Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles, California
More than 30,000 criminal arrests are made in Los Angeles every year. If you are one of the people being arrested, your life may change forever.
Being charged with any crime — large or small, first or repeat offense, without or without a conviction — can destroy your life. It exacts a toll on your relationships, job, finances, and emotional health. Whether you are guilty of the crime or falsely accused, you need to mount the best criminal defense possible. For that, you need to retain a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.
At our firm, attorney John Goalwin has represented clients charged with a wide range of misdemeanors and felonies in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Norwalk, Torrance, and Compton, California. At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we have a young and energetic staff dedicated to tackling tough cases because we believe everyone deserves the best legal representation possible.
California Criminal Charges
In California, crimes are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the crime as defined by state law.
Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by no more than one year in jail. Examples include shoplifting, disorderly conduct, trespassing, and DUI. In addition to a potential jail sentence, penalties for misdemeanor convictions may involve fines, community service, and probation.
Felonies are more extreme crimes with much stiffer penalties, based on the “class” or severity of the crime. Examples include murder, rape & sexual assault, aggravated assault, kidnapping, drug manufacture & distribution, tax evasion, and grand larceny. Penalties usually include incarceration for longer than one year, significant fines, restitution, probation, and community service. Some felonies are punishable by death, though Governor Gavin Newsome issued a moratorium on executions beginning in March 2019.
Types of Criminal Cases We Handle
At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we represent clients charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. These include but are not limited to:
Assault: An unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury to another.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon: An attack or attempt to attack another individual with a deadly instrument or weapon.
Criminal/Terrorist Threat: Threatening to harm or kill another person even when there is no ability or intention to carry out that threat.
Drug Crimes: Any offense violating laws regarding the possession, manufacture, or trafficking of classified controlled substances.
DUI: Operating or attempting to operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Murder: Including capital murder, premeditated murder (first-degree), manslaughter, or any other murder that is neither capital nor first-degree murder (second-degree).
Sexual Assault & Rape: Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior without the explicit consent of the victim. Rape is sexual intercourse with someone who is incapable of giving legal consent, or when force or the threat of force is used, or when the victim is rendered unable to resist due to alcohol or controlled substance, or when the victim is asleep, or under pretense, or due to fear of retaliation, or while incarcerated, or under duress.
Theft: Stealing property by removing it (larceny), false pretense, or embezzlement with intent to deprive the owner of their property.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
The potential negative impact a criminal conviction could have on your life warrants retaining a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Hiring an experienced attorney should be the first decision you make if you are being investigated for or charged with a crime.
If you feel you don’t have enough income to hire an attorney, you may qualify to have a public defender appointed by the court to represent you. While that is certainly better than you attempting to represent yourself, you should remember that public defenders carry large caseloads and may not be able to give your case the time and attention it needs. This lack of time may lead to a public defender’s recommendation that you accept a plea deal offered by the prosecution. A plea deal is not always the best option for a defendant — it is merely the most expeditious.
A private criminal defense attorney will devote far greater time and attention to your case and fight aggressively for the best available outcome. It is true that with criminal defense, you get what you pay for.
You can benefit from the counsel of a seasoned criminal defense attorney even when charged with a misdemeanor. A criminal conviction on your record, major or minor, will follow you throughout your life
Criminal Defense Attorney
Serving Los Angeles, California
For more than 45 years, John Goalwin has fought for clients being investigated for and charged with crimes in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, and Compton, Norwalk, Torrance, California. If you are being investigated or charged with a crime, do not gamble with your future. Call us at The Law Office of John Goalwin to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.