Todd Anderson

Click on the question below to read answers to frequently asked criminal law questions:

General Questions

Whenever possible, the best way to post bail is to pay the full amount in cash. If the defendant makes his/her court appearances, when the case is over the money will be returned.

If you do not have the money to pay cash for bail, you can get a bail bond from a bail bond agency. The usual cost of a bail bond is ten percent (for example in the case of a $10,000 dollar bail, one thousand dollars) which will not be returned. Sometimes you can negotiate a lower percentage, and some bail bond agencies will allow a partial down payment with installment payments of the balance.

Remember... bail bond agencies do not refund the 10% cost of the bond, even if the case is dismissed. Talk to a criminal defense attorney for more information before you pay a bail bond agency.

A skilled attorney may be able to convince the judge to release a defendant on his/her promise to appear and then a bail bond will not be required.

Alternative sentencing refers to a variety of jail alternatives available to California criminal defendants charged with non-violent crimes. Examples of California alternative sentencing options include: House Arrest, Work Release Programs, Alcohol Rehabilitation, Drug Rehabilitation, Community Service, Diversion Programs and Sentence Reduction.

Because judges are responsible for delivering alternative sentences in California, it is important to retain an experienced California defense lawyer to present a persuasive request for your alternative sentence. A skilled attorney will prepare a convincing argument to establish that you are an appropriate candidate for alternative sentencing.

DUI and Drug Crimes

It is extremely urgent that a person charged with DUI in California has their DUI defense attorney contact the DMV within 10 days of their arrest or charge. If you do not make a request for hearing within 10 days, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended or revoked 30 days from the original date of your arrest. Do not delay, call Todd Anderson Law Group to retain a California DUI lawyer who will immediately file a DMV hearing request before you lose your license and right to drive.

Under the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 (SACPA), also known as Proposition 36, non-violent drug offenders charged with a first or second offense of use, possession or transportation of illegal drugs for personal use may receive drug treatment instead of jail time. However, participation in a drug program is not guaranteed to all criminal defendants. To participate in a court-ordered drug program a defendant’s case must be properly presented to the court and permission must be granted by the presiding judge.

Misdemeanors & Felonies

A California felony is a crime that carries a prison sentence of one year or more in a California state or federal prison.

A misdemeanor crime carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1000. A misdemeanor crime does not carry a federal or state prison sentence. Misdemeanor charges may include lesser property crimes, violations of California traffic code, and violations of county and municipal statutes.

Common Misdemeanor Offenses:
Driving under the influence
Domestic violence
Disorderly conduct
Solicitation of prostitution

Common California Traffic Code Misdemeanors:
Altering a VIN number
Driving with a suspended or restricted license
Driving without a license
DUI
Evading Arrest
Failure to appear
Failure to attend traffic school
Fake license
Giving false information
Hit and run
Littering
Refusing to show license to an officer
Tampering with an odometer

Yes! Although a misdemeanor is generally thought to be a minor offense, a person found guilty of a misdemeanor in California may face serious consequences. Punishment for a misdemeanor charge may include fines, a jail sentence of up to one year, and a criminal record. Often times a criminal record may hinder your ability to become employed in the future. In some situations a judge may even decide to elevate a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge. It is imperative you have a defense attorney who will fight for you when you have been charged with a misdemeanor in California.

Please remember that the answers above apply to a broad range of situations and jurisdictions that may differ from your own. It is always best to discuss your specific criminal case directly with an experienced defense attorney.

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Please call or email Todd Anderson immediately if you have been charged with a crime in California or Arizona. He will give you immediate instructions about how best to protect your rights.

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