When you’re facing criminal charges in the state of California, it’s normal to be concerned. Rest easier by hiring a legal advocate to guide you through every step of the process. In Irvine, CA and the surrounding Orange County area, you’ll find an attorney you can trust at the Law Offices Of Lisa A. Kopelman. Turn to attorney Kopelman when you’re facing charges involving:
In California most charges of simple possession of a controlled substance are treated as misdemeanors. However, if you have a specified prior offense on your record (certain serious and violent felonies) the drug possession will be charged as a felony. Additionally possession charges that are sales related are most commonly filed as felonies. Your first offense for simple possession of drugs will usually be dismissed after attending a class and sometimes agreeing to give the district attorney a dna sample. Drug diversion is usually an option for your second misdemeanor offense. If you successfully complete drug diversion the case will be dismissed. If you are charged with a felony, you will want an attorney to review the facts of the case to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Often the police have unlawfully detained you and a motion to suppress evidence is warranted. At times, the case should go to jury trial because the case against you is weak and based solely on factors such as quantity without anything else to indicate the possession is for the purpose of sales.
The first thing that someone who wants to apply for an expungement needs to understand is that if your petition is granted under Penal Code 1203.4, your case is not sealed. A criminal record is not actually 'expunged' under this statute. A more appropriate term is 'dismissal'. The conviction remains on your record for many purposes, including sex offender registration and immigration consequences. What the statute provides is, except as elsewhere stated, the defendant is 'released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense'. There are numerous limitations to this relief. The most important consequence to most people is that relief under this section allows you to answer on many, but not all, job applications that you have not been convicted. If, however, you are applying for a government job or a job which requires a government-issued license, certificate, or permit, or a job which involves a security clearance, the conviction will be discovered; in such cases, you should disclose the initial conviction and its later expungement. With a few exceptions, if you have been convicted of a Misdemeanor or a Felony in the past, and were sentenced to either formal or informal (summary) probation and now you have successfully completed all the terms and conditions of your probation, you qualify to petition the court for a dismissal of your case. However, you should know that if you were sentenced to state prison to serve your sentence, you do not qualify for a dismissal. You may qualify for a “Certificate of Rehabilitation” if you have been out of prison for more than seven years and have had no further criminal convictions.
When you plead guilty and are placed on probation it means that if you violate the terms of your probation you can be sentenced up to the maximum penalty for the original charge. You can be placed on probation for both misdemeanors and felonies. Often when charged with violating probation, the consequence is more serious than the original offense. Once charged with violating probation you are entitled to a hearing. At the hearing you can call witnesses in your defense and you can testify in your own defense. How you handle the probation violation often depends on the nature of the violation. You’ll need a skilled attorney who is familiar with the judges and prosecutors who handle these cases as well as the various consequences. Lisa A. Kopelman has defended probation violations in Orange County for nearly 30 years and has a thorough understanding of the various pitfalls.
Just because you’ve been charged with a criminal offense doesn’t mean you’re guilty. The Law Offices Of Lisa A. Kopelman can draw on over 30 years of experience to prepare your defense. From DUI charges to drug crimes, you can rest assured that our attorney will be committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome when you’re facing criminal charges.
Contact our office today to start building your defense.