Southern California Criminal

Southern California Criminal Pre-Trial

When you have been arrested on suspicion of a criminal charge you will be given a Notice to Appear. The first appearance you make in Court is the Arraignment. This is when you enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

If you plead guilty or no contest, your case will conclude at the arraignment. No further proceedings will be necessary and the Judge will give you a sentence.

If you plead not guilty, the Judge will set the case for Pre-Trial. This is the second appearance you will make on the criminal case. At the Pre-Trial, no testimony will be taken. The Prosecutor and the Defense will present their sides and the Judge will make a ruling whether they believe the case has enough merits to proceed to Trial.

Generally, the Court will not allow a case to proceed that does not have a strong enough argument for conviction. It would be a waste of time and expenses. Therefore the Prosecutor will present why they believe they have a case for conviction and the Defense attorney, or person charged, will present their argument as to why the government will not meet their burden of proof.

The prosecutor and the DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney can meet and discuss an option to settle at this time as well. There is more pressure at the Pre-Trial because the government attorney will know that you are going forward with the case and are not willing to just plead not guilty, or no contest.

The offer given at Arraignment will no longer be on the table, but it is rare that the offer given at Pre-Trial will be more severe than the offer at Arraignment. Regardless, the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer will assure that you have considered your offer and made the right decision whether it is best to proceed to Trial or settle at that point.

Southern California Criminal Self Defense

In different criminal cases, certain kinds of defenses are available. If a defense is presented correctly and successfully argued, it could lead to a dismissal of your case. A commonly used defense in assault, battery and similar charges is self defense .However, it is a difficult defense to argue and it must be properly asserted. The Criminal Defense lawyer must demonstrate to the Court that all requisite elements are met.

You must prove that a reasonable amount of force was used, and that a reasonable person would believe there was imminent fear causing you to act.

Reasonable Force

When self defense is used, a reasonable amount of force must be used against the attacker. This means that if the person uses their hand to hit you, you cannot shoot at them with a gun. That is not a reasonable use of force. The person hitting you could cause you injury, but not one that would likely result in your death. The gun has a high probability of causing their death, and is therefore unreasonable. You must defend yourself by hitting them back, or pushing them away. Similarly, if the person uses a beer bottle to hit you over the head, you may use something of similar strength that could cause an injury enough to stop them, but not to kill them.

Imminent Fear

You must use self defense only in situations where you feel there is a strong chance of injury and you must protect yourself immediately. This does not apply in situations where there is no immediate harm.

For example: Dan calls Victor and tells him that if he sees him around, he is going to kill him. Victor cannot go over to Dan's house and shoot him claiming that he was defending his own life, since there is no immediate harm or fear. If Dan is standing outside Victor's house and he has shot at the windows, and is yelling for Victor to come outside because he wants to kill him, then Victor may fire at Dan since there is an immediate need for him to protect his life.

Client Reviews
I can't begin to thank Mr. Hoffman enough for his extensive efforts throughout the entire case. He went absolutely above and beyond throughout the entire process. From day one he was immediately actively pursuing ways to prevent my case from ever going to court and once that was no longer an option, actively began working on getting the case ultimately dismissed. His communication was consistent and reassuring, despite my frantic worries all the time... Micaiah Botts
My family and I simply owe our life and future to Ron Hoffman. If you are looking for a lawyer that goes above and beyond the call of duty you can't find a better lawyer than Ron. He took my case head on from the moment I called his office. I was involved in an accidental hit and run where I was unaware of the injury. Every step of the way, Ron guided me through an almost two year long investigation and court settlement process and was constantly by my side through out every crossroad... Bill Martin
Ron Hoffman and his staff were Fantastic when dealing with such a serious issue of DUI. When I first Called Ron I was very nervous and worried for my daughter and her freedom. She had a failure to appear on top of her DUI and I knew just how bad this could be. Ron was able to immediately put me at ease and gave me the confidence that there was hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Ron was able to get the failure to appear dismissed and also no jail time for my daughter... Claude Brown
I have been working with Mr. Hoffman for over 11 years. I have seen first hand his genuine dedication to his clients, and how his experience, knowledge and passion have gotten clients fantastic results. He treats each of his clients as his only client, and takes the time to develop detailed strategies and defenses for each individual case. I have never hesitated to refer Mr. Hoffman to anyone who has asked me for a good Criminal Defense attorney. He is a fantastic attorney!... Neeta P.
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Ron was so accommodating and professional. With a Firm like his you wouldn't expect him to be as accessible, but he immediately returned phone calls, was easy to communicate with and was very sympathetic to my situation. He went above and beyond and was able to get a better result than I'd hoped or expected. I highly recommend Ron Hoffman and his firm. He made a difficult and anxiety fueled process bearable and made me feel safe. He is a lovely man. One does not wish to need a criminal attorney, but if you do need one, Ron's the guy to call... Teri A.
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