Sonoma County Criminal Defense Attorney
Law Office of Amy Chapman703 2nd Street
Santa Rosa, California 95404
Contact Amy Chapman
Law Firm Overview FREE CONSULTATIONThe Law Office of Amy Chapman, based in Santa Rosa, California, only handles criminal law matters. This focus allows for intense specialization and expertise that a client could not get from a general practitioner. By limiting our practice to criminal law, we have the attention to detail you need to fight your case.
Our firm represents clients in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and throughout the North Bay accused of any criminal offense. We will vigorously represent people facing a wide variety of criminal charges including DUI, domestic violence, drug and marijuana offenses, sex offenses, and all serious or violent felonies. If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, you need skilled legal counsel to advocate on your behalf.
If each and every element of the crime you are charged with cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the Law Office of Amy Chapman can take your case all the way to jury trial and argue for a full acquittal. However, not every criminal case can end in an acquittal or a dismissal. When the government can prove the case against you, you still need to fight for the most favorable outcome possible. If it is possible to get your charges reduced to save you from jail or prison time, the Law Office of Amy Chapman will fight for your freedom.
Areas of Law
Additional Areas of Law: DUI Penalties; Felony DUI and DUI with Injury; DUI School; Child Molestation; Sexual Battery; Pimping; Indecent Exposure; Lewd Conduct; Internet Sex Crimes; Failing to Register as a Sex Offender; Kidnapping; Vehicular Manslaughter; Possession of Stolen Property; Check Fraud; Marijuana Charges; Reckless Driving; Hit and Run; Evading a Police Officer; Driving on a Suspended License; Probation Violations.
Areas of Law Description
At The Law Office of Amy Chapman, we provide aggressive representation in a wide variety of criminal charges including:
A conviction for any type of DUI will result in hefty fines, the loss of your license, and possibly jail time. You need an experienced DUI attorney to investigate your case, advocate for you in court, and possibly argue your case to a jury. The district attorney is not going to take your case lightly, and neither should you. For all that we have heard about the dangers of drinking and driving, people still make mistakes. It is extremely important that you talk to an attorney immediately after your arrest or citation for a DUI.
- Domestic Violence
In California, domestic violence means any criminal offense committed against a spouse, former spouse, person who you have a dating relationship with or formerly had a dating relationship with, or the parent of your child. Domestic violence can be battery, assault, threats, vandalism, kidnapping, sexual assault, false imprisonment, or stalking. The most common domestic violence cases involve domestic battery. Battery is simply an offensive touching, even if there is no injury and the touching leaves no mark or bruise. If the battery causes any injury or mark, you can be charged with a felony.
- Sex Crimes
The Law Office of Amy Chapman understands that not everyone accused of a sex offense is actually guilty. Everyone suspected of a sex crime deserves a full and vigorous defense. Your defense will start with a thorough investigation to examine the motivation of the accuser. These claims often hinge on the statement of just one person, sometimes made days or even years after the alleged conduct took place. If your case needs to go to jury trial, we can have expert witnesses in forensics and psychology available to assist in your defense. Let us help you avoid the devastating consequences that come with a sex offense conviction.
Robbery is a violation of California Penal Code section 211. Robbery does not need to involve a weapon. Taking money from a bank by pointing a gun at the teller is certainly a robbery. But taking money from a teller by using a fake gun or even a note is still robbery because the teller gave up the money because of fear. Some shoplifting cases turn into robberies if the shoplifter is confronted by store security and the shoplifter uses force on the security guard to try to get away with the property.
Penal Code section 240 defines assault as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. Simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail. If during an assault a person commits great bodily injury on another person, the prosecution can charge an enhancement, which would add three additional years to any prison sentence. An assault with a great bodily injury enhancement is a violent felony. Therefore a person would not be eligible for half time credits in prison and any state prison time would have to be served at 85%.
A battery is the touching of someone in a harmful or offensive manner that is willful and unlawful. A simple battery is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail. The punishment can increase to one year in county jail if the battery is committed against a certain type of person, such as a peace officer, a custodial officer, emergency persons, a spouse, or person with whom you have a dating relationship. If the battery results in serious bodily injury on the victim, you could be charged with a felony.
