Bird & Bird’s criminal defense practice includes many different categories of crimes and public offenses within the field of criminal law. The following is just a sample of our practice areas:
- Criminal Appeals
- Driving Offenses
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- White Collar Crimes
- Crimes Against Property
- Crimes Against Persons
- Other Areas
After you have been convicted of a crime, you may have the right to appeal the conviction. If you are found guilty after a court or jury trial, you have a short amount of time – 30 days for a misdemeanor and 60 days for a felony – to file a notice of appeal…
Additionally, in some instances, even if you plead guilty, you may be able to appeal certain issues of your case. If you fail to file a timely notice of appeal, you may lose your right to appeal.
Your trial attorney should prepare and file the notice of appeal but make sure you receive a copy with a court filing date.
Driving an automobile is a privilege and not a right. However most of us depend on being able to drive to work and other engagements. In Southern California, being able to drive is almost a necessity.
However if you have been charged with a driving offense, it could impact you ability to not only drive but enjoy your freedom.
Driving offenses not only result in a criminal case but may also lead to administrative proceedings taken by the DMV against your license.
If you have been charged with a driving offense it can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and possibly your driving privileges. In the event that you are required to attend a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), it is prudent to have an attorney present to make sure that you are treated fairly.
Administrative Per Se Hearing
When you are arrested for DUI with an allegation that your blood alcohol content is over a .08, you will be given a “temporary license.�? This form allows you to continue to drive for 30 days after your arrest and informs you of DMV actions which will result from . . .
A misdemeanor, generally, is any crime that is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1000, unless the crime has been designated as an infraction. If you are arrested for a felony, it is still possible that when you go to court the charges may be filed as misdemeanors.
The filing decision is made by the prosecutor that reviews the report of your arrest. Misdemeanors are much more serious than traffic tickets or infractions. A conviction of a misdemeanor will remain on your permanent record. Misdemeanors involving driving will also impact your DMV record, sometime resulting in an action to suspend your driving privilege.
A felony, generally, is any crime that is punishable by more than one year in county jail or in state prison and a fine. Some offenses can be filed either as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case.
If you are charged with a felony, your first court appearance will be the arraignment. At the arraignment you will enter a plea of “Guilty�? or “Not Guilty�? to the charges. If you plead not guilty, the case will be set for a preliminary hearing.
You have a right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of your arraignment but that time is often extended for further preparation by the attorney.
White collar crimes are felonies or misdemeanors that are usually committed by a person in the course of his business or political dealings.
“White collar�? is not specifically a legal designation. These type of cases are filed as felonies or misdemeanors. (See the pages on this website regarding felonies and misdemeanors for more information.)
However, “white collar�? is more of a descriptive term of the type of case, which usually involved an unlawful, fraudulent taking of money from a business or person.
White collar crimes have become easier to commit and harder to track due to computers and the internet. In many cases the person committing the crime is never seen.
Crimes against property can be filed as either felonies or misdemeanors. The seriousness of the offense will generally depend on the amount of damage or the danger to the public.
Some Examples of Crimes Against Property Are:
Theft – Theft is the taking of property owned by someone else without the owner’s consent while intending to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner’s possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property. The property can be moved even a small distance and kept for . . . .
Crimes against persons can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the allegations. If you are charged with a crime against a person it is important that you seek legal counsel immediately. Many events may occur prior to your arrest which may increase the severity of the charges against you. You may receive calls from the victim during which the victim attempts to have you admit to or apologize for the crime.
Often these calls are being arranged for and taped by the police investigator. Some of these crimes are against family members. It is important that you seek counsel immediately because you should not continue to discuss the potential charges with the victim or victim’s family. Some of these conversations could . . .
Where We Practice
Bird & Bird considers the “South Bay�? our home. The following cities / communities make up the area known as the “South Bay�? in Southern California that are currently serviced by the Southwest District, or Torrance, Court: Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Rolling Hills, Lomita, Los Angeles, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Lawndale, and Gardena.
Once considered part of the Southwest District, El Segundo and Hawthorne are now serviced by the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) Court, where we also call home. At the LAX court, we also represent clients in matters from Santa Monica, Culver City, Westchester, and the communities served by LAPD – Pacific Division.
The practice of Bird & Bird is not limited to our own backyard. Bird & Bird, A Law Corporation represents clients in criminal matters in virtually all of the courts of Los Angeles County and the County of Orange.