Expert Criminal Defense Representation in Modesto, CA

Navigating criminal arrests and charges can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you're unfamiliar with the legal system. Our team of skilled attorneys, led by a Certified Criminal Law Specialist recognized by the California State Bar of Legal Specialization, offers comprehensive legal support for state and federal charges. We understand the complexities of California criminal law and are committed to protecting your rights and future.

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How Can a Criminal Lawyer Help You?

Criminal lawyers can help you in many ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Access to legal expertise in navigating the complexities of the legal system.
  • Objective guidance for making clear-headed decisions amidst criminal charges.
  • Court representation and advocacy for the best possible outcome.
  • Advocacy for fair and lenient sentencing if found guilty.
  • Protection of rights throughout legal proceedings.

Fiercely Protecting Your Rights

Hiring a criminal defense attorney significantly boosts your chances of a favorable outcome. Our experienced team handles state, federal, and juvenile cases, offering fierce representation from trial lawyers with over 50 years of combined experience. With 24/7 availability and Spanish-speaking providers, we're here to protect your rights.

Criminal Cases We Handle

From first-time misdemeanors to serious repeat felonies, including alleged crimes in the following categories, our Modesto team of criminal defense attorneys handles all kinds of criminal charges. Our practice area includes:

CA Domestic Violence Lawyers CA, Or, WA State Fed Crimes District Courts.

Fighting for Your Best Outcome in Merced and San Joaquin counties Acts of domestic violence are serious crimes in California. The courts aggressively prosecute and punish these crimes to keep families safe. However, these are crimes that can be committed not only against spouses, children, and parents but also against anyone living in your household and romantic or dating partners. Thus, you can be accused of domestic violence whether you are married, divorced, share a child as a never-married parent, or even as a former dating partner. These crimes can include victims in same-sex relationships as well as those in traditional relationships.

FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA defends clients against all crimes that fall under the heading of “domestic violence” under California law. Led by a criminal law specialist, our team is well-versed in this area of criminal defense. We also know that allegations of domestic violence can be based on false statements, exaggerations, and misrepresentations by the accuser to gain leverage in divorce or child custody matters or as simple revenge against the accused. No matter the circumstances, we are here to thoroughly investigate your charges, build an effective defense, and work aggressively to protect your rights and achieve a favorable result.

Your initial consultation about your case is free. Contact FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA to speak with a Modesto, CA, domestic violence attorney at (209) 544-0200 today. Hablamos español.

Domestic Violence Crimes in California

California crimes that fall under the domestic violence umbrella include:

● Domestic battery
● Corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant
● Criminal threats
● Stalking
● Damage to a phone line
● Child abuse, neglect, or endangerment
● Elder abuse
● Aggravated trespassing
● Revenge porn
● Posting harmful material online
● Violations of restraining orders.

These crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. However, corporal injury to a spousal or inhabitant is generally always charged as a felony. Some of these crimes are considered “wobblers” because they can be charged either way.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Crimes

Penalties for the above crimes can include the following:

● Jail or prison time
● Heavy fines
● Restitution to the alleged victim
● Loss of your right to own/possess a gun
● Participation in a batterer’s program
● Restraining orders (also called protective orders)
● A lengthy probation period
● A permanent criminal record that will show up on a background check

Restraining orders can result in forcing you to vacate the residence you share with the alleged victim, order you to stop any further abuse, order you to stay away from the victim as well as any children you share, ban you from making any contact with the victim whether directly or through another party, give the victim temporary custody rights of children, and include other orders/restrictions that the judge deems necessary. These orders can be issued on a temporary as well as a more permanent basis.

Fight Back with Experienced Legal Representation

A domestic violence charge can have devastating consequences for your life and future, which makes it extremely important to ensure that you have competent and aggressive legal help. Our firm is backed by decades of experience resolving cases both in and out of court. If you are facing charges, it is essential that you have a proven law firm on your side. Our firm knows how to fight for optimum results.

CA, Or, WA state fed crimes district courts, CA Drug Crimes Lawyers

Protecting Your Rights & Fighting for Your Freedom in Controlled substances have been made illegal in California under Health and Safety Code 11350(a). Under this law, you will be charged with a misdemeanor if you are found to be in possession of any controlled substance. This includes prescription medicines without an authorized prescription. “Controlled substances” can include street drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and more, as well as prescription medicines, such as Adderall, Vicodin, OxyContin, Xanax, and more.

