privacy.
What does "you have the right to remain silent" mean?
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from self-incrimination. "Self-incrimination" means giving information of any kind that can be used against you in court so that you are convicted. That is why officers tell you that "you have the right to remain silent" when they arrest you.
Your "right to remain silent" means that you do not have to speak a word to the police or to anyone else until you are represented by an attorney, even if they ask you questions, intimidate you, or try to convince you that you have to say something. You do not have to say a word, because you might say something that could be skewed and used against you in court by the prosecution.
Why should I choose Law Office of Michael L. Guisti?
Law Office of Michael L. Guisti knows your Constitutional rights and has a history of success in criminal defense. Our attorneys truly care for each client and go the extra mile to ensure that the best possible results are achieved for every case. We work directly with our clients and keep them informed every step of the way so that they know exactly what is being done to fight their charges. As a result, we have a long list of satisfied clients who are thankful for how we handled their cases. You could be one of those clients!
Contact a Criminal Attorney in Orange County, CA
Do not hesitate to take action in your defense. The longer you wait to retain representation, the more difficult it will be to fight your charges and avoid a criminal conviction. Pick up the phone and contact us today at (714) 530-9690 or fill out our free case evaluation form to get started. Let us fight for you!
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.