Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
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3 Possible Outcomes of a Criminal Case

If you’re facing criminal charges for the first time in Orange County, we want to go over a few things you should know, including the three possible outcomes of a criminal case. For starters, crimes are classified as infractions, misdemeanors and felonies in California, with felonies being the more serious of the three. Often, a first-time DUI, disorderly conduct, petty theft, and simple assault are charged as misdemeanors.

Felonies involve crimes against the person and serious property crimes, but they also involve fraud and serious drug offenses. Burglary, robbery, sexual assault, grand theft, drug trafficking, aggravated assault, manslaughter and murder are examples of felonies. Many crimes in California are “wobblers,” which means they can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. Driving under the influence is one example of a wobbler.

What Comes After the Arrest?

After the arrest, you could be released on your own recognizance (this is like no cost bail), you could be released on bail or bond, or if you couldn’t afford to post bail, you could stay in jail awaiting the conclusion of your case. Regardless if you’re out on bond or sitting in jail, your case could go in three different directions: 1) your case could get dismissed, 2) your case could go to trial, or 3) your case can be resolved through a plea bargain.

Which direction will your case go? Ideally, your defense attorney will prove that the prosecutor has insufficient evidence and your case will be dismissed. If there’s too much hard evidence against you, a plea bargain may be in your best interests. Lastly, if you’re innocent, or if there are holes in the state’s case, a trial may be the way to go. It all comes down to the unique circumstances in your case and the available evidence.

In over 90 percent of cases, a conclusion is reached through a plea bargain, which is a negotiated deal between the defendant, the prosecutor, and the defense attorney. When a prosecutor recommends a sentence, they try to come up with something a jury would give in a similar instance. When the defendant accepts the deal, they give up their right to a jury trial and to an appeal.

Facing criminal charges in Orange County? Contact our office to learn which defense strategies we would employ in your case!

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