If you are facing any type of drug crime, whether it involves simple possession for your own use or possession of large amounts of drugs, dealing in drugs, or any other controlled substance activity or operation, you should immediately seek our help. At FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA, we put decades of experience as well as outstanding expertise on your side with the insight and skills of our Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Our team is here to protect your rights while engaging in a comprehensive investigation and fact-finding related to your arrest and charges. Where errors, inconsistencies, or flaws in the prosecutor’s case appear, we will expose them to challenge the charges against you in seeking a case dismissal, reduction of charges, or not-guilty verdict at trial.

Contact FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA to book your complimentary consultation with a Modesto, CA, drug crimes attorney to discuss your case and options. We can be reached via our email form or by phone at (209) 544-0200. Hablamos español.

Drug Charges in California

Drug charges in California are based on several factors, including the following:

● The type of drugs found in your possession
● The amount of drugs found in your possession
● Your prior drug criminal history, if any
● Aggravating factors, such as involving minors, the use of deadly weapons, and more

Charges can range from first-offense misdemeanors to multiple felonies, based on the nature of the offense and the above factors.

Charges can include:
● Simple possessions for your own use
● Possession with intent to sell
● Sales/distribution
● Drug manufacturing or cultivation
● Drug importation, transportation, and trafficking
● Conspiracy
● Possession of drug paraphernalia

Large-scale drug operations, such as interstate trafficking, can be charged as federal crimes after investigations by such agencies as the DEA or FBI. These can result in serious penalties such as prison terms in federal prisons, hefty fines, asset forfeiture, and years of probation.

Misdemeanor Drug Charges

Simple possession for your own use charged as a misdemeanor carries the following potential penalties:

● Up to a year of incarceration in county jail and/or
● A fine of up to $1,000

In these cases, courts have the discretion to impose other penalties, such as community service hours, probation instead of jail time, or drug treatment. California has established drug courts where nonviolent offenders can undergo rehabilitation programs instead of a trial. Upon successful completion of such programs, your charges may be dropped with no conviction on your criminal record.

Working to Help You Seek Favorable Results

No matter what type of drug charge(s) you face, whether a misdemeanor at the state level or multiple felonies at the federal level, our team can help. With decades of experience defending clients of all types of drug crimes, we know how to investigate charges, uncover evidence that can work in your favor, negotiate with or challenge prosecutors, and aggressively represent you in court.

CA, Or, WA state fed crimes district courts, CA DUI Defense Lawyers

Fighting for Drivers in Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is one of the most common criminal charges prosecuted in California courts. California maintains strict laws regarding this issue, and stiff penalties apply to anyone convicted of this offense. However, while most drivers believe that a conviction is inevitable in their cases, many aspects of DUI arrests can be prone to error, from roadside sobriety tests to defective breathalyzers and more. Savvy lawyers who understand this know what to look for in DUI arrest investigations on behalf of clients. These issues can challenge the state’s case against you and put it in reasonable doubt.

At FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA, our team of seasoned criminal defense attorneys knows what to look for in defending clients against DUI. With a Certified Criminal Law Specialist onboard, we have the expertise as well as the experience to uncover errors and flaws on the part of law enforcement, their equipment, their procedures, and more that can invalidate charges. We can also represent you at the DMV administrative hearing, which is part of the process to challenge the automatic suspension of your license. Throughout it all, we will be by your side to give you the support and legal proficiency you need at this critical time.

Request your complimentary consultation with a Modesto, CA, DUI defense attorney at FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA by contacting us online or at (209) 544-0200. Hablamos español.

DUI Charges in California

DUI charges in California are based on the following:

● Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measuring .08 percent or higher (the legal limit) for adults, 04 percent for commercial license holders, and .02 percent for those under 21
● Being under the influence of illegal drugs, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs
● Being under the influence of a substance that impairs your driving regardless of the BAC level

Drivers found with a BAC level of 16 percent or higher will generally face enhanced penalties as part of an “aggravated” case. DUI charges will result in two separate proceedings that include your criminal case in court and a license suspension hearing with the California DMV. You must request this hearing to challenge the automatic suspension of your license within ten days of your arrest.

DUI Penalties

A first-offense DUI is charged as a misdemeanor. Many penalties apply, which can include:

● Three to five years of probation
● Fines and penalty assessments can range up to $2,000 depending on the county where you were arrested
● Up to six months in jail
● Mandatory participation in “DUI School” that typically lasts for three months
● A driver’s license suspension of six months (you may be able to drive on a restricted license or drive right away if you install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle)
● Attendance at a victim impact panel
● A spike in your auto insurance premiums

Factors that can aggravate your case, resulting in stiffer penalties, can include driving with an excessive BAC as mentioned above, causing an accident, speeding while driving under the influence, refusing to take a chemical test, or driving with a minor under the age of 14 in your car.

