Escondido Criminal Defense Attorney & DUI Lawyer
If you have previously been subjected to a criminal prosecution or you have been arrested for the first time, the experience of being locked in a cell is both sobering and disturbing. Whether you are pulled over and asked to submit to field sobriety tests and a roadside portable breath test after a night of drinking or you are arrested after a domestic dispute with your spouse, a misdemeanor or felony conviction can damage your reputation, drain your bank account and cost you your freedom.
Individuals who are arrested or who have learned that they are the subject of a criminal investigation should clearly assert that they do not want to answer questions without their Escondido criminal defense lawyer. Southern California law enforcement agencies have an abundance of investigative resources at their disposal. Similarly, district attorneys have abundant resources and law enforcement investigators all focused on obtaining criminal convictions. The sooner you retain an experienced knowledgeable Escondido criminal defense attorney like David M. Boertje the better your prospects of minimizing the impact of your criminal prosecution.Answers to Your Questions If You Have Been Arrested in Escondido
Because we understand that you will have an abundance of questions if you are taken into custody and charged with a criminal offense in Escondido, we have provided answers to a few of the common questions that we receive.
Can I use the public defender and switch to a private attorney if my case does not appear to be going well?
While this is technically a viable option, this approach is not recommended. The process of developing a successful defense strategy should begin as early as possible so switching to a private attorney midstream could foreclose certain defense strategies. People also cannot be assigned a public defender until they have been formally charged. A private attorney can discuss your case and potential defense strategies before formal charges are even filed. More importantly, a private criminal defense attorney can obtain discovery material and conduct an investigation to identify deficiencies in the prosecution’s case. Frequently, we are able to have some positive impact on the nature of the charges or to prevent formal charges from being filed.
Should I talk to the police since I didn’t do anything wrong so it does not look like I have something to hide?
This is a misconception that has landed more than a few people in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) institutions. Law enforcement interviews are designed to gather evidence that will be used to build the prosecution’s case. Even if you are confident that you have not done anything wrong, the statements you make could be damaging in a variety of ways:
- Providing information that exposes other criminal activity
- Making statements that can be construed as incriminating
- Exposing criminal culpability for actions that you did not realize constituted a crime
- Consenting to searches that result in the discovery of evidence of a criminal offense
- Inadvertently guiding law enforcement officers to damaging evidence
The bottom line is that asserting your right to having an attorney present and to remain silent until you have your attorney in the room is simply a sign that you understand your rights.
What kinds of defenses might an Escondido criminal defense lawyer use in my criminal case?
The precise defenses employed in a criminal case will depend on the specific charges, physical evidence, conduct of police officers, witness statements, prosecutor, judge and other factors. Escondido criminal defense lawyer David M. Boertje provides a zealous defense that may include all applicable substantive and procedural defense strategies, including though not limited to the following:
- Filing motions to exclude evidence obtained illegally
- Exposing bias, distortions or lies by witnesses
- Challenging searches based on invalid warrants or that exceed the scope of warrants
- Attacking asserted exceptions to the warrant requirement
- Challenging blood, breath or urine testing results of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in DUI cases
- Revealing breaks in the chain of custody of physical evidence
- Demonstrating police misconduct and/or a rush to judgment
- Seeking exclusion of testing because of lab errors
- Establishing that the prosecutor has failed to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt
These are merely a few of the multitude of criminal defenses that Mr. Boertje might utilize when fighting for your freedom. At our Escondido criminal defense law firm, we carefully investigate forensic evidence, interview witnesses, utilize private detectives, scrutinize police procedure, employ scientific and forensic testing and utilize state-of-the-art technology to build the most effective defense for our clients.
How do misdemeanor and felony charges differ?
A common misconception is that misdemeanors are not serious, so representation by an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Escondido is unnecessary. While felonies are more serious in nature, a misdemeanor conviction can carry significant consequences including:
- Maximum of six months or one year in county jail (one year for more serious misdemeanors)
- Substantial fines, restitution, court fees, penalty assessments and other expenses
- Successful completion of anger management classes, substance abuse treatment and other counseling or classes
- Criminal record that can be accessed by landlords and future employers
- Potential job loss or barrier to entering certain occupations
- Loss of driving privileges and/or required installation of ignition interlock device (IID) (DUI/DWI)
- Community service (i.e. Cal Trans)
These types of penalties can cause seriously impact your career, personal relationships, living arrangements and reputation in the community. The goal of avoiding these types of harsh punishments justifies putting a high priority on obtaining prompt legal advice from a knowledgeable Escondido criminal attorney.
Convictions on penalty charges can result in the consequences above along with far more severe forms of punishment and long-term consequences that might include:
- Lengthy incarceration in state prison
- Death penalty (capital cases)
- Much higher fines and financial costs
- Loss of constitutional voting, jury and firearm ownership rights
- Potential lifetime registration as a sex offender
- Deportation, permanent bar to re-entry and other immigration consequences
- Restrictions on where you can live and travel
If you or a loved one has been arrested, we invite you to contact us to discuss your case. We know that those who have been arrested for a crime may have more specific questions about their case. If you call, email or visit us, we can evaluate your case, explain your rights and outline potential defense strategies. Escondido criminal defense lawyer David M. Boertje can meet with you during normal business hours and weekend or evening appointments are available. Our office is available 24 hours/7 days per week. Call us today at (760) 476-0901 or (619) 229-1870 to arrange a free no obligation confidential consultation. You also can also submit an inquiry by completing the form on our Contact Us page or emailing us.