By the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum
Anna Yum is a premier, award-winning criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor who focuses her law practice in criminal defense in Southern California including San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside county. For the last decade, Ms. Yum has successfully defended against essentially all types of criminal offenses ranging anywhere from misdemeanor driving under the influence cases to first degree murder. Over the last decade, Ms. Yum has developed an extremely respectful and well-esteemed reputation among the judges, prosecutors, and fellow defense lawyers in the San Diego legal community. Ms. Yum is highly regarded as a tenacious, aggressive, and zealous advocate for her clients whether she is negotiating a case or fighting on behalf of her clients in front of a jury.
At the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum, we believe in the significance of personalized attention and responsiveness. One of the biggest complaints that we hear about lawyers is that it is difficult to get a hold of them or to get them to call you back. This does not happen at the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum. We take pride in being responsive, communicative, and exchanging in an open and honest dialogue with the client. It is of utmost significant that the client is kept informed of developments and not blindsided by different potential issues in their respective cases. The criminal justice system can be extremely intimidating to navigate alone especially if you’ve never been arrested before. Our primary duty is to walk you through the process while fighting for your liberties and protecting your constitutional rights. Some of the most common questions that we encounter when a new client walks through our doors is, “What’s the best case scenario and worst case scenario for me?”, “Will I get jail time?” or “I’ve never been through this situation before and I need guidance. Can you help me?” Anna Yum makes it a point to hear your story and to try to alleviate some of the stress as early as the initial free legal consultation.
Many other law offices have “case managers” or “case agents” who answer the phones and try to sell you on their attorneys’ services before you even have a chance to talk to the attorney who will be handling your case. Be mindful and weary of the fact that these “case managers” and/or “case agents” are not licensed to practice law. They are usually salesmen or saleswomen who do not practice law, have never stepped foot in a courtroom, and do not have relationships with the prosecutors or judicial officers on the bench. Their main job responsibilities are to sell you on their attorney’s services while making assurances or promises that an attorney will likely not be able to deliver. If the attorney doesn’t make it a point to meet with you during the initial consultation, then you can’t help but imagine what time, if any, the attorney will invest in you if you decide to retain his/her services. At the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum, we have a very different approach in client services. You will be not be meeting with a case manager or case agent. Instead, you will be consulting with attorney Anna Yum who will be able to answer your questions and concerns, help to reduce your anxiety, and will provide personalized knowledge that she has garnered over more than a decade of practice and experience.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you will be facing various types of criminal proceedings that you will inevitably need assistance in defending yourself in the criminal justice system. Your first court date will be what’s referred to as an “arraignment.” An arraignment is usually the first court hearing in a criminal matter. At the arraignment, you will be advised of your constitutional rights, you will be advised of the criminal charges filed against you, and you will have an opportunity to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. The topic of your bail and/or release status will usually be addressed at the arraignment as well. Lastly, a future court date will be scheduled which will be referred to as your “trial readiness conference.” If you have been charged with a felony, your appearance will be mandatory regardless of whether you are being represented by an attorney. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, then you can authorize your attorney to appear on your behalf. However, there are certain exceptions in that if you have been charged with a domestic violence charge or any alleged violations of a protective order, then you will also have to appear at court with your attorney.
The next court appearance is called a “trial readiness conference.” At this hearing, it is an opportunity for your attorney to learn of the “offer” provided by the prosecution. An offer will entail the specifics as to what charges the prosecutor are asking you to plead guilty to in exchange for the offered punishment. Both the defense and prosecution make sure that all discovery has been exchanged as required by law. Moreover, at the trial readiness conference, it is an also an opportunity for your defense attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor in an effort to minimize or reduce the offer by way of a plea bargain or negotiated disposition. If the prosecution’s offer is unacceptable or too stringent, another option is for the defense attorney to request an “indicated” from the judge. This means that the defense attorney will ask the judge what type of sentence would the court provide if the client were to plead guilty to all counts listed in the complaint and plead directly to the court instead of the prosecution. If the case does not resolve at the trial readiness conference, then there are various options that can occur. One option is to continue the trial readiness conference to another date in hopes for further negotiations. If your case does not resolve, then another option is to consider filing any applicable motions (i.e. motion to suppress, etc.)
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, then you will not have a preliminary hearing. Your case will be set for trial and then you will have an opportunity to either fight your case during a jury trial or try to negotiate the case and reach a negotiated disposition.
If you have been charged with a felony, however, your next court date will be a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is also considered a “probable cause” hearing in which the prosecutor presents evidence to the court for the judge to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to justify “holding the defendant to answer” on the alleged charges. It is important to note that the burden of proof at a preliminary hearing is much less than that of a jury trial. At a criminal jury trial, the prosecutor has to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. At a preliminary hearing, however, the burden of proof is only probable cause. Under California law, probable cause means where the facts or circumstances known to an arresting officer would lead a man of ordinary care and prudence to believe and entertain an honest and strong suspicion that a person is guilty of a crime. The belief must be based on objective facts and circumstances and not on personal opinions and/or suspicions of law enforcement. During the preliminary hearing, the judge will assess the evidence and analyze the credibility of the witnesses. If the judge finds probable cause, then the defendant will be “held to answer” and the prosecutor will have received the court’s permission to take the case to trial if necessary. Another option for your defense attorney is to request that your felony be reduced to a misdemeanor. There are many factors associated with a reduction to a misdemeanor. The court will have to consider factors such as whether you have a criminal history, the nature of the current charges, the facts of the case.
After the preliminary hearing, you will be arraigned on an “information” and another trial readiness conference will be scheduled. The trial readiness conference is another opportunity to try to resolve your case. If it does not resolve, then the case is scheduled for jury trial. If the case does resolve, then you will reach a negotiated plea bargain in which you will know the charge(s) that you will be pleading guilty to and the consequences that you will receive.
Ms. Yum has extensive experience in both resolving cases and successfully trying cases to verdict. Specifically, attorney Yum is nationally recognized as one of the top lawyers in her field. Specifically, Ms. Yum is a member of Super Lawyers (2016-present) and Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2015), which recognizes no more than the top 2.5% attorneys under 40 in the state of California. She is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers for Criminal Defense, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40, Nation’s Top One Percent National Association of Distinguished Counsel (2015 to present), Avvo.com Client’s Choice Awards in 2012 to present, Avvo.com rating of 10.0 out of 10.0 as a Top Attorney practicing criminal defense based upon client reviews and peer endorsements, American Society of Legal Advocates 2015- Top 40 Criminal Defense Lawyers under 40 in the State of California, 2011 San Diego Metro Magazine Top DUI Attorneys in San Diego, and Best of the Bar in 2017 by the San Diego Business Journal.
Ms. Yum is licensed to practice in state and federal court in both the Southern and Central Districts of California. She is also licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois. For more information about attorney Anna Yum and the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum, please visit our San Diego criminal attorney website at https://www.annayumlaw.com/ or call us at 619-233-4433.
Law Offices of Anna R. Yum
501 W Broadway, #700
San Diego, CA 92101