An experienced criminal defense lawyer understands how to challenge the prosecution's evidence and investigate police actions to give their clients the best chance to avoid a criminal conviction. See our following pages about criminal charges, attempted crimes, and categories of violations:
- Attempted Crimes
- Weapons Charges
- False Imprisonment
- Hate Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- Juvenile Crimes
- Gang Enhancements
Attempted Crimes and Conspiracy
Even if you never actually committed a crime, you can be charged and prosecuted for an attempted crime in California. Conspiracy is similar to a criminal attempt and requires an agreement with one or more other people to commit a criminal act.
Penalties for an attempted crime may include jail time that is generally half the sentence as if the crime had been committed. However, an individual convicted of a crime like attempted murder could still face life in prison.
To be convicted of attempted crimes, the prosecution has to show more than just thinking about committing a crime. It requires performing some direct action in furtherance of committing the crime. A direct step has to be something more than just planning for the crime and indicates a definite and unambiguous intent to commit the crime.
For example, if an individual decided to rob a bank with a gun and walked into the bank with the weapon in a bag, that is likely enough to put a bank robbery into action. If the individual saw a police car drive by and decided to abandon the crime, he or she may still have committed attempted bank robbery, even if no one else in the bank was aware of the intended crime.
Defending against attempted crimes and conspiracy generally includes disputing the intent to commit a crime or that there was no act in furtherance of the crime. If there was no intent to commit a crime, then the defendant be found not guilty. If the defendant took no action toward committing the crime, then he or she should not be guilty of an attempted crime.
Hate crimes in California involve committing some act that is motivated by the victim's status, including:
- Sexual orientation,
- Religion, or
This could include committing a crime like assault motivated by a protected status. It can also be a separate charge if an individual interferes with someone's constitutional rights based on a protected status. If a criminal offense is prosecuted as a hate crime, the individual could face enhanced penalties, including a long prison sentence.
Sex crimes have some of the most complex penalties for any criminal offense in California. In addition to jail time, fines, and mental health evaluations, after release, certain individuals are required to register as a sex offender on an annual basis or whenever they move. Depending on the offense, an individual may be confined even after they have served their prison sentence.
Crimes that qualify an individual as a sexually violent predator (SVP) are referred to the Department of State Hospitals when the individual is approaching parole. A mental health evaluation determines whether the individual is a potential SVP. Then, a court or jury can determine that a person is an SVP and can be committed for an indeterminate period of time in a secure state hospital.
Alameda Criminal Defense Lawyer
Prosecutors often include multiple criminal charges when someone is indicted for a crime. However, just because the DA says you are charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty. Sometimes prosecutors include multiple offenses as a way to try and get you to plead guilty to some charges in exchange for dropping other charges. However, before you agree to any plea deal, talk to your experienced defense attorney about what options you have to fight all the charges against you.
With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how to approach the individual facts of each case for the greatest chance of success. If you are facing criminal charges anywhere in Contra Costa County or Alameda County, contact us today.