An increase in violent offenses has led to the harsher penalties for those convicted. In addition, a conviction has significant consequences because most violent offenses fall under California’s Three Strikes Law. If you or a loved one have been charged with a violent offense, you should retain a criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of successfully defending clients. Our skilled Orange County violent crime lawyers at the Law Office of Scott D. Henry have handled hundreds of cases ranging from terrorist threats to first-degree murder. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of violent crime law and procedure and could seek to ensure that you receive a solid and effective defense.
A violent crime is one where the victim was intentionally threatened or harmed with violence. Some examples include:
These crimes are taken very seriously by local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges. Convictions for violent crimes carry harsh penalties, so it is imperative to find an attorney in Orange County who could ensure your rights are being protected throughout the entire process.
The law allows for the harshest possible penalties when it involves violent crimes. The penalties vary greatly and depend on the circumstances of each case. Common penalties for a conviction include:
Probation – Those convicted can receive probation in addition to, or instead of, fines or jail time. Probation usually lasts for a year or more. While on probation, the individual must regularly report to a probation officer, avoid getting in trouble with the law, and pay any fines.
Fines – Fines are substantial when convicted of a violent crime. They vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
Restitution – Those convicted can be required to pay restitution in addition to fines. Restitution is compensation to a victim for medical expenses or other costs relating to the crime. Prosecution and court costs may also be included.
Prison – Those convicted are often punished with incarceration. Depending on the circumstances, a conviction can result in a sentence of years, decades, or even life.
Death – Capital punishment is the most severe punishment for murder cases. Numerous states do not allow capital punishment, but California does allow for the death penalty. However, in March of 2019, Governor Newsom put a moratorium on all executions.
A skilled attorney in Orange County could work hard to minimize any potential penalties that an alleged offender may be facing for a violent crime.
Defenses to violent crimes vary based on the specifics of each case. Therefore, it is best to speak with a lawyer in the area who could help determine which defense strategy is most effect for a particular violent crimes case.
Self-defense or the defense of others – This refers to the defendant acting to defend themselves or others from bodily harm by another individual. For self-defense to be an effective defense, the defendant’s use of force must be appropriate for the level of threat posed by the other person.
Mistake of fact – An example of a mistake of fact is if the defendant was misidentified, or if no violence actually took place.
Intoxication – Although intoxication is a solid defense, it typically will not completely absolve the defendant. Though both voluntary and involuntary intoxication could reduce the penalties for specific intent crimes.
If law enforcement provides the prosecution with evidence showing you intentionally invoked or threatened harm on another individual, you could be charged with committing a violent crime. Authorities severely punish violent crimes. Under no circumstances should you speak with authorities without an experienced lawyer by your side to assist you. Remember that anything you say to law enforcement can and will be used against you.
It is crucial to have an attorney in Orange County who thoroughly investigates the facts and circumstances of the alleged violent crime. Police often rush their investigation to solve the crime. This could cause innocent individuals to be overcharged or wrongfully convicted for a crime they did not commit. Our team could search for the truth, including any possible mistakes made by the police.
Law enforcement may sometimes take statements from mistaken or untruthful individuals. We could help prove misidentification or false charges. Other times, the police may gather witness statements where the evidence is invalid or not strong enough to warrant such severe charges.
Our firm could search to determine if any illegal tactics were used to gain evidence. For example, if law enforcement denied you your right to remain silent, we could seek to suppress this evidence, so it would not be admissible. Police must also stop questioning you when you have requested a lawyer. An unreasonable search could also be fought in court, and any material collected may be deemed inadmissible. Additionally, gaps and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s evidence could be searched for during our investigation.
If you are being investigated for or have been charged with serious offense, contact one of our Orange County violent crime lawyers immediately for a free consultation. Time is of the essence, and all evidence for your defense must be obtained as soon as possible.
Scott D. Henry and his team have decades of experience, including the extreme defense of individuals facing Death Row. We understand the nature of these criminal charges and could help you fight for your rights and freedom.