In second, third, and subsequent DUI convictions within a 10-year timeframe, penalties will be increased. A fourth DUI can be charged as a felony carrying 16 months up to four years in prison along with huge fines. DUI cases involving the injury or death of others will also generally lead to increased penalties and may be charged as felonies. Prison terms in these cases can range up to four years, while fines can range up to $5,000.

When Is a DUI Considered a Felony in California?

In California, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is considered a felony under certain circumstances, including:

● Prior DUI convictions: If a person has been convicted of three or more DUI offenses within the past ten years, any subsequent DUI offense may be charged as a felony.
● Injury or death caused by the DUI: If a person's DUI causes bodily injury to another person, the offense may be charged as a felony. Additionally, if a person's DUI causes the death of another person, they may be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, which is a felony offense.
● Reckless driving: If a person's DUI involved reckless driving, such as driving on the wrong side of the road, driving on a sidewalk, or fleeing from the police, the offense may be charged as a felony.
● Prior felony DUI conviction: If a person has a prior felony DUI conviction, any subsequent DUI offense may also be charged as a felony.

If a DUI is charged as a felony, the penalties can be severe and may include imprisonment in state prison, fines, and loss of driving privileges. The specific penalties will depend on the circumstances of the offense and the defendant's criminal history. It's important to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney if you are facing DUI charges in California, particularly if the offense is considered a felony.

Our Representation in DUI Cases

Your Modesto DUI attorney from our firm will attend all court hearings as well as the DMV hearing on your behalf. Should your case go to trial, you will have to show up in court. We will work hard to gather and analyze evidence, prepare your case for trial, and negotiate with the prosecutor or court to seek a dismissal of your case or reduction of the charges. Our goal is always to help you achieve the best possible result through our aggressive and comprehensive efforts.

Areas of Practice

● Underage DUI

Contact Us Today

We're available 24/7.

CA, Or, WA state fed crimes district courts, CA Federal Crimes Lawyers System

Defending Clients in Being accused of a federal crime is a very serious matter. These are crimes that violate federal law, cross state lines, or are committed against federal property or federal officials. They are investigated by federal agencies with the full resources of the federal government. These agencies can include the FBI, DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the IRS, and more. They are prosecuted in federal court and can lead to prison terms in federal facilities, along with fines and probation. The federal criminal justice system is different from California’s system, but with different procedures and rules of evidence. You will need an attorney who is licensed to practice in federal court and experienced in federal criminal defense.

At FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA, our team represents those being investigated by federal agencies as well as those who are facing federal charges. Our Modesto, CA, federal crime attorneys have decades of experience in handling such cases, from the investigation stage throughout all further stages of the process. We know how to conduct our own investigations into charges, analyze evidence, build effective defense strategies, negotiate with prosecutors, and make compelling arguments in court in your defense.

Put an experienced Modesto, CA, federal crimes attorney on your side by contacting FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA at (209) 544-0200  for a free case review. Hablamos español.

Federal Crimes Cases

Federal crimes number in the thousands. They can include, but are not limited to, such crimes as:

● Bank robbery
● Arson and explosives violations
● Bribery/ Public corruption
● Forgery and counterfeiting
● Drug crimes
● Theft from government programs
● Firearm offenses
● Bank and lending fraud
● Kidnapping
● Investment fraud
● Health care fraud
● Insurance fraud
● Mail fraud
● Bank and wire fraud
● Human trafficking
● Money laundering
● Pornography
● Tax evasion
● Terrorist acts

Your case may begin by receiving a federal grand jury target letter. These letters are sent to individuals whom the federal government believes to be linked to criminal activity. You may have been under investigation by a federal law enforcement agency for months or even years while agents worked on collecting enough evidence to bring you to a grand jury investigation. Target letters are sent to advise individuals of their rights in these matters. You will need a federal crimes lawyer immediately. Receiving such a letter means that you may be indicted in a criminal matter.

Indictments are formal criminal charges brought against you by the Grand Jury. These judgments are brought together in federal court to review preliminary evidence to decide if that evidence provides sufficient proof of a crime. When they decide the evidence merits it, they vote to indict you. After an indictment, the federal criminal case can move forward to a trial. However, before the trial, you may be given a plea bargain by the federal prosecutor, which you can either agree to or not. Making such a decision is a critical matter. Our team can provide the advice and representation you need throughout the entire process to help you reach the best possible outcome for your case.

Our experienced team is dedicated to defending clients against allegations of gang-related activities, leveraging strategic legal defense strategies to protect their rights and advocate for fair treatment throughout the legal process.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 333 on October 8, 2021, and it will take effect on January 1, 2022. This law refines the definition of a "pattern of criminal gang activity" in Penal Code § 186.22 and modifies the trial process for gang enhancements.

