Do you need a defense attorney?

Life can be unpredictable. If you find yourself facing possibility of criminal charges, you could benefit from talking to a defense attorney. Even if the charges are minor you need professional guidance. It’s always best to fully understand the charges against you and what might happen if you are convicted.

Know what a criminal defense attorney specializes in

Criminal defense attorneys are tasked with representing defendants charged with a crime. These attorneys spend most of their time dealing with criminal prosecutors this gives them valuable insight. Defense attorneys can easily spot pretrial issues, prepare and file motions, or in the best situations get your case dismissed. Chances are the attorney you are speaking with has handled cases almost identical to yours.

Choose a criminal defense attorney that specializes in your charges

Criminal defense attorneys can handle many types of cases. These cases might include simple routine traffic charges or more serious cases like robbery. Choose an attorney that knows and understands what you’re dealing with. Ask the attorney if they have handled similar cases. It might also be helpful to ask how many times and what the outcome was. The bottom line is you want an attorney to spend time on your case that fully understands the charges and processes you are facing.

Understand the difference between a defense attorney and a public defender

The Court usually assigns public defenders to defendants who are unable to retain private counsel. Public defenders generally have little time or resources to work with. They often find themselves with an enormous caseload and little time to spend preparing for court proceedings. The American Bar Association recommends that attorneys should not handle more than 100 cases at a time. Public defenders have reported being flooded with more than 200 cases in the recent past. This sheer volume of cases could place their clients constitutional rights at risk. For these reasons we recommend private counsel whenever possible.

What qualities are you looking for?

Choosing the right defense attorney is a very critical decision. You know what is important to you. Take your time and speak to several attorneys if you can. Qualities to consider are communication skills, trial experience & negotiating skills.  Ask for references if possible.

Do your research

Taking time to gather information about your attorney choices is always the best approach. Interview the attorney face to face. Use the Internet to check the attorney’s background and credentials. Check and see what legal organizations the attorney belongs to. Find out what college and law school they attended. How long have they been in practice?

Here are some links to aid you in your research:

The State Bar Of California
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/

Orange County Bar Association
http://www.ocbar.org/

Los Angeles County Bar Association
http://www.lacba.org/

National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
http://www.nacdl.org/

Martindale-Hubbell Rating system
http://www.martindale.com/

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My loved one has been arrested, what should I do?

When someone is arrested on a bailable offense and bail is set, the defendant can forfeit his/her right to see a judge within 72 hours of arrest (weekends and holidays excluded) and bail out.

This is done most commonly using one of two methods:

  • The defendant or someone other than the defendant will post cash bail at the jail.
  • This dollar amount is 100% of the set bail for the defendant’s offense.
  • If the set bail is $5000, then $5000 cash will need to be posted.
  • When the defendant has fulfilled all of his/her obligations by appearing in court on all matters until the case is resolved the cash posted for his/her release will then be returned to the party who posted it.
  • If neither the defendant nor any family members or friends have access to the entire bail amount. They can call a Licensed Bail Agent and arrange to post a Bail Bond.

To post a Bail Bond, typically you would need two things, PREMIUM & COLLATERAL.

Premium is 10% of the set bail, (Bail equals $5000, premium would be $500), and is considered earned once the defendant is released on said bond and at that time is nonrefundable.
Collateral is something for the Bail Agent to hold until the defendant has finished all required appearances with the court, at which time it would be returned.
Collateral is usually one of four things, CASH, CARS, REAL ESTATE, and in some cases SIGNATURES of someone who qualifies to be financially responsible to secure the bond.

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Santa Ana Bail Bond Store Announces Attorney Priority Bail Services

santa-ana-bail-bonds-are-here-for-you

Santa Ana, Ca 11/20/2013 –Santa Ana Bail Bond Store, a trusted bail bond agency serving all of California, announces attorney priority bail services. California criminal attorneys are taking advantage of the benefits being offered by Santa Ana Bail Bond Store. Attorneys referring their clients to the bail bond agency have access to the best rates. Clients with private counsel can save money with 20% discounts. These affordable rates allow individuals to hire a professional defense attorney. As an attorney, priority bail services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Santa Ana Bail Bond Store understands the stresses that are placed on people being charged with a crime. Interest free payment plans are one way that we can help ease the burden. Let our professional bail agents work out a monthly payment plan that fits your situation. In most cases the first payment will not be due until 30 days after release.

Attorney priority services also offers out-of custody warrant services. Clients that have active outstanding warrants can arrange to post bond without being booked in. The emotional and embarrassing process of being booked into jail can be skipped. Most people would agree, appearing in court in a suit is better than an orange prisoners jumpsuit. One of our experienced bail agents can guide you through the process with confidence.

