Attorney in San Diego

Questions & Answers

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

Understanding your charges, the law, and your defense options can be difficult, which is why our team at The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen proudly presents a helpful FAQ page to answer your questions. Read the information below to learn more about your case and legal rights, and if you have further questions or concerns related to your specific circumstances, contact our firm right away!

If I get arrested in San Diego, what should I do?
Regardless of the accusations made against you, if you are arrested you should not resist being taken into custody, as this will only complicate your case and make matters worse. Provide the officers with your identification information but then tell them you will not say anything further until you have an attorney present, and stay quiet until your legal counselor is by your side.

Should I talk to the police?
You should not talk to law enforcement without guidance from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Law enforcement agencies are allowed to lie to suspects in order to obtain information, so it is crucial that you do not say a word without an attorney to inform you of your rights and to instruct you about which questions you should or should not answer.

When should I call an attorney?
It is in your best interests to obtain the legal counsel of a criminal defense attorney in San Diego as soon as you are aware that you are under investigation or arrested for an alleged offense. Even if you are not yet formally charged with a crime, it is crucial that you talk to a lawyer about your rights and options.

What are my Miranda Rights and why are they important?
The so called Miranda Rights are described in the Fifth and Six Amendments and provide individuals with the right to remain silent to protect themselves against self-incrimination and the right to have legal counsel. At the time of arrest, law enforcement officers are legally obligated to Mirandize those taken into custody so that they are aware of their rights under the law.

The right to remain silent means that you do not have to answer law enforcement’s questions, which helps keep you from saying something that could be used against you by the prosecution. The right to an attorney means that you do not have to face the charges alone, but can have the assistance of a knowledgeable legal counselor to defend you and help you understand the charges, your rights, and your available options. You may choose to hire a private attorney or, if you are unable to do so, have a public defender appointed by the court on your behalf.

What happens if I wasn’t read my Miranda Rights?
The officer’s failure to read your Miranda Rights at the time of arrest could significantly impact your case. In light of the fact that you were not informed of your rights, the judge may decide that anything you said upon being taken into custody is inadmissible as evidence. It is important that you discuss the circumstances of your arrest and questioning with a lawyer as soon as possible if you were not Mirandized when taken into custody.

Is it possible to fight a DUI?
Absolutely! If you are charged with drunk driving, it is important that you do not enter a plea until you have had your case assessed by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. There are numerous ways in which your lawyer can challenge the allegations made against you and protect your rights and interests. If you are charged with DUI, an attorney from our firm can evaluate the circumstances that led to your arrest to determine if your case was negatively impacted by outside factors, such as:

  • The breath machine was incorrectly calibrated
  • You burped or vomited before taking the breath test
  • The officer did not have probable cause to pull you over
  • Your skin was cleaned with an alcohol-based swab before a blood sample was drawn
  • The blood sample was not analyzed properly or by a qualified professional
  • The officer’s instructions were not clear during field sobriety testing
  • You could not perform the field sobriety test because of a preexisting medical condition

Don’t hesitate to contact our team to discuss your DUI and learn about your rights and available defense options.

Could I go to jail for carjacking?
Carjacking is a serious violent crime that is always charged as a felony in California. The offense is charged under Penal Code §211, Penal Code §215, or simultaneously under both. Conviction for this offense will result in severe penalties, and you will be sentenced to incarceration in a state prison.

If convicted under Penal Code § 211 your sentence will be between 2 to 5 years, and if found guilty under Penal Code § 215 you could face imprisonment for 3 to 9 years. Depending on whether the alleged incident involved aggravating factors, such as the use of a firearm or injuries to victims, you could face additional incarceration for 10 to 20 years. Don’t wait to enlist the powerful defense of an experienced criminal lawyer if you are charged with carjacking.

How can the prosecutor prove that I’m guilty of possession with intent to sell?
Possession with intent to sell is basically the allegation that you intended to traffic or distribute drugs, but without proof of a transaction or exchange of money. If convicted of this felony offense under Health and Safety Code §11351, you could be sentenced to 4 years of incarceration per count. In order to show that you are guilty of this alleged offense, the prosecutor must prove to the court the following factors:

  • You were in possession, had control over, or purchased the drugs
  • You had knowledge of the drug’s presence
  • You had knowledge of the fact that the drug was a controlled substance
  • The amount of the drug was enough to use or sell
  • You specifically intended to sell the drug

Proving all of these factors can be difficult, which is why you should not wait to obtain the defense of an attorney who can effectively challenge the prosecutor’s claims.

Why do I need a private attorney?
Although the state will provide you with a public defender for your case, you should not accept this offer unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, public defenders are usually overworked and responsible for numerous cases at all times, which can make it very difficult for them to devote all the time and energy needed to properly prepare for and attentively represent each defendant. The lack of focused attention could have significant effects upon your case, which is why it is in your best interests to hire a private attorney for your defense.

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    “When I met Marc, I was immediately relieved. His calm and professional demeanor was exactly what I needed. He handled my case without a hiccup.”

    Heather M. | Rosemead, CA
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