Criminal Defense

San Rafael Criminal Defense Firm

Providing Skilled Defense Strategy in Marin County, San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma & Richmond

California laws have significant and sometimes life-altering ramifications for anyone accused of committing a crime in the state. First-time offenders can face imprisonment and hefty fines. The state’s three strikes law was amended by Proposition 36 in 2012, but third-strike offenders can still get a life sentence for a serious or violent felony.

Attorney Peter James Chambers brings experience that other defense attorneys may not have. He is also a former prosecutor, giving him specific insight into investigations and the prosecutorial process. His deep understanding of the criminal justice system from both sides better enables him to leverage any weakness to better advocate for his clients. 

What is a Defense Attorney?

A criminal defense lawyer specializes in defending those who are facing criminal charges, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony. They are trained and experienced in criminal law and court procedures, and they work to protect the legal rights of their clients throughout the legal process.

Hiring our experienced criminal defense attorney after an arrest can be highly beneficial for several reasons:

  • Our lawyer can advise you on how to interact with the police and prosecutors to avoid making any statements that could be used against you.
  • We can build a strong defense for your case by investigating your arrest, interviewing witnesses, accessing evidence, and gathering other information that can be used in your defense. We can determine whether the arresting police officers violated your rights or if there are any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you and file the appropriate court motions.
  • In some cases, a plea bargain may be the best option for your situation. We can negotiate the terms of a plea agreement to either reduce the charges and/or penalties you face or dismiss your case altogether.
  • From start to finish, we can provide emotional support throughout the legal process and help you navigate the complex and often confusing legal system.

At Chambers Defense, we approach all cases with the same targeted attention designed to protect our clients’ rights and reduce any long-term impacts on their lives.

To learn more about how our firm can assist you in your case, call us at (415) 423-2828 today. Our criminal defense firm in San Rafael is here to help however possible.


California Criminal Laws & Penalties

Possible Consequences of Misdemeanor Convictions

The potential sentence for a conviction is based on the seriousness of the crime and other factors. 

Misdemeanors in San Rafael are less grave than felonies, but they still can significantly impact your life and create a criminal record. Penal Code 19 outlines that standard misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Aggravated misdemeanor convictions can lead to up to 364 days in jail. 

Examples of misdemeanor crimes include the following (depending on circumstances):

Possible Consequences of Felony Convictions

Felony convictions in Marin County generally have longer incarceration and possible fines than misdemeanors. Depending on the crime and factors surrounding it, a sentence can be up to three years in county jail, or sentences of 16 months and up to life in state prison. While California technically still has the death penalty as a sentencing option for certain crimes, Gov. Gavin Newsome declared a moratorium in 2019 with the goal of eventually banning the sentence.

Examples of felony crimes include the following:

Time behind bars and potentially tens of thousands of dollars in fines weigh heavily on those accused of crimes. Attorney Chambers understands the fear and worry that surrounds any criminal investigation. His strategy is always to first utilize all legal methods to maintain the client’s freedom. Keeping a conviction off someone’s record also combats additional negative outcomes.

The consequences go beyond imprisonment and/or fines:

  • You will have a permanent criminal record that will be seen in a background check.
  • Colleges may deny admission based in part on a past criminal record.
  • Some professional licenses require good character and specific ethical standards. A criminal record may keep you from receiving or keeping professional licenses.
  • When applying for a job, the prospective employer may select another candidate in part because of the conviction.
  • Landlords and management companies may view you as a risk if you have a conviction on your record, particularly for drug-related or violent offenses.
  • Convicted felons cannot buy or possess a firearm. This restriction is true for some misdemeanors as well.
  • Felons lose their right to vote while they are in prison or on parole or mandatory supervision.

Wobblers are crimes identified in law that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A talented defense lawyer in San Rafael like Attorney Chambers can fight to keep a lower charge from being pursued as a felony or negotiate a potential felony down to a misdemeanor.

Examples of wobblers include the following:

Chambers Defense Fights Criminal Charges

If you are being investigated or questioned about an alleged crime in Marin County, San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma, or Richmond, contact Chambers Defense right away. The sooner we are on the case, the quicker we can intervene on your behalf and analyze the best next steps in your legal defense.

Schedule a free consultation with our criminal firm in San Rafeal by calling (415) 423-2828 or sending an online message.