Criminal Defense

When you are charged with a criminal offense, you face multiple consequences. Some of these consequences come from the government, like incarceration, fines, and the loss of certain rights and privileges. Others manifest in your social and professional life.

As your criminal defense lawyer, my goal is to help you avoid these consequences by defending your case against the charge. Your lawyer is your advocate; your defender, your protector.

Case Types I Handle

I represent clients from Sacramento County and throughout California who are facing the following:

  • Drug charges;
  • Sex crime charges;
  • Gun charges; and
  • Domestic violence charges.

What I Do for my Clients

I am a dedicated, aggressive criminal defense lawyer who puts everything I can into defending my clients’ cases. I am honest, I am aggressive, and I will always tell you which legal decisions I think are in your best interest. My job is not to make legal choices for you, but to enable you to make informed decisions for yourself.

There is more to representing a client than advising him or her on how to proceed with a case. There is also the actual defense. As a criminal defense lawyer who works with juvenile and adult clients, I do the following for each case:

  • Conduct a full pretrial investigation;
  • Determine whether any of the prosecution’s evidence was obtained illegally and move to have it thrown out;
  • Obtain expert witnesses to testify on the client’s behalf;
  • Interview all parties involved in the case to determine whether any lying or exaggeration is skewing it; and
  • Negotiate with the prosecutors to reduce the client’s sentence as much as possible.

Why You Need to Work with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

You can represent yourself in court. That is call edpro se representation. But there is a lot of truth in the phrase “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” If even a professional lawyer should not represent him- or herself, you definitely should not represent yourself.

Why? Because you are not familiar with the process of building a strong, effective criminal defense strategy and the nuances of navigating the criminal justice system. You cannot simply go to court and tell the truth – you need to prove the truth if you want to prove your innocence to the court. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows exactly how to do this and will tell you when it is more realistic to try to reduce your charge instead of trying to have it dropped.

Contact The Law Office of Steve Whitworth Today

Do not wait to start working on your legal defense strategy. If you were charged with a criminal offense, you need strong criminal defense now. Contact the Law Office of Steve Whitworth today to set up your free legal consultation. The longer you wait to get started on your case, the more difficult it will be to have your charge lowered or dropped.

Sex Crimes

Steve Whitworth is a sex crimes lawyer who handles all criminal cases dealing with all crimes of a sexual nature throughout Sacramento County. For years, we have been effectively representing adults and juveniles in Federal and State courts. We routinely handle the cases of those who have been charged with sex crimes such as, possession of child pornography, Internet sex crimes and enticement, date rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, sex abuse, prostitution. and other sexual criminal charges.

We Can Help You

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure is usually considered as a less serious crime. However, if any contact is made between the offender and the victim, the crime may turn into a sexual assault which is usually considered as a more serious crime and may be classified as felony. If you have been accused of committing this offense, it is very important to find a qualified solicitor, such as Steve Whitworth, to help put this criminal charge behind you.

Rape

There are many benefits that you will enjoy after you decide to work with a rape defense attorney like Steve Whitworth. You will initially reduce chances where you will be convicted, even if you were falsely accused.

Lewd Conduct

Being accuse of any sex offense is a very serious allegation because you will not only be a subject of public embarrassment but will also affect your relationship. If you have been accused of lewd conduct, the Law Office of Steve Whitworth can help.

Prostitution

When it comes to cases of prostitution, the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth are one of the best because they have been dealing with the different aspects of prostitution cases for years. Since the entire nature of the act is such that is defies legalities, hiring an efficient attorney who is aware of the different difficulties faced by a such a charge is paramount.

Child Molestation

In Steve Whitworth, the attorneys are both efficient in their work and sensitive in their mannerisms. This stems from their highly experienced practices when it comes to dealing with child molestation cases and ensures a good and strong lawsuit as well as a protected environment for the child. For those who are falsely accused, the attorneys prove to be equally beneficial investments.

Cleaning Your Sex Record

The attorneys at the Steve Whitworth offices are very efficient when it comes to cleaning one’s record. This is not only because they have the experience when it comes to handling these issues but there are also one of the fastest agent when it comes to this job.

