Contra Costa Criminal Defense Lawyer
Learning you are under investigation for a crime or having been arrested for a crime are among the most stressful events a person could experience in their lifetime. Having an aggressive attorney at your side could make a big difference in how your case resolves. Regardless of the allegations against you, a Contra Costa County criminal defense lawyer could offer legal guidance and support.
This includes providing help from the earliest possible opportunity. Many defenses in these cases can center around the police’s investigation prior to an arrest or the question that occurs while in the custody of law enforcement. As a result, our attorneys are prepared to provide substantial assistance as soon as they take on a case to protect your rights and freedoms. This includes taking steps to safeguard your interests both in and out of court.
What are a Defendant’s Rights in Criminal Court?
Everyone in the United States is entitled to certain protections under the law. They have the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. They have the right to prompt access to an attorney and to refuse to answer questions. Police may not abuse or intimidate a suspect, and they may not subject them to unreasonable searches or seizure of their property.
Unfortunately, police might be over-zealous when investigating a crime or making an arrest. They could use intimidation to try to secure a false confession, or they might deprive an individual of his or her right to speak with an attorney. Police oftentimes search an individual without probable cause, engage in illegal surveillance, or even engage in physical abuse.
A criminal defense attorney in Contra Costa County could review an investigation and arrest, looking for evidence that the authorities infringed on a defendant’s constitutionally protected rights. If so, a motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence might be appropriate. In many cases, faced with such a motion, prosecutors might decline to move forward in the case, and the client is free to move on without the stain of a criminal charge.
Defending a Criminal Charge in Contra Costa County
A criminal attorney in Contra Costa County could investigate the situation that led to an arrest by reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses, and hearing the defendant’s story with an open mind. Such efforts could produce evidence that supports the defendant’s version of events or identify weaknesses in the police investigation or prosecution’s theory of the case.
Presenting new evidence to police and prosecutors could result in the police following the leads and catching the criminal responsible for the crime. In other cases, the new evidence might convince a prosecutor not to press charges or settle the matter for a lesser charge. Defense Investigators can be critical assets to the case who can help resolve discrepancies, establish alibis, research the credibility of witnesses and alleged victims, and gather documentary evidence of the surrounding circumstances or logistics of the crime.
In some cases, a prosecutor might not be willing to consider evidence of a defendant’s innocence. In that case, a defendant and his or her defense attorney might decide to go to trial to fight the charges.
In the criminal justice system, an accused person does not need to prove his or her innocence. Instead, the prosecutor must provide compelling evidence of guilt. A skilled legal professional could challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and witnesses to expose weaknesses or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case and highlight the reasonable doubt for the jury. If available, a defense lawyer could use the evidence supporting the defendant’s story to establish doubt in the minds of the jury. If just one juror is unconvinced of a defendant’s guilt, the defendant must be found not guilty.
Every person accused of a crime has the right to choose whether they want to testify on their own behalf – they cannot be compelled to testify unless it is their choice to waive that right. It is a case by case analysis as to whether it is a good idea for a person accused of a crime to testify in their own matter. The decision to testify should be thoroughly discussed with the criminal defense attorney.
Benefits of Having a Defense Attorney
Criminal accusations on Contra Costa County criminal courts come in two main categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The main difference between these two kinds of cases is that a felony is any offense where a court may sentence a guilty party to more than one year in county jail. While it may appear that misdemeanor cases are no cause for great concern, convictions will create a criminal record and could force a person to spend time in jail up to one year.
A Contra Costa criminal attorney should be prepared to defend against any kind of criminal accusation that their client is charged with. For misdemeanor-level offenses this can include:
- Assaults California Penal Code § 240
- Drug possession cases California Health and Safety Code § 11350
- Battery under California Penal Code §242
- Domestic Battery under Penal Code §243(e)(1)
- DUI allegations California Vehicle Code § 23152
- Petty thefts California Penal Code § 484
An attorney’s help is also powerful in cases that allege felonies. These can include:
- Assaults with deadly weapons California Penal Code § 245
- Robberies California Penal Code § 211
- Grand Theft California Penal Code § 487
- Rape allegations California Penal Code § 261
- Incidents involving alleged homicides California Penal Code § 187
- Lewd and Lascivious Conduct California Penal Code §288
Reaching out to an experienced defense attorney today could help people obtain immediate protection no matter the exact nature of the alleged crimes. Our lawyers strive to defeat the prosecutor’s case while limiting the potential penalties for all allegations of illegal acts.
Speak with a Contra Costa County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were accused of a crime, or even if you are just under investigation, you might be experiencing significant anxiety and confusion. Knowing that a skilled and committed advocate is working to resolve the matter could be a comfort.
An attorney works to provide essential protection against any kind of criminal allegation. This includes misdemeanors where a conviction cannot result in more than one year in jail but will still create a criminal record and disrupt your life. Lawyers also help in situations where the prosecutor is pursuing a felony-level charge. Here, they work to defeat the charges at trial or exclude evidence that forces a prosecutor to reduce the severity of a case.
Contact a Contra Costa County criminal defense lawyer as soon as you realize that you might be in trouble—whether that is being told you are under investigation or when you are arrested. The sooner the authorities know you have a capable attorney working to get you justice, the more likely they are to respect your rights.