FAQ: Answers To Common California Criminal Defense Questions

Being arrested for any type of crime is a frightening experience. Many people, especially those who have never encountered the law before, do not understand their rights; they often have many questions and few answers. At the Law Office of Thomas A. Johnson, we provide aggressive defense representation to clients across Northern California. The following is a short list of the most common questions we receive along with brief answers.

There is no substitute for advice directly from a criminal defense attorney, and the information on this page does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions about a criminal case involving yourself or a loved one, we strongly encourage you to contact our Sacramento office to discuss them in person.

Q: Can I be arrested without a warrant?

A: Yes. There are certain circumstances where you can be arrested without a warrant. If a police officer witnesses you committing a crime, for example, you can be arrested immediately.

Q: Can my home or car be searched without a warrant?

A: In some cases, yes. If the police have probable cause to believe that you have committed a crime or are in the process of committing one, the law allows them to conduct an appropriate search. Prosecutors have won numerous cases on evidence gathered in illegal searches, however, and a good defense lawyer can get illegally obtained evidence suppressed.

Q: I'm innocent. Why do I need an attorney?

A: Government prosecutors have nearly unlimited resources at their disposal to build cases against people they suspect of a crime. If they can gather sufficient evidence to convince a judge that you are guilty, only a qualified defense lawyer can effectively present evidence that proves your innocence.

Q: I'm guilty. Why should I hire a lawyer if I'll get convicted anyway?

A: You won't necessarily be convicted. For example, if your rights were violated during the investigation, it may be possible to have any related evidence thrown out. If the prosecution doesn't have sufficient evidence, it can be difficult for the government to proceed with your case. Before you talk to the police about anything, always talk to an attorney first.

Q: What is California's three strikes law?

A: The three strikes law is a habitual offender law that went into effect in 1994. There are specific felony crimes that count as strikes. If a person is convicted of three such felonies, he or she would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Q: What is the impact of the implementation of the "drugs minus two" amendment?

A: Under the provisions of Amendment 782, the sentencing guidelines for all controlled substance convictions have been reduced by two levels. The law is retroactive, and it is estimated that approximately 46,000 people will be eligible to have their sentences reduced.

Call The Law Office Of Thomas A. Johnson To Discuss Your Criminal Defense Questions

If you still have questions about your case or need legal advice, please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney. You can reach us in the Sacramento area at 916-248-8598 or toll free at 866-974-4316, or you can contact us via email.

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