It can be terrifying to be accused of a serious crime. Felonies are often punished harshly, and you may have an understandable fear of imprisonment or needing to register as a sex offender. An experienced criminal attorney can look at all of the facts surrounding your situation and develop a strategy for building a thorough defense under the circumstances. At the Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings, we handle cases involving drug crimes, sex crimes, domestic violence, violent crimes, white collar crimes, and felony DUI. Many of the cases that we take seem complicated or daunting to our clients at the outset, but we take the time to listen to their side of the story and make sure that it is told.Drug Crimes
Drug crimes are punished harshly, especially if significant amounts of drugs are involved. Often, if you possess more of a controlled substance than an ordinary person would personally ingest, it may be assumed that you were possessing narcotics for sale. The packaging of the controlled substance can be used to establish possession for sale; for example, baggies and balloon packaging are often associated with drug trafficking. Even if you are caught with a lot of packaging material, but the drugs were not yet packaged, you could be charged with possessing for sale.
The prosecutor always bears the burden of showing your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard. In some cases, a criminal defense attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino County can defeat a charge by simply raising a reasonable doubt. In other cases, it is possible to challenge the way that the police obtained the evidence. When the police recover drugs through an illegal search and seizure, we can seek to get evidence of the drugs suppressed, which may demolish the prosecution's case. There are also affirmative defenses that may be available, such as entrapment.Sex Crimes
As with other crimes, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt when you are charged with a sex crime. What must be proven depends on the particular sex crime at issue. Certain crimes require a judge to impose mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. These crimes include sexual battery, rape, aiding and abetting a rape, pimping or pandering a minor, child procurement, aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, contributing to the delinquency of a minor with lewd or lascivious conduct, lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, showing minors obscene materials, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes, continuous sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography, child molestation, and more.
Although there is a significant stigma attached to having a sex crime on one's record, there are potential defenses available. In some cases, a San Bernardino or Riverside criminal defense attorney will investigate and find that the prosecution's evidence is weak on one or more elements. In other cases, there may be a defense such as consent, when the victim is old enough and mentally capable of providing valid consent. In further cases, there may be a violation of constitutional rights before or during an arrest that can result in a successful motion to suppress evidence.Domestic Violence
In California, domestic violence occurs when someone perpetrates certain criminal acts on a victim with whom they have a familial or intimate relationship: a spouse, an ex-spouse, a cohabitant, a former cohabitant in a home, a parent with whom a child is shared, or a partner in a dating relationship. If a prosecutor charges you with a domestic violence crime, they can choose which criminal charges to pursue based on how severe the actions were and how serious the harm to the victim was. If the perpetrator used willful and unlawful force or violence against someone else in one of these relationships, the prosecutor may charge domestic violence battery under Penal Code section 243(e)(1). This law does not require a visible injury.
There are often defenses available, such as self-defense or defense of others, based on the specific crime being alleged. In some cases, a prosecutor does not have enough evidence to establish a case beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, perhaps there is insufficient evidence that the use of force in a section 243(e)(1) case was willful. A criminal defense lawyer in Riverside or San Bernardino County can help you determine how to attack the prosecution’s case.Violent Crimes
Under section 667.5(c), violent felonies include crimes such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, mayhem, rape, kidnapping, robbery, arson, carjacking, assault intending to perpetrate a particular felony, burglary of the first degree, and attempted murder. By law, these particular crimes are sentenced harshly. The enhancement for a violent felony depends on which felony is being charged. With the violent felonies listed above and some others, the court will add on and impose consecutively a three-year term for each prior separate prison term served by the defendant. There are certain nuances to this law, and there may be procedural or substantive defenses available, so it is very important to consult a San Bernardino or Riverside criminal defense lawyer about your particular situation.White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes are usually illegal, nonviolent acts that involve a violation of trust, concealment, or deceit. These crimes are usually perpetrated for financial gain. As with violent crimes, however, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the charge. When proving embezzlement, for instance, the prosecution will need to show that the defendant was entrusted with someone else's property and either took or misused the property.
There may be defenses available depending on the crime being charged and the factual circumstances. For example, there may be a violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to avoid self-incrimination or the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. In other cases, the prosecution may not be able to show a crucial element beyond a reasonable doubt.Felony DUI
There are three situations in which you can be charged with a felony DUI in California. First, if you have three or more prior DUI or wet reckless convictions during a 10-year lookback period, you can be charged with felony DUI. If you have at least one prior felony DUI conviction, you can be charged with felony DUI even if there are no aggravating factors, and you would be charged with misdemeanor DUI if it were a first offense. If your drunk or drugged driving caused somebody else’s injuries or death, you can be charged with felony DUI.
Felony DUI charges are extremely serious and can result in a minimum sentence of 16 months in prison, among other penalties. The sentence is likely to be more than the minimum if you caused an injury to someone else. However, there may be defenses available, including constitutional or procedural defenses, so it is important to consult an experienced attorney.Discuss Your Case with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Riverside or San Bernardino County
If you are charged with a crime in Riverside or San Bernardino County, you should call experienced criminal lawyer Gregory H. Comings. He represents defendants in areas such as Riverside, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Temecula, Moreno Valley, Indio, Fontana, Highland, Redlands, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, San Bernardino, and Victorville. Call us at (951) 686-3457 or use our online form to set up an appointment to discuss your needs.
Charged with three counts of PC 666.5 Vehicle Theft with priors and one count of VC 10801 Chop Shop, District Attorney wanted prison because of client's record. Filed two motions after preliminary hearing based upon the investigating officer's testimony on what he based his declaration for a warrant on. Won the motion and case was dismissed.
Charged with five counts of PC 273(a)(a) Willful Child Cruelty, District Attorney wanted a lot of time for client in jail, after several court appearances and meeting with the D.A. the case was dismissed.
Charged with 664/187(a) Attempted Murder, with gang enhancement as well as intentional discharge of firearm. Facing life in prison. Worked out a deal for felony probation and credit for time served, plead to just PC 186.22(a).