Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you’ve been charged with a crime, even if you think it’s minor, working with a criminal defense lawyer is the smartest move you can make. Keep in mind that a criminal conviction can have an enduring effect on your professional, social, educational, and personal prospects long after you’ve served your time and paid your dues.
At The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, we believe that all people who have been accused of a crime have the right to a solid and aggressive defense regardless of their alleged crime and the circumstances surrounding it.
Our Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience fighting the following charges for our clients:
- DUI charges
- Drug crimes
- Juvenile offenses
- Federal crimes
- Sex crimes
- White-collar crimes
- Violent crimes
- Veterans court
- Vehicular manslaughter
Our law firm takes pride in providing personalized attention to our clients. We are fully aware that facing a possible criminal conviction can be stressful and devastating.
Having the right attorney by your side can mean the difference between having the case against you dismissed and serving time in prison. When you work with us, you can rest easy knowing that you will have skilled and experienced advocates fighting for your freedom and legal rights.
What Our Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Do For Your Case
Every criminal case we take on is different, and the methods we utilize to reduce, dismiss, or litigate our clients’ charges will also differ based on the specific facts of their cases.
Our top Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyers will investigate and research the circumstances of your case and negotiate deals with the prosecutors, such as reduced charges, sentences, or bail. Due to various factors, including overloaded court schedules, overcrowding in jails, and public and political pressure, making deals has become increasingly crucial in criminal justice reform.
Our criminal defense attorneys will also work tirelessly to build a strong plea, examine, and question witnesses, evaluate the case against you, review the seizure and search procedures, evaluate the possible sentences, and obtain the necessary evidence to strengthen your defense.
We can likewise give advice on the possible immigration consequences or other negative consequences of a conviction, plea, or having a criminal record. In addition, if a plea deal isn’t possible, we are fully prepared to fight for you in a trial.
Have You Been Wrongly Accused of a Crime? We Can Help
No one ever really wants or expects to be falsely accused of any kind of crime. Unfortunately, it can and does happen - a lot. In most cases, a victim or witness can identify the wrong people, and these innocent people can be formally charged with crimes they did not commit. In some cases, certain circumstances can cause law enforcement to believe that innocent people committed a crime.
What You Should Do If You’ve Been Wrongly Accused
- Discuss your case with a Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.
- With the help of your attorney, obtain any evidence related to the events or incident, including photos, videos, clothing, etc. Evidence can also include records or documents associated with the accusation or charge against you, including email messages, letters, as well as GPS, computer, and phone records that can show exactly where you were when the crime occurred. If applicable, gather legal or financial records if the charge against you is business or financial-related.
- List down possible witnesses and their contact details. Witnesses can include anyone you believe has knowledge of the incident, the alleged victim, and the accusation against you.
- Try to recall and make a list of other evidence, including specific objects, blood, documents, bullet casings, etc., that you know was at the crime scene but failed to document or obtain.
What You Should NOT Do If You’ve Been Falsely Accused
- Speak to investigators, police, or other law enforcement officers without your lawyer. Should they question you, tell them that your lawyer advised you to remain silent if you are accused of a crime.
- Contact the alleged victim or any witnesses related to the crime. This could make matters more complicated between you and the alleged victim or accuser. You could likewise be accused of trying to intimidate the victim or witness.
- Consent to any kind of test, like a DNA test, or provide any evidence to the police without speaking to your attorney first. This applies even if you think that the evidence may show that you are innocent. Take note that Proposition 69 makes it illegal for law enforcement to collect DNA samples from suspects that are still under investigation.
- Destroy any evidence that you feel can hurt your case. Doing so may make you look more suspicious and can even result in more charges.
If someone has falsely accused you of a crime, even if you haven’t been formally charged, contact The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, immediately. Our skilled Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney can review your situation and give legal advice specific to your case. Your attorney will be ready to take action in the unfortunate event that you are arrested or formally charged.
The Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
When someone is charged or accused of a crime, whether in California or somewhere else, the first thing that usually comes to mind is, “Will I go to prison?” The mere thought of getting incarcerated can be terrifying, especially for people who have families. Also, if you’re the breadwinner of the family, incarceration will surely impact your family’s finances. But even if you do not have anyone depending on you, going to prison or jail is just not something that anyone would ever want.
However, keep in mind that a criminal conviction is more than just incarceration, probation, hefty fines, and other statutory penalties. Once you’ve been convicted, you will also end up with a permanent criminal record. Your criminal record, in turn, will come with harsh collateral consequences that will affect your entire life long after you’ve paid your supposed debt to society.
The following are just some of the collateral consequences that you can face if you get convicted:
- Problems maintaining your current job or getting a job
- The risk of losing your professional or business license
- Issues with child custody
- Problems with immigration
- Difficulty finding housing
- Travel restrictions
- Issues with getting a loan
- Registering as a sex offender
- Losing your driving privileges
- Losing your right to vote
- Losing your right to own a firearm
- Problems with getting accepted into educational programs
It’s also crucial to note that according to a report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, collateral consequences aggravate punishment beyond the conviction long after the person has completed their sentence. There are valid public safety reasons for certain collateral consequences, including restrictions on working with kids for individuals convicted of particular crimes. However, many collateral consequences do not necessarily relate to either the person’s crime or a public safety reason.
In these cases, the collateral consequences negatively impact public good and safety. In addition, evidence shows that unrelated collateral consequences actually increase recidivism by restricting or completely prohibiting former convicts’ access to family and personal support.
Our Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Attorneys Take Collateral Consequences Very Seriously
We firmly believe that it’s our duty as criminal defense attorneys to carefully weigh the possible consequences of our actions and decisions when defending our clients, including the potential collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, not all attorneys think like this and fail to consider how collateral consequences can affect the lives of their clients.
Therefore, at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, our Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys always take collateral consequences into account when building our overall defense strategy. We can help reduce or avoid collateral consequences for our clients by getting an acquittal or having the charges reduced or dismissed.
Not all these collateral consequences will apply to your case because each of these is linked to specific crimes and circumstances of the crime. But some will, and more than costly fines and incarceration, they may impact not only your future but the lives of your loved ones as well.
Reach Out to Our Aggressive Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Attorneys
Have you been charged with a crime? You will need an experienced and knowledgeable Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney who will fight to uphold your legal rights.
With more than 20 years of experience defending suspects in California, The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, can make certain that you’ll receive aggressive and competent defense to fight the charges against you. We will also strive to make sure that your case will be treated fairly under the California criminal justice system.
To find out more about your case, the charges you are facing, the possible consequences of a conviction, and how we can fight for your rights and freedom, get in touch with one of our skilled Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys today.
You can arrange your free, confidential case review at your convenience by filling out our online contact form or calling our office at 805-643-5555.