Simple kidnapping is punishable by 3, 5, or 8 years in state prison. Kidnapping is a violent felony, so a person convicted of kidnapping would not be eligible for half time credits in prison and any state prison time would have to be served at 85%. Kidnapping a child under 14 years old is punishable by 5, 8, or 11 years in state prison. Kidnapping for ransom or extortion is punishable by 7 years to life in state prison. Kidnapping for ransom or extortion which results in bodily injury is punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Murder in California is a violation of Penal Code section 187. In California, there are two degrees of murder: 1st degree murder and 2nd degree murder. First degree murder is punishable by 25 years to life in state prison. If a firearm is used to commit a first degree murder, the punishment is 50 years to life in state prison. Second degree murder is punishable in state prison by 15 years to life. If a firearm was used to commit a second degree murder, the crime is punishable by 40 years to life in state prison.
- Firearms and Weapons Offenses
If you carry or possess unlawful firearms or weapons, the police and prosecutors will come down on you hard. California has an overwhelming amount of laws regarding weapons, handguns, assault weapons, and all firearms. The laws are severe. You can face time in jail or state prison, even if the weapon wasn’t used in a crime. If you have a gun case or a weapons case, it is essential that you have an attorney who is knowledgeable about firearms and weapons laws. Amy Chapman has over a decade of experience fighting these cases in court. She will explore every possible legal and technical defense and fight your case all the way to jury trial if necessary.
- Theft Crimes
If you are accused of any type of theft related crime, you could face serious repercussions, even if no one was hurt or all of the property was returned. Some theft cases, such as identity theft, embezzlement, or fraud, can be incredibly complicated and require an experienced criminal defense lawyer to sift through the evidence and defend your rights in court. The punishment for a theft crime depends on the type of theft, the amount of the theft, and the criminal history of the defendant. Some crimes, like a first time petty theft, will always be charged as a misdemeanor. Other crimes, like possession of stolen property, could be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Drug Charges
Cases revolving around drugs are some of the most common in the criminal justice system. Amy Chapman represents individuals arrested or charged in Sonoma, Marin, Lake, Mendocino, and Napa counties for drug related offenses. If your case involves marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, crack, OxyContin, prescription drugs, ecstasy, designer drugs, or any other controlled substance, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer who is experienced in defending drug cases. Amy Chapman has been advocating successfully to judges, prosecutors, and juries for over a decade.
- Marijuana Charges
Northern California is known worldwide for its production of marijuana. While attitudes about the personal use of marijuana may be gradually relaxing, law enforcement still wages an aggressive campaign against those that grow and sell marijuana. In Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Napa, and Marin counties, the police, sheriffs, and prosecutors actively pursue marijuana growers and sellers. The war on marijuana is complicated by the fact that it is legal for qualified patients and primary care givers to possess and grow marijuana in California. If you have been arrested on a marijuana charge, it is essential that you talk to a knowledgeable attorney right away to review your case and begin your defense.
- Traffic Violations
If you are accused of breaking the rules of the road, you could be facing more than just a traffic ticket. Many traffic offenses are misdemeanors or even felonies. A conviction for a traffic related offense could affect your employment and put points on your DMV record that raise your insurance rates. The Law Office of Amy Chapman has the experience and knowledge to represent you in a wide variety of traffic related offenses.
- Probation Violations
Violations of probations can be as serious as any new charge. If the court places you on any form of probation and you violate the terms of your probation, you could be brought back to court and could face up to the maximum sentence for the crime for which you are on probation. For example, if you are on misdemeanor probation for a DUI and you are accused of violating any term of your probation, you can face up to six months in county jail (the maximum punishment for a DUI).
Expungement is a common term for the dismissal of a case after probation or after a period of time has elapsed. You may have made mistakes in the past that resulted in a criminal conviction, but now you’ve turned your life around and want to clean your record for a fresh start. In the age when information is so readily available to so many people, you need to take advantage of the laws that are in place to clear up your criminal history. A clean record can help your chances at obtaining employment, credit, housing, and becoming a citizen. If you’re interested in cleaning up your record and avoiding some of the adverse consequences a criminal conviction can have, the Law Office of Amy Chapman can help.
Ms. Amy Chapman
Criminal Defense, Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, DUI, Sex Crimes
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