In Fresno, making use of a weapon in committing a crime makes it a much bigger crime and the punishment will be considerably harsher. The use of a weapon during a crime is considered to be a dangerous offense in Fresno and other parts of California. A dangerous offense is the one that involves the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument that can be used as a weapon to inflict serious physical injury on another person. The charge changes to murder if the victim eventually dies. Any instrument that can be used to kill or inflict serious physical injury on another person can be considered as a dangerous weapon. Since a pillow can be used to suffocate someone to death, it can be accepted as a dangerous instrument depending on the circumstances around its use. On the other hand, a deadly weapon is a weapon designed for lethal use and this includes firearms. A crime becomes heavier in Fresno if it involves the use of either a dangerous instrument or a deadly weapon.
You need to understand that dangerous offenses have their punishment structure. For a dangerous offense, you can be sent to jail even if you have never committed any crime before. If you have not been convicted of any felony before, you should be eligible for probation but this is not applicable to dangerous offenses. Any individual that is found guilty of a dangerous offense is not eligible for probation, even if he has not been convicted before. Most people don’t understand how serious a dangerous offense is. It is only second to homicide in the punishment structure.
In California, all the offenses are grouped into classes with the least serious offense categorized as class six felony. Each of the felony classes attracts mandatory prison sentences. It is needless to remind you that a class one offense will result in a longer sentence than a class two offense and class six offense has the shortest sentence. An offense that would have attracted a jail term of about three to 12 years will attract a jail term of about 7 to 21 years if it is classified as a dangerous felony offense. This is why dangerous offenses are some of the most serious offenses with which you can be charged.
So, when you are charged with such offenses in Fresno, it becomes a necessity to contact a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer that is based in Fresno. The earlier you involve him, the more the higher chance you have of being acquitted. Even if he cannot get you acquitted, he should be able to convert it to a less serious offense. If you are made to appear in court without a lawyer, never answer any questions. Just tell the court that you need a lawyer before you can make any decision or say anything about the case. In Fresno, the right to be represented in court is the most important right in any criminal prosecution. Unfortunately, this right won’t protect you if you don’t exercise it.
In summary, the most important thing to do when you are charged with a dangerous felony offense is to involve an experienced lawyer as quickly as possible. For such a serious offense, appearing in court without a lawyer is like going to a gunfight with a knife.