Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena seeks to provide quality, experienced representation at reasonable rates. Most clients are eligible for a payment plan and all major credit cards are accepted.
Orange County criminal courts are more and more reluctant to appoint a lawyer or attorney, except to the most indigent of criminal defendants. The Public Defender’s office has limited means and its services are generally reserved for those who are unemployed, homeless or on public assistance. This means that in order to even be considered for representation by the Public Defender’s office, you must prove to the court that you have no means of affording an attorney on your own. If you are applying for the Orange County Public Defender’s office, you will be asked to complete a financial affidavit and to sign it under penalty of perjury.
If you are arrested or even suspected of a criminal offense, the first thing you should do is contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can get involved from the beginning and inform you of your legal rights and options. Critical mistakes are often made at early stages when defendants attempt to explain events to police officers, security personnel, employers or others. A criminal defense attorney can also arrange a surrender so that you will not be arrested while you are at work or in front of friends and family.
If you or a loved one is arrested, you should call the Law Offices of Staycie R. Sena BEFORE posting bail. We may be able to get you released on your own recognizance so that bail is not required. Alternatively, we can refer you to a bondsman that will charge only an 8% fee (rather than the standard 10% fee).
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that involves less than a year of jail time. Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies. However, certain misdemeanors are "wobblers" which may be increased to felony charges. Common misdemeanors include domestic violence, driving under the influence - DUI, petty theft, public intoxication, simple assault, and vandalism.
Felonies are serious criminal offenses such as murder, aggravated assault, grand theft, drug crimes and most sex crimes. A felony is usually defined as any criminal offense that involves a year or more of jail time. They typically carry state prison exposure and often involve formal probation. If you are charged with a felony, you must appear at all of your court dates, alongside your attorney.
If you are charged with a felony, then you must appear in court for each and every court appearance. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, then Ms. Sena can appear on your behalf in most circumstances. You should discuss this with Ms. Sena prior to your arraignment.
The first stage in a criminal proceeding is referred to as an “arraignment.” Practically speaking, this is where we tell the court that you have a lawyer and are being represented on the case. In most cases we will enter a “not guilty” plea to the charges and pick up the police report. Bail or an O.R. release may be discussed. Another court date is usually set a few weeks later to start presenting evidence, negotiating the case or preparing the case for trial. All court dates after the arraignment are called “pre-trials” until either a preliminary hearing (in the case of a felony) or trial is set.
Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena may ask you to attend self-help meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or Anger Management. Doing so is designed to help mitigate your case and present your circumstances in a more favorable light. If you are asked to attend meetings, you must keep a record of your attendance. Please print this Self-Help Meeting Attendance Log (PDF) and ask a member to verify your attendance at each and every meeting you attend.