Contact Steve Whitworth Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

We are familiar with all facets of criminal defense and can help you through this time in your life in many ways. If you’ve been charged with any type of sex crime we can help. Timing is very important with these types of cases. If you have been arrested or accused call us at (916) 668-5970 to set up afree case evaluation.

DUI

A driving under the influence (DUI) case is different from other types of criminal case. When an individual is charged with a DUI, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) conducts its own administrative hearings independently of the criminal case. With these, police can submit their reports about a DUI case without actually providing testimonies. They are conducted by DMV employees, not judges, and have a different set of “rules” that must be met for penalties to be imposed.

As your criminal defense lawyer, I am committed to defending your case against the criminal charge as well as the administrative penalties you face.

What Constitutes a DUI?

In California and the rest of the United States, it is illegal to drive when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. Your BAC can be measured with a breath test, a blood test, or a urine test. Usually, an electronic Breathalyzer is used to gauge drivers’ BACs. Refusing to comply with an officer’s request for a breath sample will result in an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension.

Penalties for a DUI Conviction in California

The penalties you face for a DUI charge depend on a few different factors. They are the number of previous DUI convictions on your record and whether your act of drunk driving resulted in another party’s injury or death.

You can face some or all of the following penalties:

  • Driver’s license suspension;
  • Fines;
  • Jail time; and
  • Probation.

How I Handle DUI Cases

Every case is unique, and this is true even between DUI cases. I give every case I handle the attention to detail it needs with the goal of having the client’s charge lowered or dropped entirely.

When I defend a client against a DUI charge, I explore every possible option for proving that he or she did not actually drive while impaired by alcohol. Sometimes, it is unrealistic to expect to have a DUI dropped and when this is the case, I do my best to negotiate the charge down to reduce the client’s sentence.

In both criminal and administrative DUI proceedings, I look for answers to the following questions:

  • Did the arresting officer have probable cause to pull the client over?
  • Was my client lawfully arrested? and
  • Is there actually valid proof that his or her BAC was 0.08 percent or higher while he or she was driving? Breathalyzer results can be inaccurate, and when time elapses between when a driver had control of a vehicle and when he or she provided a sample, his or her BAC can rise as the alcohol is absorbed into his or her bloodstream.

Contact The Law Office of Steve Whitworth to Schedule your Free Consultation Today

If you are facing a DUI charge, start working on your defense strategy now by contacting the Law Office of Steve Whitworth to schedule your free criminal defense consultation. During your consolation, we will go over all the details of your case to determine the most effective course of action for you.

Gun Crimes

Throughout the United States, the sale and possession of firearms is regulated. In some states, it is regulated more strictly than others and, in these states, it can be easier to be charged with a gun crime when you did not, in fact, commit one. If you find yourself in this situation, start working on your legal defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer now. You can fight your charge, and you should not have to face steep fines, time in jail, and other penalties because of a crime you did not commit.

Types of Gun Crime Cases I Handle

Compared to the rest of the country, California has fairly strict gun laws. A variety of alleged offenses can be charged as gun crimes in California, including:

  • Purchase of a firearm without a valid permit to do so;
  • Possession of certain types of firearm, like a short-barreled shotgun, without a Dangerous Weapons Permit;
  • Possession of an unregistered firearm;
  • Sale of firearms without a valid license to do so;
  • Possession of a weapon banned in California;
  • Open or concealed carrying of a firearm without a valid permit;
  • Making illegal alterations to a firearm, such as removing its serial number;
  • Carrying a firearm in a place where firearms are prohibited; and
  • Trafficking stolen or illegal firearms.

Additionally, using a firearm to commit certain violent crimes can cause your violent crime charge to be raised to a more serious offense or subject you to more severe penalties.

Defending your Case Against a Gun Charge

As your lawyer, it is my job to fight your charge. I take a multi-pronged approach to defending clients’ cases. One part of my role is advising clients about their cases to help them make informed choices about the legal actions they take, which could involve accepting plea deals I negotiate with courts or choosing to appeal court rulings.

Another part of my role is fighting the charge to demonstrate your innocence to the court. This is a multi-pronged process that involves:

  • Negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce your sentence;
  • Conducting a full pretrial investigation to determine the validity of the prosecution’s evidence and testimonies;
  • Procuring expert witnesses to provide testimony to support your case;
  • Work to have your charge lowered or dropped; and
  • Interview police and all other parties involved in the case to ferret out any lies or exaggerations affecting it.

