Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer

Facing criminal charges is exceedingly stressful, especially when considering the lifelong consequences of a criminal conviction. One of the most important factors in any criminal trial is a strong defense. Between crafting a strong case and advancing it in court, a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer is the best asset for any criminal defense case.

If you find yourself facing a criminal claim in superior court, seek a skilled attorney from Gibbons & Gibbons. We are a qualified law firm here to provide the necessary skills needed to defend those accused of any crime.

What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?

A criminal defense lawyer provides the legal skills needed to discredit criminal allegations brought against a defendant through their extensive study and experience in criminal law. These defenders can support and argue on behalf of anyone charged with a crime, from felonies to misdemeanors, helping clients present their case before a judge. A thorough familiarity with all state criminal law statutes allows these lawyers to take on a wide variety of cases.

These criminal attorneys can look at a case from several perspectives and recognize all viable options, creating a solid defense that can withstand the prosecution’s questioning. They’re knowledgeable of the typical methods employed by the prosecution and how criminal accusations are developed, managed, and supported from the perspectives of the state—giving them an advantage when seeking holes in the prosecution’s claims.

What Is the Opposite of a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal defense lawyers represent the criminal defendants in a case, and on the opposite end is a prosecutor. The prosecutor represents the state or the United States, trying to prove that the accused is guilty of violating the law. Both professionals are attorneys who trained in and completed law school.

A prosecutor may try to convince the court of the defendant’s guilt, beyond a reasonable doubt, by providing evidence and interviewing any victims, witnesses, or experts. In turn, a defense lawyer will attempt to prove the prosecution’s evidence to be insufficient or completely unusable in proving their point.

Types of Crimes Handled by a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense lawyers deal with cases involving individuals breaking criminal statutes outlined in California’s state Penal Code. The facts and severity of each case will vary, which can lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges.

Some crimes, such as murder, will always be pursued at the felony level. These require a strong defense lawyer to make an airtight case for their client. Regardless of whether a crime is a misdemeanor or felony, securing a criminal defense attorney for state and federal-level charges is imperative for a fair trial.

A criminal defense lawyer can provide legal support to their clients in the courtroom for crimes such as:

  • Assault: An assault is a deliberate attempt to harm or injure another person. The punishment for assault might vary and be adjusted based on the severity of the incident. For instance, misdemeanor charges, rather than felony charges, are frequently brought against those who commit basic assault offenses like punching or hitting another person.Depending on the damage and injuries produced by the episode, the defendant could be charged with aggravated assault. Aggravated assault typically involves more harm, either permanent or temporary, or the potential use of a weapon.
  • Domestic crimes: These offenses include domestic and spousal abuse and other violations that happen in domestic settings. Besides domestic battery and corporal injury to a spouse (symptoms evident of trauma after injury), violating a restraining order and elder abuse also fall within this section of criminal offenses.
  • DUI: DUIs, or operating a vehicle while intoxicated, are among the most frequently committed infractions in the country. Depending on the case’s unique circumstances, DUI charges may be sought at either the misdemeanor or felony level.For instance, a subsequent DUI arrest will frequently result in a harsher punishment and longer jail sentence than a first DUI conviction. Any party that suffers physical harm because of the DUI offender can file a civil claim for their damages.
  • Drug crimes: Drug crimes are any instance in which laws or regulations surrounding legally classified “controlled substances” are disregarded. These substances are any drugs or other chemicals that are considered lethal or dangerous to the American public, their health, and general welfare.These crimes can occur when such substances are sold, transported, obtained, in possession of, or produced illicitly without proper regulations or permission. Abusing substances, ignoring their medical or prescribed purposes, and prescription fraud (forgery or stealing a doctor’s Rx pad) are also violations of the law. Drug diversion crimes include going to multiple providers for a prescription (doctor shopping) and the selling of prescription drugs.Driving with marijuana, possessing marijuana with intent to sell, and selling/gifting marijuana to minors are all criminal offenses. Having controlled substances while armed is also a chargeable offense. Additionally, drug DUI cases can garner drug charges depending on what is found in your car or on your person when apprehended.
  • Sex Crimes: Sex crimes revolve around nonconsensual sexual acts or the sexualization of another party. Sex crimes range from violent offenses like rape to instances of indecent exposure, making them pursuable at the felony or misdemeanor level. For some sex crimes, especially those involving children, the penalties are often heightened due to the vulnerability of the victims.
  • Theft/Larceny: According to California law, any property seizure obtained illegally qualifies as theft, including petty theft—though less severe, penalties can still apply. While shoplifting may seem less serious, certain factors can escalate the theft to a case of “organized” crime (such as conspiring with others or switching price tags) with heavier punishments.Theft implies the stealing of possessions or property from a person’s residence, car, or place of business without their express consent. Each type of theft is different because the severity and duration of the sentences depend on the value of what was taken. For some theft crimes, namely robbery, these charges are considered “violent crimes,” which can warrant harsher sentencing if convicted.Theft crimes also encompass all fraud (such as insurance fraud), extortion, burglary, illegal gambling, tax evasion, identity theft/impersonation, price gouging, bribery, forgery/counterfeiting, embezzlement, and being in possession of or harboring stolen goods or property, even if you were not the one to seize it.
  • Violent crimes: This category of crimes entails the occurrence of aggressive force and/or intimidation on its own or in addition to another objective, such as robbery. Other examples include murder and attempted murder, manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter, torture, kidnapping, mayhem (causing injury or wounding someone that causes permanent damage), assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, arson, and attacking a police officer.

