Have you or someone you love been arrested for a crime in La Mesa? At the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC, we understand that the time after an arrest can be stressful and overwhelming. You may not know where to turn or who to trust for help. Prosecutors will do everything in their power to get a conviction, so it is important to stay quiet and ask for an attorney.
Our legal team has nearly two decades of legal experience, and in that time we have been able to help thousands of criminal defendants in the greater La Mesa area. We have handled complex criminal matters and defended clients charged with a sex crime, drugs crime, violent crime, and theft crime. Contact our San Diego office today to schedule a free consultation.
Crime in La Mesa
La Mesa has a crime rate that is considerably higher than other cities in California. According to the FBI, La Mesa has a crime index of 16, meaning that is only safer than 16 percent of cities in the country. Residents and tourists in La Mesa have a 1 in 31 chance of becoming the victim of a crime.
In 2015, there were 1,961 reported property and violent crimes in La Mesa. Property crimes (including burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson) accounted for nearly 90 percent of these offenses. Violent crimes (including armed robbery, aggravated assault, and murder) accounted for the remaining 10 percent of these offenses in La Mesa.
La Mesa police have ramped up patrolling efforts to reduce the crime epidemic in the city. If you have been arrested for a crime in La Mesa do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC.
Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in La Mesa
When you are arrested for a crime there is a strong likelihood that you will face serious consequences for your alleged actions. This is true even if you believe that the charges against you are minor. When you are convicted of a crime in La Mesa you can face life-changing criminal and noncriminal consequences.
When you are convicted of a criminal offense or enter a guilty plea you will be sentenced to some sort of punishment by the state. These punishments will vary, depending on the crime(s) you have been accused of committing. Potential criminal consequences in La Mesa include:
- Jail time in a San Diego County detention center;
- Prison time in a California state penitentiary;
- Probation; and
You may think that once you have completed your state-imposed criminal punishments you are free to get back to your normal day-to-day life. This may not be true, especially if you are convicted of a serious misdemeanor or felony. Non-criminal consequences (which are also known as collateral consequences) occur simply because you have a criminal record. Some of these consequences are imposed by civil regulations, and others occur because of the social stigma of having a criminal record. These collateral consequences can make life incredibly challenging. Non-criminal consequences of a conviction in La Mesa can include:
- Difficulty finding or maintaining a job;
- Difficulty renting an apartment or buying a home;
- Loss of gun ownership rights;
- Loss of child custody and/or visitation rights;
- Inability to participate in government welfare programs;
- Revocation of professional licenses; and
Why Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
The California criminal justice system is complicated. The law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and investigators working for the state are all experienced and skilled experts. They have specialized education and access to resources that aid them in their efforts to convict you when you have been arrested for a crime.
Your chances of a successful outcome are limited if you decide to defend yourself without an attorney. The prosecution will not hesitate to take advantage of your limited understanding of the law. They will manipulate the situation, trick you into saying something incriminating, and use that information against you. When you hire an attorney, you level the playing field and take away any advantage the prosecution once had.
What Will a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
A criminal defense attorney’s job is much more involved than what you see on primetime legal dramas. While some of our time is spent passionately defending our clients in court, most of our work is actually done outside of the courtroom.
The initial consultation has two distinct purposes. The first is to allow you, the client, to become familiar and comfortable with our legal team. You can learn about the charges you face and the potential consequences of fighting them on your own. The second is to give our attorneys an overview of your pending criminal case. The information we gather during this phase will serve as the foundation for your defense.
We will never rely on the state’s investigation into your alleged defense. Our legal team include skilled investigators who have the expertise necessary to uncover evidence that hurts the prosecution’s case and strengthens our own arguments. This investigation may involve:
- Finding and interviewing witnesses;
- Confirming or establishing alibis;
- Reviewing crime scene reports, warrants, and photographs;
- Consulting with forensic experts; and
- Analyzing the results of the state’s investigation.
Constructing a Legal Argument
Legal research is an incredibly important aspect of a criminal defense argument.Our legal team will comb through relevant cases and California state law to determine the best legal strategy for your defense. We will combine the results of our investigation and research to build a persuasive legal argument. This argument will:
- Highlight the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you;
- Offer additional theories and suspects; and
- Propose legal defenses for your actions.
Negotiation and Trial
Most criminal cases will not proceed to trial. Instead, many cases are resolved using plea bargains. We will use our custom legal strategy to leverage the prosecution into reducing or dismissing the charges against you. If we are not satisfied with the plea offer(s) you receive we will not hesitate to try your case in open court. Vikas Bajaj is a skilled trial attorney who thrives in front of a jury. His persuasive and passionate defense arguments allow him to connect with the members of a jury and achieve positive outcomes for his clients.
Defending Criminal Charges in La Mesa
If you are facing charges for a crime in La Mesa it is important to speak with an attorney. An attorney can argue legal defenses that reduce the charges you face. In some cases, a persuasive legal defense can result in the dismissal of all charges against you. The defenses that can be argued in your case will depend on the crime you have been accused of committing. Defenses to criminal charges in La Mesa include:
- Self-defense or defense of another person;
- Lack of intent;
- Lack of knowledge;
- Force or duress; and
- False accusation.
When you meet with our La Mesa criminal defense attorneys you will be asked a series of questions about your arrest and alleged crime. Your answers will help us to determine (a) if your Constitutional rights have been violated and (b) which legal defenses may work in your case. If your rights have been infringed we will petition the court to throw out any evidence that is tainted by those violations.
Experienced La Mesa Criminal Defense Lawyers
Have you or someone you love been arrested for a crime in La Mesa? If so, contact the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC. Our La Mesa criminal defense lawyers have more than 16 years of experience handling all criminal matters. We have successfully defended clients in La Mesa who have faced criminal charges for:
- Assault and Battery
- Drug Possession
- Grand Theft
- Home Invasion
- Restraining Order Violations
- Shoplifting, and
- Welfare Fraud;
The decisions you make today will determine how your future unfolds. Make the choice to fight the criminal charges you face. You can significantly reduce the negative consequences of your arrest by hiring a La Mesa criminal defense attorney to handle your case. Contact the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC today to set up a free consultation. We will review your case, determine the best legal strategy for your defense, and explain your legal rights.