With over 20 years of experience, the expert bail bonds agents at Santa Ana Bail Bond Store are here to serve you 24/7. You get the lowest rates possible in Orange & Los Angeles Counties. We offer payment plans to fit any budget. Call us now to start getting your loved one bailed out.

Excellent customer service is something that we truly believe in. Santa Ana Bail Bond Store is a family owned and operated Bail Company. We take pride in being active members of the Communities that we service. You have a friend on your side when you choose us.

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Is Another Gang Injunction in the Works for Santa Ana?

By Gabriel San Roman
OC Weekly

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Last night, Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) Commander Tammy Franks and Assistant District Attorney Tracy Rinauro talked to a community gathering about the city’s sole gang injunction: the one affecting Santa Nita street gang, enacted in 2006. But residents and community groups didn’t gather to debate the merits of that injunction. Instead, they spoke out against rumors that a new one is being planned against the Townsend Street gang.
Back in late August, they claim, SAPD gang unit members said as much during a police presentation at the KidWorks center in the neighborhood.

The rumored area would be enclosed by West 1st Street, South Raitt Street, West McFadden Avenue and South Sullivan Street. The “safety zone” would also capture blocks claimed by the rival West Myrtle Street gang.

Vanessa Cerda, a neighborhood resident, took to public comments to caution against any such plans. “No one has notified me or my community if we wanted a gang injunction,” she said. “I created a petition and I gathered signatures against [it].” Cerda tells the Weekly that her partner is a former gang member that has left the life behind but still faces harassment by law enforcement. “It will only make it worse,” she says if an injunction is implemented.

Her viewpoints were echoed by grassroots organizations like Chican@s Unidos and Boys and Men of Color that stressed civil liberty concerns citing the recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit against the OVC gang injunction in Orange and promoted preventative programs for youth as a viable alternative. If police are building a case, residents and groups are building community, holding their first outdoor family movie night Friday on Townsend Street from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. with free parking at nearby Jerome Park.

Deep into the public safety meeting, city councilman Roman Reyna raised a key question regarding a possible injunction. “Have we started to collect data in [the] Townsend area to move in this particular direction?” Santa Ana Interim Police Chief Carlos Rojas offered a response. “It’s better not to speak on any specific issue,” he said citing concerns of breaching confidentiality, “but we are constantly looking at data related to all our hot spot areas.”

Later on, the KidWorks presentation was brought up once more from the audience. “I have not authorized anybody from my staff to talk about any gang injunction,” Rojas said. He then turned it over to Commander Franks who heads the gang unit.

“I actually reviewed the presentations,” she said of her officers that participated. “The [residents] were advised that [injunctions are] just one tool that can be used, not that we are intending to,” Franks said, though noting that she wasn’t present at the center.

“If there are gang injunctions to be done here in the city,” Rojas added, “I will be at that community meeting.” He apologized for any misinformation that may have been communicated and said that his phone line is open.

“The council members seemed very willing to learn and it showed that this meeting was useful,” Carolyn Torres of Chican@s Unidos said after it wrapped up. Having called Chief Rojas for clarification prior to last night, she remains unconvinced that there are no active plans for a gang injunction on Townsend.

“They’re building a case,” she adds. “The next step [for us] is to keep the fact finding mission going.”

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If You Feel Your Rights Have Been Violated

Remember: police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street. Don’t physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint.

Write down everything you remember, including officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details.
Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries (but seek medical attention first).

File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can file a complaint anonymously if you wish.

Call your local ACLU or visit www.aclu.org/profiling.

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If You Are Taken Into Immigration (Or “ICE”) Custody

You have the right to a lawyer, but the government does not have to provide one for you. If you do not have a lawyer, ask for a list of free or low-cost legal services.

You have the right to contact your consulate or have an officer inform the consulate of your arrest.

Tell the ICE agent you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
Do not sign anything, such as a voluntary departure or stipulated removal, without talking to a lawyer. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to try to stay in the U.S.

Remember your immigration number (“A” number) and give it to your family. It will help family members locate you.
Keep a copy of your immigration documents with someone you trust.

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If You Are Contacted By The FBI

If an FBI agent comes to your home or workplace, you do not have to answer any questions. Tell the agent you want to speak to a lawyer first.

If you are asked to meet with FBI agents for an interview, you have the right to say you do not want to be interviewed. If you agree to an interview, have a lawyer present.

You do not have to answer any questions you feel uncomfortable answering, and can say that you will only answer questions on a specific topic.

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If You Are Approached By Police Or Immigration Agents at Home

If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.

Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.

Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.

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If You Are Questioned About Your Immigration Status

You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)

If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.

Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.

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If You Are Stopped In Your Car

Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel.

Upon request, show police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.

If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.

Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.

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