With a deep understanding of firearm laws, our expert legal team provides comprehensive representation for individuals facing gun-related charges. We work tirelessly to ensure our clients’ rights are upheld and pursue the best possible outcome for their case.

In cases involving serious offenses such as homicide, our compassionate yet tenacious defense attorneys provide unwavering support to our clients. We conduct thorough investigations, craft strategic legal defenses, and advocate vigorously to safeguard their rights and ensure a fair trial.

CA, Or, WA state fed crimes district courts, CA, Juvenile Crimes Lawyers

Has your son or daughter been accused of a crime in Stanislaus, Sacramento, or Fresno County?

Anyone can be accused of committing a crime, regardless of whether they are a minor or an adult. However, the handling of criminal accusations against minors differs from those against adults. Minors under the age of seven can never face charges in a juvenile court, while those aged eight and above can be.

If your child or teen has been accused of a crime, you are undoubtedly worried about how such a criminal offense will affect his or her future. You can turn to FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA for the help you need. We can provide the critical advice and guidance you need when navigating the juvenile court process. We understand how important it is to help minors avoid a criminal record that could negatively impact them for life. Our team is well-versed in these matters and ready to defend your child to achieve the best possible result.

Reach out to a Modesto, CA, juvenile crimes attorney at FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA for legal help by contacting us online or at (209) 544-0200. Your initial consultation is free. Hablamos español.

The Juvenile Court Process

Common juvenile crimes can include:

● Drug offenses
● Underage drinking, including using a false ID
● Criminal trespass
● Shoplifting
● Vandalism
● Assault
● Burglary
● Motor vehicle theft
● Arson

The California juvenile court system has been established on the idea that minors should not be treated the same way as adults in criminal cases. The aim of these courts is generally to rehabilitate rather than punish, while still protecting the public. Thus, juveniles have their own courts, detention centers, procedures, and rules. The juvenile justice process follows when a minor is arrested for an offense. Where offenses are not serious, law enforcement may only give the child a warning and let him or her go. The child may also receive a citation, which means he or she will need to appear in court at a later time but will still be allowed to go. Where the offense is serious, the minor may be taken to juvenile hall.

When a minor is subject to juvenile court, prosecutors can make decisions, such as whether to file formal charges for a crime, resolve the matter off the record, or completely dismiss the incident. They will look at many factors when determining whether to file charges or not. These factors can include the minor’s age, the nature and seriousness of the offense, the available evidence, whether the minor has committed prior offenses, parental responsibility, and more.

Minors have rights just like any adult. They have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to understand that anything they say can be used against them.

Juvenile Court Proceedings

Court proceedings for juveniles can include detention hearings to decide whether they should remain in the juvenile hall while their case is pending, transfer hearings to decide if they should be transferred to an adult court to be tried as an adult, adjudication, which occurs when they appear before a judge who determines their guilt or innocence, and deposition hearings where they are “sentenced.” Sentences can range from community service hours to restitution to victims, counseling, or being sent to alternate living facilities or to California’s detention/rehabilitation centers for serious offenses.

When facing allegations of theft crimes, including shoplifting and organized retail theft, our dedicated legal team works tirelessly to protect our clients' interests. We employ proactive defense strategies aimed at minimizing consequences and securing the most favorable outcome possible. Discuss California's AB 1065 & 331. Discuss Penal Code 490.4 and offense penalty. 

CA, Or, WA state fed crimes district courts, CA Theft Crimes Lawyers

Defense Experience & Expertise for Clients in Theft is a term that covers various crimes that involve the taking of others’ property or services without their consent with the intention to deprive them of it. Theft is generally divided into two categories based on the value of the items or services taken, which are petty theft and grand theft. Petty theft is generally charged as a misdemeanor, while grand theft may be charged as a felony.

No matter what type of theft charges you face, it is in your best interests to retain the services of a competent and committed criminal defense lawyer. At FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA, you can partner with a Modesto, CA, theft crime attorney who is part of an experienced team with a proven track record of success. Led by a Criminal Law Specialist, our firm knows the law, how the California criminal justice system works, how to deal with prosecutors, and how to get results both in and out of court. From the start, we put an aggressive advocate on your side who will fight for you at every stage of the criminal process.

Accused of a theft crime? Book a free initial consultation with a Modesto, CA, theft crime attorney at our firm by contacting us via email or by phone at (209) 544-0200. Hablamos español.

