Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about criminal defense?

Why do I need an attorney?
Strictly speaking, you do not need an attorney to represent you in your criminal case. However, an attorney will likely provide you with a much stronger chance of success in your case than if you were to face your charges alone. As criminal cases can often be complex, any lack of knowledge or familiarity on your part regarding legal proceedings may be a distinct disadvantage against you.
When should I hire an attorney?
It is recommended that you contact a Ventura criminal defense attorney when you are being investigated for the possible commission of a criminal offense, you have been arrested for committing a crime or you have been formally charged with committing a crime.
What if I am guilty of the crime I have been charged with? Can I still plead not guilty?
It should not be considered morally wrong for you to plead not guilty if you are indeed guilty of committing a crime. Looking at it from a legal perspective, a plea of not guilty is simply a way for you to formally question the strength of the prosecution's case against you. It is their duty to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and if they cannot succeed in doing so, then a beneficial outcome for you in your case is fully deserved. In addition, there may be a stronger chance of a successful result if the case goes to trial, and that can only happen when you enter a not guilty plea.
What if I am convicted?
A conviction does not mean that you are out of legal options. If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be able to withdraw your guilty plea and make a motion for a new trial, request an appeal, request an expungement or request a modification of your sentence.
Is it worth fighting a DUI charge?
DUI convictions can be far more damaging than many people realize. They may leave you with jail time, costly fines, the loss of your license and a mark on your permanent record that makes the crime open knowledge. This conviction can be damaging in many ways and it is an issue that may continue to show itself. There are actually a number of reasons why a charge may be inaccurate or why it may be harsher than what fits the crime. Defense options are out there and a Ventura criminal lawyer review your case to better determine the right option in your situation. I have handled many DUI cases and I know that the police can be at fault and that my clients can be wrongfully portrayed as guilty. Speak with me about your case to see if your charge should be fought.
Are assault and battery the same charge?
These charges may often be used synonymously but there are actually differences between them. Assault includes an attempt to injure someone but physical contact does not actually need to have taken place. In a battery charge, violent or painful contact must have occurred for the charge to be made. So assault can be charged along with battery, but battery may not always be charged with assault.
Do all crimes count for the Three Strikes Law?
Not just any crime will be considered grounds for the Three Strikes Law and due to the reforms made in 2012 the regulations on this have become fairer than they previously were. The law pertains to more serious crimes and these will be known to lead to a strike on a criminal record if convicted. In the past, a third conviction could lead to a strike even if it was not a serious offense. Today, this has been changed and not just any felony will lead to the 25 year to life in prison sentence that it used to.
Can I be charged for having drug related items?
Many people are under the illusion that they need to be caught with the actual drugs to face a crime, but drug paraphernalia can actually be a crime in itself. Under California Health and Safety Code section 11364 these crimes can lead to various penalties. Paraphernalia may also be a factor in a case when it leads officer to suspect that when drug possession was for the purpose of sale. This may be through baggies, measuring scales and other items that may be considered an indicator and reason for the charge to be increased to possession with intent to sell or distribute.

Adam L. Pearlman can provide you with all of the legal options available to you when convicted of a criminal offense.