If you are facing a criminal investigation or a criminal charge, an experienced attorney can help you protect your rights and make smart decisions when it comes to interacting with law enforcement. In many cases, suspects and defendants find themselves involved in a criminal matter through no fault of their own. Although you may be eager to talk with the police to clear your name, it is important that you fully understand your rights and the risks involved in your situation before you proceed. At Hinely Law, our Colusa and Lake County criminal defense lawyers have assisted many California residents with protecting their freedom, and we are here to do the same for you. Whether you need a DUI attorney or assistance in facing a drug charge, we can develop a strategy tailored to your case.Protecting Your Rights Under California Law
The preliminary stages of a criminal proceeding are often confusing and turbulent. They also have significant implications for how the matter progresses. The sooner that you involve an experienced criminal attorney, the sooner that you can ensure that you are taking every step possible to protect your rights. One of the key things that you can do in this area is understand and make full use of the procedures and protections that apply to searches and seizures. According to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, individuals have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police conduct a search or seizure without establishing probable cause and then obtaining a warrant, any evidence resulting from the search likely can be suppressed.
That said, courts have recognized a number of exceptions to the warrant requirement that allow the police to conduct a search or seizure without obtaining a warrant. Common examples of an exception to this requirement are when the person subject to the potential search provides voluntary consent, or the police are looking for weapons that may harm them or any evidence of criminal wrongdoing within the arrestee’s custody or control. Determining whether an exception to the warrant requirement applies in a particular case is not always straightforward, and our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys, located in Lake and Colusa County, can advise on whether they may be able to have certain evidence excluded.Understanding Criminal Charges in California
There are a wide variety of charges that Northern California residents may face, including everything from DUI and simple assault to drug trafficking and homicide. Understanding the seriousness of the charge, the penalties and fines that you may face, and whether you can assert any defenses is a critical step in preserving your rights. When it comes to assembling a strong defense or having the charges against you dropped, the first few days of a criminal investigation are often critical.
Violent crimes are treated especially seriously in California. The state has harsh mandatory sentencing requirements for crimes in this category, such as murder, kidnapping, robbery, and carjacking. Similarly, sex crimes carry long sentences in California and may lead to other serious implications, such as a requirement that you register on the sex offender list for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, many people are falsely accused of serious crimes in each of these areas, so you need dedicated legal counsel on your side to protect you from a zealous prosecutor.
While they do not usually lead to significant prison time, DUI charges are widespread and may result in having your driver’s license suspended or revoked. A DUI also creates a criminal record that may hinder your future educational and professional prospects. For these reasons, it is important not to take these charges lightly or any other criminal charge that is relatively minor. What seems like a small penalty now may have a huge impact on your future.Retain an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer with Offices in Lake or Colusa County
At Hinely Law, we have substantial experience handling a wide variety of criminal matters, including juvenile investigations and charges. Whether you are facing your first drunk driving charge, you are a suspect in a drug investigation, you are dealing with accusations of domestic violence, other crimes of violence, or violations of marijuana laws, we can provide you with the vigorous legal defense that you need. Serving people throughout Colusa, Lake, Sutter, and Yuba Counties, we provide a free consultation to discuss your situation and how we may be able to assist you. Contact us online or in Colusa at (530) 458-2950 or Lakeport at (707) 995-7006 for an appointment with our exceptional team of Colusa and Lake County criminal defense attorneys.