Different Levels of Crimes: Probation vs. Parole

Crimes charges against you can either be infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies. You cannot serve jail time for an infraction since they are typically very minor offenses such as traffic violations; usually, they just require payment of a fine. They also are unlikely to be noted on your record or show up on background checks.

Misdemeanors are more serious and viewed in a criminal light. Misdemeanor penalties are more varied and can include up to a year of jail time, depending on the situation. They are also included in any background checks and often must be disclosed to new employers. First misdemeanors generally don’t involve jail sentences.

Felonies are the most significant of offenses and can result in extended custody or imprisonment of 16 months minimum or 25 years to life. Penalties tend to worsen in severity if you have prior offenses or have violated the terms of your probation. Potential sentences can either be low, mid, or high-term—referring to the possible lengths of serving time available for a particular felony, which the judge will choose from.

Parole refers to the period, typically ranging from three to seven years, following a person’s completed sentence in state prison. They will be required to report to a parole agent, checking in to update the agent on their whereabouts and various activities. Parole can also entail wearing an ankle bracelet, gaining employment, or attending school. Failing to report to your agent can result in more jail or prison time.

Probation is usually given to those who were not sentenced to state prison. It’s a period of time, typically three to five years, granted for certain misdemeanor and felony convictions. Similar to parole, you are required to check in with probation after your release from custody or within two days after your conviction. You may be instructed to get counseling, go to classes, wear an ankle bracelet, or adhere to other circumstances that amount to the terms of your probation.

How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in California?

What a criminal defense attorney charges depends on various factors, such as where their practice is and how many years of experience they have. Other factors, such as the details of the case, also contribute to overall expenses. Attorneys may calculate their rates based on their education and training or their success rate in defending cases like yours.

How complex the circumstances surrounding your criminal charges are and the possible extended time or skills needed to address your case can also affect the cost. Defense lawyers may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate, which is typically $150-300. Misdemeanor charges may have a flat fee ranging from $1,500-3,000 and up to $5,000 if you go to trial. Felony charges can range from $3,000-6,000 or up to around $15,000 with the possibility of a trial.

How Much Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Make?

In California, the usual range of a criminal defense attorney’s yearly salary is around $94,000-123,000, with the average being about $109,000. Of course, some defense lawyers can earn beyond the higher end of this range estimate. Salaries can vary depending on the professional’s education, experience and length of active practice, location, and any additional skills.

The facts and severity of each case will vary, which can lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges. Some crimes, such as murder, will always be pursued at the felony level. These require a strong defense lawyer to make an airtight case for their client. Regardless of whether a crime is a misdemeanor or felony, securing a criminal defense attorney for state and federal-level charges is imperative for a fair trial.


Q: How much is a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney?

A: A criminal defense lawyer typically charges $300 per hour, although the exact amount for their services will depend considerably on each case. For example, there may be a case that requires a longer trial, either due to the jury’s deliberation or the amount of information in the evidence. The price for a defense attorney’s services could be considerably higher than in shorter, less complicated trials.

Q: What makes a good Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer?

A: Any good defense lawyer will be unbiased, helpful, knowledgeable, and able to prove their expertise to their clients. A good criminal defense lawyer will take on their client’s case with integrity, providing them with the support they are entitled to throughout their trial. In cases involving high-profile individuals or crimes, for example, murder trials, providing emotional support for their clients while they are thrown into the spotlight is important as well.

Q: Do criminal defense lawyers choose who they defend?

A: Just as those facing criminal charges have the option to choose their representation, criminal defense attorneys can choose whether they represent a specific client. Public defenders, however, cannot choose the cases they are assigned unless their clients can provide their own legal counsel. Ultimately, the best way to ensure proper legal representation is to contact a criminal defense attorney and meet with them. Use the consultation to explain the situation and secure their services.

Q: What is the strongest type of defense for a criminal charge?

A: Establishing an alibi, which includes providing proof that the defendant was not present where and when the crime took place, proves that they could not have done the crime. This is one of the most effective and convincing legal defenses used when accused of committing a crime in California. The chances of being acquitted substantially increase if an alibi can be established.

Contact Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm

The first step anyone facing criminal charges should take after being arrested is contacting a criminal defense lawyer. Once representation is secured, a criminal defense attorney can start building a case, helping their client prepare for arraignment. Gibbons & Gibbons are top-tier Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys ready to take on any client. Visit our website and contact us today for more information on our services.

Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.