After arraignment, if the felony charge is not dropped and you do not plead guilty or no-contest, prior to a trial you will face a preliminary hearing. Additionally, there will be another court appearance before trial to try to end the case with 1) a guilty or no-contest plea or 2) dismissal of charges.
The preliminary hearing usually occurs within 10 court days of the arraignment. During the preliminary hearing, the district attorney must present evidence showing a reasonable suspicion that a felony was committed and that you did it. The judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence for a trial. If the charges are not dismissed after the preliminary hearing, a jury trial date will be set.
Any time you’re arrested on criminal charges, Cal-Defender can advise you of your rights. Just because you’re in police custody doesn’t mean your rights have suddenly disappeared. They’re still there, working for you. However, in the trauma of an arrest, you may not fully understand what those rights mean. That’s why you need an attorney from the very day of your arrest.
Make sure one of your phone calls to Cal-Defender. We can assist you in answering the questions the police undoubtedly have for you. You want to make sure you don’t say anything incriminating that could be used against you later. Will listen to your version of the events leading to your arrest and formulate a plan of action to make sure the law works in your favor to the fullest extent possible.
Types of Felonies
- Aggravated assault or battery
- Manslaughter (unintentional killing of another)
- Animal cruelty
- Vehicular homicide
- Tax evasion
- Various forms of fraud
- Computer Crime Fraud and Abuse (computer hacking)
- Grand larceny or grand theft
- Vandalism on federal property
- Rape/sexual assault
- Obstruction of justice
- Check fraud
- Copyright infringement
- Child pornography
- Mail and wire fraud
- Threatening an official (police officer, judge)
- Manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute of certain types or quantities of illegal drugs
- Possession (possession without intent to distribute, e.g., for personal use) of certain types of illegal drugs
Any time you’re arrested on criminal charges Cal-Defender can advise you of your rights. Just because you’re in police custody doesn’t mean your rights have suddenly disappeared. They’re still there, working for you. However, in the trauma of a Felony arrest, you may not fully understand what those rights mean. That’s why you need an attorney from the very day of your arrest.
There is still time…
Even if your arrest was some time ago, and you’re out on bail, you have a criminal trial looming in the Riverside County, Orange County, or Los Angeles County court. You’ll need an attorney to put together a comprehensive legal defense on your behalf, so that your best interests are represented before the judge. Cal-Defender is devoted to protecting the rights of the accused and providing them with superior defenses.
In California, a felony is a crime that is more serious than a misdemeanor and usually comes with heavier penalties such as imprisonment for over a year, large fines, or even the death penalty in extreme cases. Felonies often include violent crimes, drug trafficking, and financial fraud.
Bail for felony charges is usually set higher than for misdemeanors due to the severity of the crime. The accused may use a bail bond service or post the full amount as a guarantee to return for court proceedings. Failing to appear in court can result in the forfeiture of the bail amount and additional criminal charges.
California’s Three Strikes Law mandates that a person convicted of three violent and/or serious felonies must be sentenced to a state prison for life. The aim of the law is to impose harsher sentences on repeat offenders. This law has been subject to much debate and some reforms over the years.
Yes, under certain circumstances, felony charges can be reduced to misdemeanor charges through a legal process called “wobbling.” This usually happens during plea negotiations but can also occur after a probation period has been successfully completed. Legal representation is crucial in these situations.
A felony conviction can have significant long-term consequences, including the loss of voting rights, employment restrictions, and ineligibility for certain types of government assistance. The felony will also be part of your permanent criminal record, affecting future interactions with the legal system.
Note: This FAQ is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney for your specific legal needs.