Theft Crimes in California

Theft crimes can include offenses other than petty or grand theft. These crimes can also include:

● Embezzlement
● Writing bad checks
● Burglary
● Robbery
● Grand theft auto
● Receiving/dealing in stolen property
● Identity theft
● Credit card/debit card theft, or fraud

How you are charged in any of these types of theft will depend on the nature of the offense, whether a deadly weapon was used, the extent of the financial loss to the alleged victim, and whether you have prior convictions.

Petty Theft

Stealing anything valued at up to $950 is considered to be petty theft. Charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, six months of jail time, probation, and possible restitution to the alleged victim(s).

Grand Theft

Grand theft involves stealing property valued above $950 and may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. If you are charged with a misdemeanor for grand theft, you may be facing up to a year in county jail. If charged with felony grand theft, you may be at risk for 16 months, two years, or three years in prison.

If the property stolen was of a very high value, you may face penalty enhancements, which means additional and consecutive sentences. For example, if what was taken was worth more than $65,000, you may be sentenced to an additional year of prison time. These additional sentences can be increased even further based on the value of what was stolen.

Talk to One of Our Experienced Attorneys About Your Case

The best action you can take when facing charges of any type of theft is to bring in an attorney you can trust to provide comprehensive and aggressive legal help. By doing so, you will increase your chances for a better or optimum outcome. One of our team members can give you specific advice and guidance in a free initial consultation.

Violent Crimes Attorneys in Modesto, CA, Or, WA state fed crimes district courts, CA

Defending Those Who Are Facing Violent Crime Charges in California

Violent crimes are among the most serious of all the offenses that you can face. These are crimes in which violence or the threat of violence is used against victims. When they involve a deadly weapon, they are even more serious under California law. Law enforcement aggressively pursues such crimes and may have special task forces whose job it is to identify and bring charges against those whom they believe to have committed such crimes. On a federal level, violent crimes may be investigated by such agencies as the FBI, which can spend as much time and expense as they need to gather evidence that can stand up in court against defendants.

The team at FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA is here to provide the support and representation you need to defend yourself against violent crime charges. Whether your case involves an aggravated assault or something more serious, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources needed to conduct our own investigation into charges and devise a defense strategy based on the facts and circumstances of your case. Whether that involves a negotiated plea deal or trial by jury in court, our Modesto violent crimes lawyers know what to do and how to do it in seeking the best possible outcome.

Have you been accused of a violent crime? Call FORKNER, ORLANDO & ECHEVARRIA today at (209) 544-0200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our violent crimes attorney in Modesto, CA. Hablamos español.

What Is Considered a Violent Crime in California?

Violent crimes can include the following:

● Simple assault
● Aggravated assault
● Battery
● Domestic violence
● Forcible rape
● Lewd acts on a child under the age of 14
● Mayhem
● Robbery
● Arson
● Attempted murder
● Manslaughter
● Murder
● Kidnapping
● Carjacking
● Extortion

Most violent crimes are charged as felonies that involve prison terms, fines, and lengthy probation. Convictions can count as strikes under California’s three-strikes law. Convictions at the federal level can involve prison terms based on federal sentencing guidelines, as well as fines and probation.

An example of a violent crime of voluntary manslaughter involves killing someone in the heat of the moment, which is punishable by three, six, or 11 years in state prison. By contrast, murder can be charged as first-degree or second-degree murder that involves “malice aforethought” or premeditation. First-degree murder carries 25 years up to life in prison. Second-degree murder is the type that does not involve premeditation and is punishable by a prison sentence of 15 years to life.

Contact Our Violent Crimes Lawyer Today

When facing criminal charges as serious as those of a violent crime, you will want a proven trial lawyer who understands the law, the criminal justice system, and how to thoroughly defend you in these grave circumstances. Our firm is led by an attorney who has achieved the elite status of Certified Criminal Law Specialist, which means he is at the top of his profession. Work with our legal expert, who can provide you with the most advanced legal understanding and skills. Our Modesto, CA, violent crimes attorneys will stand by your side every step of the way and work aggressively to help you secure an optimum result.

1) Expungements

Our legal team specializes in assisting individuals with expunging their criminal records, providing a fresh start and improved opportunities for employment and housing.

2) Certificates of Rehabilitation

We help clients obtain Certificates of Rehabilitation, showcasing their rehabilitation efforts and potentially enhancing their chances of securing employment and restoring civil rights.

3) Collaborative Courts

We offer support for various collaborative courts, including Veteran's Court, Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and CARE Court, providing tailored legal assistance and guidance through these specialized programs.

4) Immigration Neutral Pleas (Penal Code 1016.3)

We navigate Penal Code 1016.3 to ensure immigration-neutral pleas for clients facing adverse immigration consequences due to aggravated felonies or drug-related charges, safeguarding their immigration status.

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