Call The Law Office of Steve Whitworth Today to Schedule your Free Consultation

When you are facing a gun crime charge, do not wait to start building a legal defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Get started on your defense strategy today by contacting the Law Office of Steve Whitworth to schedule your free legal consultation. During your consultation, we will go over all the details of your case to determine the right way to move forward with your defense strategy.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as battery committed against specific victims. Namely, victims who have close relationships with their abusers.

A domestic violence charge can do more than subject you to criminal penalties. It can negatively impact your child custody arrangement and potentially cause you to face professional and social consequences, like being passed over for a job and living with the stigma of being an abuser. Defeating your charge can protect you from these consequences.

What can be Charged as Domestic Violence?

The same actions that can result in a battery charge, any instance of the use of force or violence to harm a victim, may be charged as domestic violence.

The difference between a battery charge and a domestic violence charge is the victim’s relationship to the alleged offender. When the victim is the offender’s current or former spouse, a member of his or her household, an individual with whom he or she has a child, or an individual with whom he or she has a dating relationship, the offense may be charged as domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Charges and Penalties in California

There is another difference between regular battery charges and domestic violence charges in California: the penalties a convicted defendant faces. For a battery conviction, a convicted defendant faces up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. For a domestic violence conviction, the penalties are up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. With domestic violence cases, a defendant sentenced to probation or one whose sentence is suspended may be required to complete a batterer’s intervention program.

The penalties for a domestic violence conviction are steeper when the victim suffers a bodily injury the offender willfully inflicted. Depending on the offender’s previous criminal record, he or she can face years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Defending your Case Against a Domestic Violence Charge

In my role as your lawyer, my goal is to have your charge lowered or dropped. I do this by developing the most effective legal defense strategy I can through:

  • Conducting a thorough pretrial investigation of the case;
  • Interviewing all parties involved in the case to determine where lies or exaggerations are hurting your case;
  • Working with expert witnesses to provide accurate, helpful testimony to support your case; and
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to ideally, have the charge dropped or lowered and when this is not possible, to reduce your sentence.

Contact The Law Office of Steve Whitworth Today to Schedule your Free Consultation

When you are facing a domestic violence charge, you need to work with a criminal defense lawyer who will be your advocate. Your alleged actions could bleed into family court and any legal proceedings you are facing there, and by defeating your criminal charge, you can improve your chance of any family cases you are facing reaching a favorable resolution. Contact the Law Office of Steve Whitworth today to set up your free consultation with us.

Drug Crimes

Many different acts can be charged as drug crimes. When you are facing a drug-related charge, you are facing serious criminal, social, and professional penalties. As your criminal defense lawyer, my job is to do all I can to defend your case in an effort to have the charge lowered or ideally, dismissed.

Types of Drug Crime Cases I Handle

I represent clients who are facing all types of drug charge, including:

  • Possession of a controlled dangerous substance;
  • Manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance;
  • Selling or engaging in another type of drug trafficking;
  • Using a stolen identity to obtain prescription drugs from a pharmacy; and
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Although it is legal for adults to possess and cultivate cannabis in California, there are laws in place regulating its cultivation, sale, and use. A few California-specific cannabis infractions an individual may be charged with include:

  • Possession of cannabis by a minor;
  • Possession of more than the permitted ounce of cannabis or six plants;
  • Public consumption of cannabis;
  • Possession of an open container of cannabis in a motor vehicle; and
  • Sale of cannabis without a valid license to do so.

Keep in mind that although cannabis is legal to possess and consume under certain circumstances in California, it is illegal at the federal level. You can face a federal cannabis possession charge for having any amount of cannabis on federal land in California or for trafficking it into or out of the state.

Drug Crime Charges and Penalties

How a drug offense is charged depends on a few factors, such as the substance involved in the alleged act, the amount of the drug involved in the alleged act, and the alleged offender’s previous criminal record. A drug-related offense may be charged as an infraction, a misdemeanor, a wobbler, or a felony. A wobbler is an offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony at the prosecutor or judge’s discretion, depending on the factors present in the case.

