Russell A. Brown provides criminal defense services in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. First and foremost, the job of a criminal defense attorney is to protect the constitutional rights of the accused.
Defending Your Constitutional Rights
These rights include the 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and the 5th Amendment right to remain silent, right to due process, and prohibition against double jeopardy.
The 6th Amendment guarantees the right right to a speedy public trial, right to an impartial jury, right to notice of the charges, right to confront witnesses, and right to an attorney.
Personalized Criminal Defense
Russell A. Brown will diligently protect your constitutional rights. He is committed to designing a criminal defense that will exonerate his clients or reduce the charges and mitigate the punishment.
Standing By You In A Time of Crisis
Russell A. Brown understands that even a minor criminal charge can cause dramatic disruption to you and your family. Russell A. Brown will stand by your side in the courtroom and help navigate you through the criminal justice system.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor
Russell A. Brown offers criminal defense in all types of criminal law cases, including felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are serious charges and, depending on the circumstances, can count as a "strike" penalty. However, even a misdemeanor conviction can result in significant punishments.
A felony is punishable by 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison, unless another penalty applies. For violent felonies, California applies the "Three Strikes" law.
Theft of $950 or less and simple drug possession are misdemeanors under Proposition 47.
Misdemeanors are punishable by 6 months in jail and a fine over $1,000, unless another penalty applies. It is common for first time offenders to be granted probation instead of jail time.
During probation, restrictions and responsibilities are placed on an offender. If an offender fails to follow the rules of probation, the judge could order him or her to serve jail time.
Types of Cases
A conviction for driving under the influence can result in your driver's license being suspended or revoked. A DUI conviction also includes fines, drunk driving classes, and increased insurance costs. You may have to appear in court, spend time in jail, and pay attorney fees.
If you injure or kill someone while driving under the influence you may be charged with felony DUI or vehicular manslaughter.
Like most other states, California has established strict criminal laws designed to punish alleged drug offenders with imprisonment. Recently, California has shifted away from punishing drug offenders and toward rehabilitation. As a result, many jurisdictions now have drug diversion programs that allow offenders to stay out of jail or prison.
It is illegal to resist, delay or obstruct a peace officer while the officer is performing his or her duties. Under California law, merely recording or photographing an officer firearm is NOT considered resisting arrest, as long as you do not obstruct or endanger the officer while doing so.
Attempting to take or taking an officer's firearm is considered resisting arrest and can be charged as a felony punishable by imprisonment.
Assault & Battery
Assault involves the threat of force and the immediate ability to carry out that threat. Actions such as clenching fists, making verbal threats, or brandishing a weapon can be charged as assault.
Battery is thought of as an assault that is completed. It requires touching the victim, but it does not require an injury to the victim. The touch could be from your hands or from an object in your control.
Property crimes do not have the same stigma as violent crimes against persons. However, a conviction for a property crime can still be a life-changing event. Common property crimes include theft, burglary, vandalism, and auto theft.
Depending on the circumstances, property crimes can be charged as a "strike" felony. In addition, the judge can order you to pay restitution for damaged or stolen property.
After you have successfully completed probation, served jail time, and paid all fines, you may petition the court for an expungement. An expungement withdraws a plea of guilty or no contest and dismisses the charges, closing the case.
After your case is expunged, you may state that you have never been convicted of a crime on most job applications. Expungement does NOT remove a criminal conviction for immigration purposes.