Criminal Law

criminal-law

One of the most stressful and scariest experiences in life is when you or someone you love is in trouble with the law and arrested.  The most important first step you must take is finding an experienced criminal defense attorney you trust.  Knowledge, compassion and skilled  representation is of the utmost importance to The Law Office of Silva L. Megerditchian.  With over 7 years of experience at the largest defense firm in the nation, the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office,  Silva L. Megerditchian does not shy away from trial.  Silva L. Megerditchian has familiarity with countless courts, court staff, Judges and District Attorneys throughout Southern California, and through skilled negotiation can prevent convictions and keep criminal records clean.

At the Law Office of Silva L. Megerditchian, Ms. Megerditchian treats her clients as VIPs, deserving the utmost quality of representation and skilled case analysis regardless of who you are or where you come from.  Ms. Megerditchian patiently and effectively explains your case and the strategies so you know exactly what is going on in your case, and what to expect.

Fighting for her clients is Ms. Megerditchian’s passion.  She helps you get through the stress and fear of criminal prosecution through thoughtful, skilled and experienced representation. Do not let the pressure of the police or the District Attorneys confuse or scare you, you do not have to fight alone, you have the power of a skilled criminal defense attorney fighting for you and your rights.

Knowledge.  Compassion.  Skill.

Ms. Megerditchian is a passionate, aggressive advocate but balances her skill with an  approachable nature.  She understands that when it comes to criminal convictions it can affect every aspect of one’s life from employment to immigration to losing your standing in the community. With her knowledge and experience, she can ensure the best result for you and spare you the fear of the unknown.

What To Do If You or Someone You Know Is Arrested.

First, remain silent.  Just because you are arrested, does not automatically mean charges will be filed against you.  Staying quiet, however, is the most important decision you can make  If you are ever questioned by police, do not give a statement.  Be polite, calm, and state, “I am choosing to remain silent, I want a lawyer.”  Once any statements are made, those admissions can very well be enough to have the case filed.  Never flee or run–this makes things worse–additional charges can be added, and worse you can be hurt–tased, shot, beat, you name it.  Once in a holding cell, stay quiet as well.  Anyone can be a snitch and the jail cell or even the backseat of the patrol car could be wired for sound–save the conversations with your lawyer, which are confidential and cannot hurt you.  Also, once you are out, do not post about your case on social media.  District Attorneys, City Attorneys and yes police monitor social media–and what you say or WRITE can and will be used against you.

Bail.

Once arrested and jailed, there is a process allowing the person arrested to get released from jail.  The accused may be released from jail for exchange of money–hence BAIL.  A promise of property also works as a promise you will return to Court for all hearings.  You cannot miss a court date when released on bail.  If you make all court dates your bail is refunded to you whether you are found innocent or guilty.  The bail amount depends on the jurisdiction where you are arrested and the Judge.  Other factors that decide how large the bail amount is is the seriousness of the crime, your record and previous or current bench warrants.  A judge can also release the accused without the requirement of posting bail–called being released on your own recognizance (“OR.”)   If you cannot afford bail–or have no property to post, you can hire a bail bonds agent.  A bonds agent promises to pay the full amount of bail to the court if you do not show up to Court,  thus the bonds agent will have to find someone responsible for paying any costs they have to incur to track you down.  In exchange for posting the full bond, the bonds agent will ask you to pay about eight to ten percent of your bond which is NONREFUNDABLE.  So why hire a bonds agent?  Because you can get out of jail for far less then paying the full bail amount.  Ms. Megerditchian works only with trusted bonds agents, and can help with the process.

The First Court Appearance

The first Court date is called the arraignment.  That is where an accused will enter a plea (not guilty, guilty or no contest), bail and release can be determined, and a future court date is set: either a pretrial or in a felony case, the preliminary hearing.  You will also be advised of your Constitutional rights and know your specific charges.  In most misdemeanor cases, Ms. Megerditchian can make the appearance on your behalf without you having to be present.

If you are charged with a felony, there are essentially two arraignment hearings –one occurs at the very start of your case.  The second occurs after the preliminary hearing.  If you are in custody, you MUST be arraigned within 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays). Once you enter a plea of not guilty, you have the right to a speedy trial.  In a misdemeanor trial, a speedy trial must be done within 45 days unless your defense requests a delay.  If you are in custody, the trial must be done within 30 days, unless your defense requests a delay.

Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in the world.  At the Law Office Of Silva L. Megerditchian, Ms. Megerditchian fights for you and allows you to get back on your feet!