Defending your Case Against a Drug Charge

As I mentioned above, my job is to try to have your charge dropped or reduced. When you are facing a wobbler, my goal is to have you charged with a misdemeanor and then defend your case against the misdemeanor.

Sometimes, having your charge dropped is not a realistic outcome. In a scenario like this, your defense strategy might focus on admission to a pretrial diversion program for drug offenders. This type of program makes it possible for you to have your charge dropped if you complete certain requirements.

Call The Law Office of Steve Whitworth Today to Set Up your Free Legal Consultation

Do not wait to start working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop an appropriate legal defense strategy for your case. When you are facing a drug charge, your first step should be to contact the Law Office of Steve Whitworth to schedule your free legal consultation.

Child Support

A divorce can split apart a couple, but it can also tear a family to pieces if they do not have the financial means to take care of themselves after the divorce. Child support is designed to help divorcing spouses provide for their children after a divorce. Support is usually paid to a non-custodial parent to the custodial parent but can also be used in join custody cases as well.

 spousal-child-support

How Child Support Works

In California, child support refers to the amount a court can order a parent to pay each month for child rearing expenses. This sum is determined based on state-issued guidelines, which a child support lawyer can help you understand. Irrespective of the amount you receive, the case can also include paternity and divorce issues, making it more emotionally challenging than it already is.

The decision of the court regarding who should pay for child support is based on each parent’s income levels and the time they spend with the child. The parent who is charged with providing said support must do so until the child:

  • Graduates high school and turns 18
  • Turns 19-years-old
  • Dies, marries or joins the military

 
If the child is disabled, both parents will be charged with providing child support if the disability makes the child incapable of self-care.

Contact the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth to Get the Support You Need

If you are in search of a child support lawyer in Sacramento or any of the surrounding areas, the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth can help you. Contact us today by calling (916) 668-5970 to set up a FREE initial consultation.

 

 

 

Asset Division

One of the many things a separating or a divorcing couple must consider is how property and debts are to be divided. Under California law, if these are acquired during marriage, they belong equally to both spouses and must be equally divided.

While some couples can agree on how this is fairly done, some may ask the court to intervene. As such, each will hire a lawyer who specializes in asset division to represent them in court.

asset-division

In either case, the following factors are involved in this proceeding:

  • Property values are determined
  • Decisions are made based on how the property is divided
  • Determining whether the debt or property is separate or marital

How Property is Divided

There are a number of ways this can be achieved. Spouses can split assets by taking certain items themselves or by selling them and dividing the proceeds from the sale.

Additionally, they can also decide to have joint ownership of the assets after the divorce. This can be the case if the property is a family home and the couple want to retain it until their children are older. Others may decide to retain investment properties in the hope its value increases.

Besides property, all debts accrued during the marriage have to be split fairly between the spouses. This includes car loans, credit card debt and mortgages. Divorce agreements are not binding on creditors who will demand what is legally owed to them.

In case a debt is assigned to one spouse, the other may ask the court to place a lien on separate property owned by that spouse. This can be done to ensure payment security for said debt. Most couples deal with this by paying off all debt after the divorce is finalized, such as by refinancing a house loan.

How a Business is Divided

If the couple owns a family business, it also comes up as an asset to be divided. In most cases, the court will award the business to the spouse who brought the most value to it. In other words, if you have more experience with the customers and more knowledge about the business, you may be granted it.

To ensure the division is done fairly, the owners of the business have to disclose details about the business with a full disclosure. There should be 100% transparency in the details, which includes its revenue, as well as the debts the company owes.

Contact the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth for Fair Asset Division

If asset division is involved, a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining.

If you are in search of a lawyer who specializes in asset division and who can represent you fairly in court, get in touch with the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth today. Get in touch with them for a FREE consultation by Calling (916) 668-5970.

 

 

Spousal Support/Maintenance

If a married couple gets a divorce, the court may award spousal support or alimony to one. Not to be confused with marital property division, the decision varies from case-to-case.

alimony

The main aim of spousal support, also referred to as maintenance, is to reduce unfair financial effects on a spouse who does not have an income, or who earns a wage that is too low to sustain a basic lifestyle. This can happen if one partner decides to stay at home to take care of the couple’s children and needs time to develop job-worthy skills. In either case, regular spousal support can ensure you do not fall onto hard times and can provide for yourself.
 

