Criminal Defense

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Vacaville, Fairfield, Vallejo or in the greater Solano County area, the best way to protect yourself from the harsh criminal justice system and over-zealous prosecutors is to hire a Solano County criminal defense lawyer from the Law Office of Laura M. Petty. At our firm, we strongly believe in presuming our clients are innocent until they are proven guilty. Below are our areas of practice. For further assistance, please contact our firm directly.

Assault & Battery
Assault and battery are two offenses that are often combined into one charge. Assault is the attempt to cause bodily injury to another person, whereas battery is the actual act of causing bodily injury to another. The crimes of assault and battery can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the circumstances of the case. 

Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon means that a person is being charged with attacking another person while using a deadly weapon. This can be a firearm, a knife, a hammer or any other instrument that has the potential to cause great bodily injury to another. Even hands and feet are included in the definition of a deadly weapon. 

Auto Theft
Under California law, there are various offenses associated with auto theft. Grand Theft Auto is the most serious auto theft crime. If you intended to permanently deprive the owner of their vehicle, then you could be charged with Grand Theft Auto, whereas taking someone's car temporarily might be charged as a lesser offense. …

Burglary can be charged when the suspect enters a residence with the intention of stealing something or committing a felony, whereas robbery is defined as the taking of personal property from another by means of force or fear. The penalties for burglary range from a year in jail to up to 6 years in prison. For robbery, a person faces imprisonment for up to 9 years. 

Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is considered an assault charge with the fines and penalties that accompany a violent crime. Domestic violence can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending upon the severity of the injuries and the facts surrounding the case. A conviction would mean a permanent criminal record among other penalties. 

Driving on a Suspended License
There are many reasons why a driver's license can be suspended or revoked, and unfortunately many people choose to ignore it and drive anyway. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, you face criminal penalties including jail, fines and an additional license suspension. 

Drug Crimes
Drug crimes involve a vast array of offenses ranging from possession, to cultivation, sales, trafficking and even prescription fraud. How a person is prosecuted will depend upon the type of drug, the quantity and what they intended to use it for. For example, possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use is less serious than manufacturing methamphetamines for the purpose of selling them. 

It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. Most first time DUIs are prosecuted as misdemeanors; however, under "aggravating" circumstances, a person can face enhanced penalties or even felony charges. 

Juvenile Crimes
Juvenile crimes are crimes that are committed by minors under the age of eighteen. The juvenile justice system is very different from the adult system; however, with serious violent crimes a juvenile can be tried as an adult. The court's main concern when handling a juvenile is the public's safety. 

What sets murder apart from other homicide charges is the element of "malice aforethought." This means that the offender planned to kill someone before carrying out the act. Murder cases are the most serious of all criminal cases and the prosecutor must prove intent. The prosecutor's evidence or testimony can be incorrect or insufficient to prove guilt. 

Rape is a sex crime where the offender forces another person to have sexual intercourse against their will. Although rape is a serious criminal matter, it is also an offense that can be based on false statements and outright lies. Since there are often to witnesses to the alleged rape, it's critical to involve an attorney to defend you. 

Restoration of Firearm Rights
Your Second Amendment right to bear arms may be revoked if you have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors. You will also be prohibited from possessing a firearm if you are addicted to drugs or suffer from certain mental illnesses. The restriction for felons is a lifetime ban of your right to bear arms. 

School Expulsion
Under certain circumstances, a child may be expelled from school. Such actions where a child or teenager attempted or threatened physical injury, or where they sold a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, or where they stole something, or possessed a weapon, or committed a sexual assault, they may be expelled from school. 

Search Warrants
A search warrant allows law enforcement to search your person, your home, your place of business, your car or any other area where there is suspected evidence of illegal activity. In order for a search warrant to be valid, there must be probable cause to suspect illegal activity happened in the first place. 

Seizure Litigation
The Fourth Amendment is designed to protect us from unreasonable searches and seizures and it gives us the right to privacy. In order for the police to legally search and seize our property, they must have probable cause first. If you have been arrested, then the police officer may be able to search you. 

Sexual Assault
Sexual assault refers to various forms of unwanted sexual contact. Rape is a form of sexual assault where a person engages in forced sexual intercourse. A person can be charged with statutory rape if they have unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. 

Shoplifting is a form of retail theft that cannot be taken lightly. Theft of merchandise valued above $400 is considered grand theft, whereas theft of goods valued below $400 is considered petty theft. If convicted of shoplifting you could face incarceration, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record.

Statutory Rape
Statutory rape refers to having unlawful sex with a minor. A minor is a person under the age of 18. Regardless of the consensual nature of the sexual contact, you could be found guilty of statutory rape. If the minor was more than three years younger than you, then you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony and incarcerated for up to a year. 

Suspension Hearings
There are many reasons why someone's driver's license can be suspended (past-due child support being one of them). Being arrested for DUI is only one of the main reasons for driver's license suspensions. If you are found driving on a suspended licenseyou could face up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000. 

Theft Crimes
There are a variety of offenses that are categorized under theft crimes. These include: shoplifting, burglary, robbery, extortion, check fraud, auto theft, and many others. All of them have in common that an individual fraudulently and purposefully took another's personal property with the intention of converting it to their own use. 

Traffic Cases
Depending on the nature of the alleged traffic violation, a driver may incur points on their driving record and monetary fines which can lead to skyrocketing insurance premiums. In the worst cases, too many points on one's driving record can lead to a driver's license suspension. 

Vehicular Manslaughter
If alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident causing death to another person, you will be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts surrounding the case. In the worst case scenario, you could be facing up to 10 years in prison. 

Violent Crimes
Violent crimes in California refer to offenses against people and property. Such crimes include assault & battery, sexual assault, rape, assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, robbery, burglary, auto theft, carjacking and assorted theft crimes. 

Areas We Proudly Serve
At the Law Office of Laura M. Petty, we are proud to serve the residents of Solano County including the areas of Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Vacaville, Vallejo, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Woodland and Contra Costa County. 

Solano County Criminal Lawyers
If you, or a loved one, has been arrested for a criminal offense, or if you are presently under investigation for a crime, contact a Solano County criminal defense attorney from our firm right away to uphold your legal rights in the harsh California criminal justice system.