San Mateo County Felony Crimes Attorney Defending California Residents Against the Consequences of Felonies
In the state of California, a felony is a crime carrying a possible prison sentence of more than one year. Because felonies are the more serious class of offenses, their punishments often include probation, steep fines and up to one year in jail or state prison. These sentences are often followed by a lengthy period of parole, state registration for specific offenses and, for certain homicides, may even include lifelong incarceration or the death penalty.
California’s Felony Process
If a defendant pleads not guilty to a felony, a preliminary hearing is held. At this hearing the district attorney must present evidence that the defendant committed a felony and should be brought to trial. While this step — or its alternative, a grand jury indictment — is intended to ensure that only defendants against whom there is significant evidence will undergo a felony trial, the amount of proof introduced at this stage is generally quite small.
Keep in mind that if the judge finds that the district attorney did not present adequate evidence, the charges will be dropped and the defendant will go free.
Felony Trials in the State of California
Keep in mind that felony and misdemeanor cases very rarely go to trial. Over 90 percent of felonies and misdemeanors are disposed of by defendants’ guilty pleas. Regardless of whether the case involves a felony or misdemeanor, the trial follows the same pattern.
Jeffrey B. Hayden, Attorney at Law — Qualified Defense
Effective criminal defense is not magic – it is hard work. The best way to successfully navigate serious felony charges is to discuss your situation with an experienced defense lawyer with a history of protecting the rights and interests of his clients. Contact Mr. Hayden today for your free consultation.