Criminal Lawyer Oakland, CA
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, please connect with an experienced criminal lawyer Oakland, CA residents trust. Don’t be fooled by those who would have you believe that because you’ve “only” been charged with a misdemeanor that you don’t need to seek personalized legal guidance. By legal definition, misdemeanors are crimes that aren’t punishable by more than one year in jail. Simply because misdemeanors are lesser crimes than felonies are doesn’t mean that convictions of said offenses aren’t consequential. Failing to fight a misdemeanor charge with a vigorous criminal defense could have consequences that will affect you for your whole life long. If you haven’t yet connected with the experienced California legal team at The Hallinan Law Firm, please do so now. Some effort today could save you years of frustration, financial consequences, practical challenges, and regret. Let our passionate Oakland, CA criminal lawyer team help you build the strongest possible defense to the misdemeanor charges you’re currently facing.
Do I Need Representation if I’ve Only Been Charged with a Misdemeanor?
As noted above, a misdemeanor is a crime that cannot result in a jail sentence that exceeds one year. However, a misdemeanor conviction can result in a jail sentence of up to one year, in addition to fines, mandatory community service requirements, the loss of your driver’s license, mandatory counseling/anger management/rehabilitation services, a period of probation, etc. Each of these consequences can be life-altering for a time. However, arguably the most consequential effect of a misdemeanor conviction is an entry on your criminal record. If you don’t yet have a criminal record, you’ll have one post-conviction. If you already have a criminal record, that record will become longer. Depending on what you’ve already been convicted of, your misdemeanor charges could be enhanced to felony charges. In short, a misdemeanor conviction is a reality that you’ll want to avoid, if at all possible.
Thankfully, you don’t have to build a criminal defense case alone. Our firm is proud to represent those facing criminal charges, partially because we know that not everyone is guilty of what they’ve been accused of and partially because we know that everyone makes mistakes. Regardless of whether you’re guilty or not, you deserve to have the best possible defense constructed on your behalf. If you haven’t yet alerted our firm to the fact that you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, please do so now. We need as much time as we possibly can to build a solid defense for your benefit.
Drug Convictions and Student Aid
No matter what the crime you are charged with, it is always important to have an Oakland, CA criminal lawyer aggressively defending you. A guilty conviction can have a significant impact on your future. One stark example of this is a drug conviction. Not only can a drug conviction affect future employment opportunities, but it can have major consequences on your ability to obtain an education to begin that profession. A person who has a drug conviction is ineligible to receive any federal grants or loans through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. The length of time you are ineligible for depends on the number of convictions you have.
If a person has been convicted of drug possession, and it is their first offense, they will be unable to apply for any financial aid through the FAFSA program for one year. If the person has been convicted for selling drugs, and it is their first offense, they will be unable to apply for any financial aid through the FAFSA program for two years.
A second offense brings with it harsher penalties in the criminal justice system, as well as when it comes to applying for financial aid. If a person has a second offense drug possession conviction, they will be ineligible for FAFSA financial aid for two years. A second conviction for selling illegal drugs makes a person ineligible for any aid unless their conviction is overturned or legally ruled to be invalid.
A conviction for a third offense drug possession charge also leaves a person ineligible for any future financial aid through the FAFSA program unless the conviction is overturned or legally ruled to be invalid.
What Happens if Convictions Are Not Dismissed or Overturned?
A criminal lawyer in Oakland, CA knows that in the event a person’s conviction will not be dismissed or overturned, there is still a possibility that their FAFSA ineligibility status may be waived. If the person completes a recognized drug rehabilitation program and passes two subsequent unannounced drug tests, they will have their ineligibility status lifted and can then apply for financial aid.
Keep in mind that the FAFSA program has stringent requirements as to what the qualifications are for a recognized drug rehabilitation program. Your Oakland, CA criminal lawyer can help navigate you through this issue should it become necessary. Having the right attorney defending you at the beginning, when you are first charged, can help avoid this situation. Your attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed before the case even goes to trial or work out a plea arrangement with the prosecutor for a less charge, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you’re concerned about committing to legal representation through our firm, please know that consultations are confidential and risk-free. If our team isn’t the “right fit” for your needs, you’ll incur no obligation from meeting with us in a consultation setting. You have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by exploring your options at this time. Please call Hallinan Law firm now – our Oakland, CA criminal lawyer team looks forward to assisting you.