Factors Involved in Spousal Support Rulings

In California, the following factors determine whether a spouse receives spousal support or not:

  • The earning abilities of the spouse under consideration
  • The financial, physical condition and age of the spouse
  • Standard of living (if the spouse that is to be paid alimony is used to a higher standard of living, the court may ask the other to pay more in spousal support)
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Whether the spouse that is paying alimony can support himself/herself after the separation
  • Whether a job would compromise the care of the children
  • Debts and property
  • The impact of tax on alimony

 

How I Handle Spousal Support/Maintenance Cases

Whether you are the payee spouse or the one who does not think he/she deserves to pay alimony, I can help you with legal support. With years practicing family law, I understand cases such as spousal support can be influenced by a number of factors. That is why before providing legal aid, I do my due diligence by:

  • Doing a thorough background check on the spouse who is to pay maintenance to determine how much they can reasonably pay
  • Determining whether the spouse that is to receive spousal support genuinely cannot support him or herself financially
  • Determining whether periodic payments or a lump sum would be feasible in case divorce proceedings are prolonged
  • Ensuring periodic alimony is paid on time each time and issuing the paying spouse a court order if they fail to regularly pay
  • Considering the needs of the child or children who belong to the couple to determine the amount that should be paid

 

How Spousal Support Works

The first thing you need to understand about spousal support is that it is gender neutral. In other words, both women and men are eligible to receive it if the court mandates it. The idea is not to enrich one spouse and impoverish the other. The aim is to create a balance that can allow both to retain a lifestyle that is the same before they got divorced.

However, in most cases the court awards spousal support to the lower earning spouse to ensure they can get back on their feet after the divorce.

Contact the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth

Divorce can be contentious, especially if spousal support is included. Whether you want your spouse to pay alimony or want to contest a spouse who is asking for it, you need a lawyer who specializes in family law on your side.

This is where the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth can prove invaluable. Contact us to get your FREE alimony consultation. During it we will go over the details of your case and determine a course of action that will be in your best interest. Call (916) 668-5970 today.

 

 

 

Child Custody

When parents separate or get divorced, children are the primary victims. While you may not want to get back with your spouse, you can make process the easier for them by hiring a lawyer who specializes in child custody cases.

child-custody

Factors That Determine Child Custody

A child custody lawyer can elucidate specific factors that may have a role in determining who the child stays with. These include:

  • Which parent is the most likely to encourage visitation from the other parent
  • The best interests of the child in question
  • The wishes of the child if he/she is over 12 years of age or older
  • Frequency of domestic violence, if any
  • Frequency of drug use, if any

If children feel safe and cared for by both parents, they should not be deprived of either. There are a number of aspects that come up in custody negotiations during the divorce process, such as: Can you have legal or physical custody of the child – something a divorce lawyer can help you out with.

The Custody Framework

Within the context of a separation, divorce, child abuse allegations and domestic violence, child custody can become quite complex. Even though the rights of the parent and child take priority, the state obviously has an interest in the welfare and future of minors. Under California law, this can increase the number of people who are involved in the child’s custody.

Besides the institutions that may have legal precedence to intervene on behalf of the child, the court may appoint a guardian to represent him/her as well. The court’s decision to provide protective measures as per the welfare of the child may come about if there are allegations of child abuse against one parent.

Under Section 3030, a parent who has been accused of neglect or abuse may be denied visitation rights as well as custody by the court. Additionally, if one parent abandons the child or does not want custody, the other parent can get sole custody.

This is how I ensure a parent who has the child’s best interests at heart can win custody:

  • By doing a thorough background check on each parent regarding their care for the child
  • Discussing the child’s requirements after the divorce or separation and how the parent can fulfill them
  • Nature and frequency of contact of the child between both parents
  • Determining if the parents can be trusted with joint, physical, legal, or split custody

Get in Touch with the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth for a Consultation

If your child has been neglected or abused by your spouse or you think you can be a better provider, you have every right to fight for it in court. Rather than doing it alone, get in touch with professional child custody lawyers from the Law Offices of Steve Whitworth today. Call (916) 668-5970 to get a free consultation regarding your case.