Criminal Defense Overview
Being charged with a crime will be one of the most challenging moments that you may ever face in your life. The district attorney has the power to file charges against you that may lead to prison, ripping you away from your family. Your job and your ability to live your life will suddenly be placed on hold. A person’s ability to be free and not be in jail or prison will be their most important concern if they have been charged with a crime. The prosecution’s number one goal is to protect victims. Prosecutors are rarely concerned about doing what is best for the defendant. You will need a skilled trial attorney that can effectively tell your story which may lead to an acquittal at trial or a better settlement offer. Hepburn, Hernandez and Jung Trial Attorneys have the skill and expertise to effectively litigate against every type of criminal charge. Their careers have been dedicated to fighting against the prosecution for each and every client.
Attorneys With Compassion
Once you have been charged with a crime, the allegations themselves can place a stigma on you. People in the community may feel that there is some truth to the allegations by the mere fact that the charges exist. The attorneys at Hepburn, Hernandez and Jung Trial Attorneys always put the client first and are never dissuaded by the charge. We stand behind our clients no matter what and use our skills and experience to put the best narrative forward against the government. Each client will have a team of skilled trial attorneys fighting for them at each stage of the criminal process.
Attorneys That Negotiate Great Results
Around ninety-five percent of criminal cases settle before trial. This means that around ninety-five percent of the criminal cases result in some sort of guilty plea or dismissal. Only around five percent of criminal cases end up going to trial. Once a criminal case is filed, the prosecutor will try to get the defendant to take a plea deal. It will be up to the client’s defense attorney to effectively advocate for his/her client so that the prosecutor gives a good plea deal. The defense attorney has to show the prosecutor and the judge why the defendant deserves a good plea deal or why the case should be dismissed. HHJ Trial Attorneys has settled thousands of criminal cases before trial. HHJ has the expertise in knowing what a case is worth and if the client should take a plea deal or if the case is worth taking to trial. HHJ has years of experience effectively creating plea deals that the client and the district attorney feel comfortable accepting. However, sometimes settlement is not an option because the client is innocent or the offer is not worth accepting. In that situation, the attorneys at HHJ Trial Attorneys know exactly how to litigate the case in a jury trial.
Highly Skilled Trial Attorneys
If you have been charged with a crime it is incredibly important to have an experienced trial attorney fighting in your corner. There is a big difference between someone who is an attorney that practices criminal defense and a person that is a trial attorney. An attorney can go through his or her entire career without doing a single jury trial. Most attorneys will push cases to settle quickly because they do not want to deal with the stress of a jury trial. Prosecutors know which criminal defense attorneys frequently take cases to trial and how successful they are. Prosecutors have a strong incentive to provide better plea deals to highly skilled trial attorneys because prosecutors know that they will get outmaneuvered and out-lawyered in trial which will result in public shame and humiliation. The lawyers at HHJ Trial Attorneys have a reputation in the field as being expert trial attorneys that litigate at the highest level. HHJ has won countless jury trials where the prosecutor thought they had a slam dunk winner.
Here is a list of the general criminal process for a defendant charged with a crime. The process may change depending on defense strategy.
Defendant gets arrested
Defendant gets charged with a crime(s)
Arraignment – This is the first court appearance for the defendant where the complaint, charges, constitutional rights and maximum penalties are read to the client.
Readiness Conference – This will be the second time a defendant comes to court to negotiate the case with the prosecutor.
Preliminary Hearing – This is a separate court hearing for defendants charged with a felony offense. The prosecutor will present witnesses at this court hearing and the defense attorney will have a chance to question the prosecutor’s witnesses. If a person is charged with only misdemeanor offenses, he or she will not have a preliminary hearing. The judge will determine if the probable cause standard is met to go forward with the charges.
Second Readiness Conference – This is another status conference where the defense attorney can negotiate the case with the prosecutor.
Jury Trial – If the parties have not been able to settle the case, the case will move forward to trial. The length of the trial depends on the type and complexity of the case. Parties can reach a settlement agreement at any point before a jury verdict.