|Law Offices of Thomas J. Ogas
EXTRAORDINARY CRIMINAL DEFENSE
1300 Clay St., Suite 600
Oakland, CA 94612
Tele (510) 645-1LAW
Fax: (510) 464-8001
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Top Pick “Thomas Ogas” offers
his legal insight when facing a
CRIMINAL LAW OFFENSE
|What Happens in Felony Cases?|
First, you are “Arraigned” on the “Complaint” that is filed against you, just like with misdemeanors. You must personally appear in court and the judge will tell you what your charges are and ask you if you want to admit (plead guilty) or deny them (plead not-guilty). In most cases, you will plead "not-guilty", as Felony cases involve possibly being sent to State Prison. You absolutely must to talk to an attorney if you are charged with any Felony. Free Consultation
After you plea of not-guilty, you or your attorney will be given the complaint and all attached documents to review. A court date will be scheduled. Your attorney will review the evidence and meet with you to discuss the case. Sometimes this can be done by telephone.
At the next court date, your attorney will talk to the Deputy District Attorney and possibly the judge to try to negotiate or settle your case, even if you're not sure you want to. This is done because of the serious nature of Felonies, and to give you options. If a deal cannot be reached, or you reject it, then the case will be scheduled for a "Preliminary Hearing".
A Preliminary Hearing means that the Deputy District Attorney must show the judge that they have enough to prove a minimum case against you. They will call a witness or two and show the judge some of their case, enough to prove each of the charges against you (just with a lower burden of proof.) At that hearing, your attorney can ask questions of these witnesses as well to try to show that there isn’t enough evidence, or just to flesh out the information for later use. When the hearing is over, the judge will either dismiss the charges or “Hold You To Answer” them. If you are “Held to Answer,” you must come back to court again and be officially charged with the Felony crimes the judge found to be proven at the hearing. At that point, your case will be set for trial.
You have an absolute right to a Jury Trial in all Felony cases. You can also choose not to have a jury hear your case, but you should talk to your attorney first about what that means, and why it is usually harder to win before a judge than a jury.
The above is posted solely as general information, and is not meant to serve as legal advice of any kind. By reading this page, you are not engaging in any sort of attorney-client relationship with The Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas, nor should you rely upon the information posted on this page to make any sort of decision other than who to hire as your attorney. Free Consultation
Please, if you are in any criminal trouble, consult with a lawyer immediately.
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