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Criminal Defense Lawyers in San Diego County

criminal defense attorney in el cajonHave you been charged with a crime? Are you worried about the impact this will have on your life? Being charged with a crime can be a difficult experience. Imprisonment, probation, fines or penalties can accompany a crime, and these can be intimidating. The effect the crime can have on your criminal record can influence the rest of your life. As so much depends on the outcome of your criminal case, you cannot afford to defend yourself alone. It is important to have someone on your team who has experience in handling the types of issues that will arise. Settling with representation from someone who does not have the knowledge to handle your case is unacceptable.

At Garmo and Garmo, LLP, we understand what is at stake when you are charged with a crime, and we go to work immediately to aggressively defend the charges against you. Our attorneys are familiar with the local courts, along with many of the prosecutors, city attorneys, and judges who will handle your case. Our office has been able to successfully negotiate deals for our clients that result in reduction, modification, or dismissal of charges. Let us put our extensive experience to work to fight for you.

Our office is experienced in defending a wide range of criminal charges, including but not limited to:

  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence): California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you are facing the possibility of harsh fines and penalties, loss of your driving privileges, and even jail time.
  • Drug-Related Offenses: Drug arrests are common in San Diego County, and those arrested could face multiple charges depending on the circumstances. Whatever you are charged with, being convicted brings with it the possibility of heavy fines, prison time, and other penalties.
  • Traffic Tickets: Speeding, running a red light, reckless driving, distracted driving, and other traffic violations can seem minor, but they can have more severe consequences than you may think. Traffic tickets can incur fines, add points to your driving record (which eventually leads to a driver’s license suspension), increase your auto insurance, and require you to attend traffic school.
  • Theft: In California, “petty theft” is theft of property not belonging to you valued at $950 or below. If you steal property valued at over $950, it is considered “grand theft”. Some theft crimes are charged as misdemeanors, while others are charged as felonies. A conviction can result in heavy fines, jail time, and state prison for more serious offenses.
  • Domestic Violence: If you are accused of a crime against a former or current co-habitant, fiancé and/or spouse, a former or current dating partner, or a parent, child, or someone else who is close to you, it is likely to be charged as domestic violence. Because of the relationship between the accused and the alleged victim, many individuals are falsely charged with domestic violence each year. If this has happened to you, you need strong legal counsel by your side fighting hard to protect your rights.
  • Juvenile Crime Defense: Most minors ages 17 and under that are arrested for a crime are tried in juvenile court. Some common juvenile crimes include shoplifting, underage drinking, drug arrests, vandalism, truancy, and bringing weapons on school grounds. In the juvenile justice system, the emphasis is on intervention, rehabilitation, and ensuring that our youth receive the help they need to stay on the right path.
  • Parole Violations: When an inmate who was convicted of a felony is released early from state prison, they are usually released under the supervision of a parole officer. When you are granted an early release by a parole board, there are certain terms and conditions you must follow in order to stay out of prison. The penalties for parole violations can be very harsh, depending on how many violations you have and other specific circumstances of your case.
  • Restraining Orders and Protective Orders: A restraining or protective order is a legal order that bars the accused from contact with the protected party. Restraining orders are used in situations involving domestic violence, workplace harassment or violence, elder abuse, and general civil harassment. There are three general types of restraining orders; emergency restraining orders go into effect immediately and last up to 7 days. Temporary restraining orders (TROs) generally last between two and three weeks while a case is heard by a court. Permanent restraining orders take effect after a court hearing and can last as long as five years.

Classifications of Criminal Charges in San Diego

When you are charged with a crime in California, it will generally fall under one of three categories; an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony.


These are minor offenses in which the penalty is typically just a fine and no jail time or probation. Examples of infractions may include city code violations, violations of administrative ordinances, and minor traffic violations. Infractions are technically not criminal violations, and they do not show up on your criminal record.


A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction, but not as serious as a felony. Examples of misdemeanors may include first-time DUI offenses (without aggravated circumstances), shoplifting, and soliciting a prostitute. Though misdemeanors can seem relatively minor, the consequences can still be fairly harsh. If you are convicted for a misdemeanor, you can face several hundred dollars (or more) in fines and penalties and up to one year in jail. In many cases, your sentence can be reduced to counseling, community service, probation, and restitution for the victim.


The most serious type of criminal offense is a felony. Examples of felonies may include murder, rape, drug trafficking, multiple and/or aggravated DUI, grand theft, and more serious cases of domestic violence. Felony convictions can result in very harsh consequences. For the most serious offenses, those convicted can expect to spend several years in state prison, and in the most extreme cases, they may receive life imprisonment or even the death penalty.


A wobbler is an offense that falls in-between two categories and could be one or the other. For example, there are some minor offenses that could be either infractions or misdemeanors. An example of this would be a petty theft worth under $50. In other cases, an offense could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on what the prosecutor decides. This is common in many cases of domestic violence, theft, and DUIs with enhanced circumstances.

Speak with a Seasoned La Mesa Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime is a very serious matter, and if you are in this situation, you need strong legal counsel in your corner to prepare an effective defense strategy. At Garmo and Garmo, LLP, we are committed to fighting for your future and ensuring that you receive the most favorable result possible.

For more information and to schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 619-441-2500.

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