Criminal Defense Attorney, San Francisco, CA
If you’ve been charged with criminal wrongdoing, it’s critically important that you speak with a trusted San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as you possibly can. Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or multiple counts of criminal misconduct, it’s important to act quickly. The sooner that the experienced Northern California legal team at The Hallinan Law Firm is alerted to your situation, the sooner that we can begin building the strongest possible defense on your behalf. As many criminal cases “turn” on a single piece of evidence, preserving evidence and protecting your individual rights is a highly time-sensitive matter.
When the Truth Is Your Best Defense
Too often, it is tempting to tell law enforcement officers a story that is either partially true or incomplete. Generally speaking, however, the truth is most often the best defense you can mount. When you meet with an experienced San Francisco, CA Criminal Defense Lawyer at our firm, you’ll need to give them access to “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” That is not to say that your defense will necessarily require you to report “the whole truth” to law enforcement officials or the court. However, telling us the truth will allow us to build the strongest possible defense on your behalf because that defense will be grounded in the facts. Defense strategies built upon half-truths and falsehoods tend to crumble.
Developing the Strongest Possible Defense to Criminal Charges
Building a defense grounded in the truth tends to be a strategy that appeals to juries, which are usually far more empathetic than one would assume when presented with relevant facts. Truth-based defense strategies also tend to benefit from the presence of substantial evidence that backs up the defendant’s claims. Depending on the circumstances you’re facing, your defense strategy may benefit from one of these common approaches employed by our San Francisco, CA Criminal Defense Lawyer team:
- Complete denial – Some defendants, especially those with solid alibis, benefit by denying the charges against them completely. After all, it doesn’t make sense to admit to being anywhere near the crime scene at the time in question if you can prove that you were elsewhere.
- Admit and explain – Other times, it makes more sense to admit (truthfully) to some details of the prosecutor’s story, followed by an explanation. For example, you may need to admit that yes, you did shoot someone. But, after explaining that the person you shot had broken into your house and was assaulting your spouse, you may mount a successful defense to the charges against you. In this situation, you’d be absolved due to a “defense of others” approach.
“Honesty is the best policy” is a cliché phrase for a reason. When it comes to criminal defense strategy, your best bet is to work with our team to create a solid strategy grounded in the facts.
Being enthusiastic in pursuit of romantic relationships and lavishing attention on a particular person may seem harmless, but it can get you into some serious trouble. Stalking is a serious crime in California. Without an experienced San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney clients trust on your side, even otherwise minor actions on your part could result in heavy penalties. It is also important to be aware that stalking does not have to involve a romantic partner or someone of the opposite sex. You can be found guilty of stalking for ‘trolling’ people online or in person, particularly if the behavior involves threats and occurs despite their attempts to limit contact.
When Stalking Becomes an Issue
Under the California Penal Code, stalking is a crime that involves willingly, maliciously, and repeatedly following someone or engaging in other behavior which harasses a person and makes them fear for their safety or that of family and friends.
Often associated with thwarted romances and unrequited love, stalking charges often stem out of unwanted calls, letters, and emails, unsolicited gifts, and following or ‘spying’ on another person at their home, work, or school. Stalking can arise in the following situations:
- When you meet someone new, either in person or after seeing them online, on television, or by some other means, and become overly enthusiastic about either connecting with them or the role you want them to play in your life.
- In a relationship, when you become possessive, jealous, or obsessive about your partner, monitoring their communications and activities, or showing up in expected places.
- After a breakup, when you may be feeling resentful and resistant to the idea of letting go or bitter over the relationship or how it ended.
In addition to romantic relationships, stalking can also arise out of online activities. ‘Trolling’ people on social media, hounding them in online forums, hacking into their accounts, or paying others to find information about them can result in stalking charges, leaving you to face serious criminal penalties.
Potential Penalties for Stalking
In California, stalking is considered a ‘wobbler’ crime, meaning it can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances involved in the case. As a misdemeanor, you could be facing fines of up to $1,000 and up to a year jail sentence.
If there are aggravating factors that result in felony charges, you could be facing up to five years in prison, while being required to register under the California Sex Offenders Registry. In addition to your criminal charges, you could also be liable for damages in civil actions filed by the alleged victim, regardless of whether you were actually convicted.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you face stalking accusations or have been charged with a crime, The Hallinan Law Firm is here to provide the aggressive legal representation you need. Call our office today to request a free and confidential consultation with a skilled San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney.