Getting arrested for a misdemeanor or felony crime Kern County, CA is a stressful experience as local law enforcement and residents are known to be tough on crime.
After you have been arrested, you need to remain silent and don't make any statements to law enforcement before speaking with a criminal defense lawyer. You might make incriminating statements that could be used against you later in court.
Unfortunately, many people don't know their constitutional right to remain silent or realize Kern County prosecutors are likely to use their own words to convict them in a court of law.
The prosecutor has to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, all the elements of the crime to convict you.
This is why you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side who can either negotiate a favorable settlement or fight the charges in court.
Most people who are arrested in Kern County are residents of the city of Bakersfield, while others are driving through the county and get pulled over by police.
Type of Crimes We Handle in Kern County, California
Our Bakersfield criminal lawyers handle a wide range of misdemeanor or felony crimes in the Kern County Superior Court, including:
- domestic violence such as domestic battery or corporal injury to spouse,
- violations of a restraining or protective order,
- criminal threats and assault and battery,
- drug crimes including possession, sales, or drug trafficking,
- fraud crimes such as credit card fraud and bank fraud,
- sex crimes such as lewd conduct with a minor and sexual battery,
- theft crimes including burglary and grand theft auto,
- violent crimes such as assault with deadly weapon and attempted murder,
- white collar crimes like embezzlement and money laundering,
- driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- hit and run and reckless driving,
- weapons and firearms offenses,
- parole and probation violations,
- bail hearings,
- federal crimes such as wire fraud and child pornography.
Kern County Superior Court
Most people arrested by the Bakersfield Police Department or the Kern County Sheriff's Department are transported and booked at the “Central Receiving Facility” located in Bakersfield, CA.
Defendant's criminal cases are processed through the Kern County Superior Courthouse.
Felony cases are handled by Metropolitan Division 1415 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301
Misdemeanor cases are handled by Metro Division Justice Division 1215 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301
Any traffic violations are handle by the Metro Traffic Division 3131 Arrow Street Bakersfield, CA 93308
What is the Court Process in Bakersfield?
In most cases, once you are arrested and booked at jail, you will soon be released to appear later in court.
Depending on the case, you could be required to post a bail or you could be released on their own recognizance (OR), meaning you don't pay any bail, but rather make a promise to appear for all your future court appearances.
It should be noted, however, if you are charged with a misdemeanor crime, then you could retain a private criminal defense lawyer who can appear on your behalf.
Yes, this means you don't have to personally appear in court for a misdemeanor offense as long as you lawyer is there to represent you.
If you are charged with a felony crime, then you will normally be required to personally appear at all future court dates.
If you fail to appear at a scheduled court date, the judge will typically issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A bench warrant never expires and will always remain active.
This means anytime you come into contact with law enforcement in Bakersfield, anywhere in California or throughout the United States, you could be arrested and extradited back to Kern County.
If there is an active bench warrant for your arrest, then you will have to personally appear in court for a hearing before a judge will recall (quash) the warrant.
Again, in some misdemeanor cases, your criminal lawyer might be able to appear on your behalf.
Plea Bargaining With Prosecutor
Of course, details matter and the charges and circumstances of the case will dictate how the case proceeds. It might be possible to convince a prosecutor to reduce the charges or even dismiss the case.
If your criminal lawyer and prosecutor can't reach an agreement on how to settle the case, then it will have to proceed to trial.
If you are charged with a felony crime, then you are normally entitled to a preliminary hearing, but not in misdemeanor cases.
A preliminary hearing is commonly called a “prelim” which is a court appearance designed to determine whether the prosecutor has sufficient probable cause to hold you over to answer.
It should be noted, however, prelims are basically an automatic rubber stamp approval for the District Attorney.
However, they do offer an advantage for the defendant as their criminal lawyer is able to see the prosecutor's strategy to obtain a conviction. Clearly, this can help the defense plan a strategy to fight the case.
If convicted as part of a plea bargain or by a judge or jury, then you will be sentenced. This could include jail time and fines, or you might be granted probation in lieu of jail.
Contact our Law Firm for Help
If you have been charged with a crime in Bakersfield or anywhere in Kern County, California, contact our criminal defense attorneys to review the details and legal options moving forward.
Through a process known as prefiling intervention, we might be able to negotiate with the prosecution to avoid the formal filing of charges before court.
Eisner Gorin LLP is a top-rated criminal defense law firm with two office locations in Los Angeles County.
Our law firm also serves people living in California City, Tehachapi, Delano, Maricopa, McFarland, Taft, and Wasco.
Contact our office for a consultation at (310) 328-3776.