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2990 Inland Empire Blvd.

Suite 114

Ontario, CA 91764

Phone: (909) 476-1455

Fax: (909) 476-2344

Pomona, Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana,

Jurupa Valley, Eastvale, Chino, Chino Hills, Corona, La Verne, Rialto, San Bernardino, Colton, Redlands, Diamond Bar

Stephan J. Johnson

Criminal Defense

DUI Defense

License Suspension

Traffic Violations

DUI & Driving Offenses TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS Home Suspended License

I firmly believe that every individual I represent deserves to have a voice in the criminal justice system.

After you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you face a battle on two fronts: one in criminal court and one against the DMV.

Southern California has a car-based economy, and without a drivers license, it is practically impossible to earn a living.

Traffic Violations can have major implications on your finances and capability to sustain employment and income.

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Criminal Defense Information Sheet

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you may have a lot of questions about the entire process. This is understandable because navigating the criminal justice system can be daunting. You may be facing serious jail time, heavy fines and harsh penalties. All of these items can potentially have a serious impact on your life. It may interfere with your job or with your family life. You may be required to take time off from work, which could make it difficult to pay regular bills or other financial obligations. In addition, these charges may end up on your criminal record. Because the criminal record is a public document, it is not private and it may be viewed by anyone online.

Getting the right legal assistance can make all the difference. A criminal defense attorney can defend you in felony and misdemeanor legal proceedings. Criminal law attorneys handle a wide range of charges, including theft crimes, DUI, drug crimes, driving offenses, assault and battery, and parole and probation violations. Having the skill and knowledge of an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side may prove beneficial. A criminal defense lawyer advocates for the interests of the accused person. An attorney can protect your rights, explain your options, and provide a strong defense in your case. While every case is unique, there are similar aspects.

Understanding the Criminal Defense Process

Getting arrested may be your first introduction to the criminal justice system. Your arrest may be the result of an officer witnessing a crime. Or you may have been arrested if the officer believed sufficient evidence existed which connects you to the crime. Additionally, your arrest may be the result of an arrest warrant that has been issued against you. It is up to the District Attorney’s office to file charges if it is determined that credible evidence exists. The district attorney will decide the number of charges and the severity of each charge. Depending on the crime involved, it may be up to the D.A. to decide whether to file charges as felonies or misdemeanors.

Soon after the arrest, your first court appearance will most likely be at the arraignment. At this point, you will be asked to announce your plea. Will you plead guilty? Not guilty? Or will you plead no contest? Each of these pleas is very different and could have lasting implications. Careful consideration should be given before you decide. Next, the court will determine the conditions under which you could be released. You may be held for a period of time, or released on your own recognizance. Often, the court will set the requirement that bail is met before you are released.

Defending Your Rights

If you are under investigation or facing criminal charges, it is critical to know your rights. Criminal defendants have the right to legal counsel. It is important to be proactive. There are steps you can take to preserve your rights and your freedom in any type of criminal case. From the beginning, you’ll need to develop a strong defense by seeking the advice and legal guidance of a highly qualified criminal defense attorney. There are many ways an attorney can help you understand the nuances of the charges and help you protect your rights.

It is best to do this very early in the case so that you know what to do and what not to do to avoid self-incrimination. You do not want to say or do anything the prosecution can use against you. A skilled lawyer will take the time to discuss your rights and provide legal counsel on the next steps in your case. The objective is to establish a strong defense to avoid a guilty verdict. As with all legal proceedings, there are strict deadlines and specific procedures must be followed by the court and the defendant.

Facing Trial on Criminal Charges

Defendants in criminal cases have the right to a trial. Depending on the charges, the law determines when the trial must start. A defendant has the ability to “waive,” or extend this timeframe. Waiving the right to a speedy trial may be a strategic move for a defendant. However, these decisions are best made with the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. If you give up the right to a speedy trial, you are agreeing to hold your trial after the time specified by law.

At trial, the defendant’s innocence or guilt is either determined by a jury of their peers or determined by a judge. In certain circumstances, an attorney will request the trial be held without a jury. Defendants are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty, either through a trial or guilty plea. The burden of proof lies with the District Attorney’s office. This means that the prosecuting attorney must provide the evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged crimes were actually committed by the defendant. By law, this evidence must be shared with the defendant’s criminal defense attorney who will use it to build a strong defense for this case.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Stephan Johnson, Attorney at Law provides personalized legal representation for clients facing criminal charges. He has decades of experience helping clients navigate the criminal justice system with successful outcomes. Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Stephan J. Johnson at (909) 476-1455 and arrange for a free initial consultation. He is committed to helping you find a positive resolution to your legal issues.


What is the bail and how is the amount determined?

For criminal cases in California, the judge often determines a financial amount which must be paid before the defendant is released. Defendants are often able to arrange bail through a bail agent by putting up money or property as collateral toward the full amount. Bail is intended to guarantee the defendant will return to court at a specified time to complete mandated hearings or to participate in the trail. If the defendant does not return at the agreed upon time and date, the money put forward as bail may be forfeited and a warrant may be issued for the defendant’s arrest. The courts use numerous variables when determining the amount of bail in a criminal case. The judge may consider the severity of the crime, the defendant’s community standing, the amount the defendant gained during the crime, any separate offenses, and whether the defendant is at risk of skipping bail and not returning.

What is a Plea in a Criminal Case?

At the arraignment, the defendant is asked to enter a plea. This plea is intended to describe the defendant’s position with regards to the charges. It is important to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer before choosing a plea. The defendant must enter a plea for each charge. Generally, a defendant enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. By pleading guilty, the defendant is admitting their involvement in the commission of that crime. A plea of not guilty means the defendant is declaring they were not involved in that crime. A plea of no contest indicates the defendant is agreeing they committed the crime. This plea differs from a guilty plea because it cannot be considered as evidence in a civil lawsuit against the defendant.

What is a Plea Deal or Plea Bargain?

A plea deal is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecution. The plea bargaining process often involves negotiations between the defense attorney and the prosecution. For example, the district attorney may want the defendant to enter a guilty plea in exchange for the prosecution dropping another charge or reducing it to a lesser offense. When a plea deal is accepted by the defendant, the judge can accept it and sentence the defendant accordingly. Or, the judge may reject the plea in its entirety or in parts. Once the plea deal is accepted by the judge, it is entered as a conviction. By accepting the plea bargain, the defendant can avoid the case going to trial. It is critical to seek guidance from a qualified criminal defense attorney before accepting a plea deal.

Is it Necessary to Have a Criminal Defense Attorney?

While there are legal issues that can be handled without the assistance of a lawyer, a criminal case is not one of them. Every type of criminal arrest can benefit from the skill and knowledge of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer who understands criminal law will work diligently to protect the rights of the accused. This attorney will focus on the charges and build a strong defense. The attorney will investigate and perform research to present the defendant in the best light at trial. In addition, because of experience in local courts, the criminal defense attorney will know the inner workings of this particular court. This can go a long way toward developing strategy for a successful outcome.

Criminal Defense Info Sheet.pdf