Frequently Asked Questions

Is the police officer obligated to read my rights when I am arrested?

NO. The Peace Officer is not legally obligated to “read your rights” at the time of your arrest. The “Miranda rights”, also known as “Miranda warning”, is a right to silence and only required if police officer plans on using your admissible statements against you in the criminal court proceedings. Furthermore, the warning is only required if you are in police custody and have been arrested for an alleged crime. If the arresting officer or agency want’s to ask you questions that might provide incriminating answers, he or she will probably read you the Miranda rights. Always consult with a criminal defense lawyer before speaking with law enforcement.

I didn’t commit a crime..I’m innocent! Do I still need a criminal defense lawyer?

YES. As the defendant of an alleged crime, you are subject to the same fines and penalties as everyone else if conviction. Most lay (common) people don’t understand their rights, thus a criminal defense attorney can aggressively make sure that your rights are protected and the criminal case pending against you is resolved in your favor.

What is a plea bargain?

A plea bargain occurs when the prosecution (DA or City Attorney) and your criminal defense lawyer try to negotiate a resolution on your criminal case. For example, the DA may offer the defendant a lesser charge if he agrees to plead guilty. Depending on the circumstances, a plea bargain may be best legal option. However, careful consideration should be given and all other options must be exhausted prior to entering into a plea bargain.

I am pleading guilty, is a criminal lawyer necessary?

YES. Knowing your rights and options are crucial, even though you plan on taking a guilty plea. A criminal lawyer can help you minimize the possibility of jail time and other life changing factors related to your criminal case. Why “throw in the towel” only to regret your decision in the long term.

What is a felony?

In the State of California, felonies include but are not limited to: murder, rape, domestic violence, burglary, arson, and robbery. Some misdemeanors can be elevated to felonies in California. Crimes of this level are also known as “wobblers”. They are treated as lesser felonies that allow for fines or jail time as an alternative to a state prison term.

What is a Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor in California is a crime for which the maximum sentence is no more than 1 year in the county jail. Misdemeanors are more serious than infractions, but less serious than a California felony.

What does DUI mean?

DUI is the acronym for “driving under the influence.” Thus, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DWI is also an acronym for “driving while impaired” or “driving while intoxicated.”

What are Miranda Rights?

The Miranda warning, also known as the Miranda rights are a set of constitutional disclosures to the arrestee by the police officer, in the event statements are made by the detainee during interrogation or arrest that may be used against them in a court of law. These four points must be clearly communicated to the arrestee by the detaining officer:

  1. You have the right to remain silent (5th Amendment)
  2. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to have an attorney present.
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
I need a criminal defense attorney but I don’t have the money, how good are the court appointed attorneys?

Most court appointed attorneys, AKA Public Defenders, are usually fine lawyers. Some of the best attorneys I know are court appointed attorneys, and some of the worst attorneys I know are court appointed attorneys. Being a Public Defender is not an indication of someone’s quality and capabilities as an attorney. Most Public Defenders have a SIGNIFICANTLY higher case load than private attorneys and therefore PD’s will not have the time to dedicate to your case as required.

A privately retained criminal lawyer should provide a detailed analysis of the criminal case against you and spend the quality time required in resolving the case with a favorable outcome. In addition, the private attorney is the gatekeeper to important individuals that your case may require, such as investigators and professional witnesses.  Furthermore, the criminal lawyer business relations with the criminal court’s system will have a great impact on the defendant’s case. Contact the Law Office of Steven K. Bloom for their payment plan option!

What should I do if I am being investigated for a crime?

If a detective or other law enforcement makes contact with you regarding a criminal investigation, you should exercise your 5th Amendment Right and decline any questioning or interrogation. The encounter may appear friendly and professional, however don’t let this fool you, any statements made by you can be used against you in a criminal court’s proceeding. Some policing agencies may use intimidation tactics or “everything will be ok.” Don’t fall it, I can’t begin to explain how important and pivotal this stage of a criminal case is. Remain silent and contact the Law Office of Steven K. Bloom for a FREE consultation.

What should I do if I’m pulled over or arrested by law enforcement?

The most important thing you can do if pulled over or detained by a police officer is to remain silent. Be courteous and furnish the police with your valid ID, however you have the right to stay quiet and speak to an attorney. As a criminal defense lawyer, I don’t recommend you say anything to the arresting officer(s) without first consulting with an attorney.

Why do I have to contact the DMV within 10 days of my DUI?

As a defendant of an alleged DUI, you must contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of your arrest.

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