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Criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If prosecutors cannot prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you are legally entitled to acquittal.

The sooner you retain an experienced Sacramento County criminal lawyer, the better your chances of acquittal. Do not waive your constitutional protections by speaking to police without a qualified defense attorney present. Seek legal counsel right away.

Fundamental Constitutional Rights of Criminal Defendants

Those accused of serious crimes may invoke the following state and federal rights:

  • S. Constitution – To remain silent and not be compelled to provide evidence against themselves
  • California Constitution Art. 1, Sec. 14 –To have reasonable time to obtain a private attorney
  • Const. Art. 1, Sec. 15 – To be represented by defense counsel, confront and question all witnesses, and a speedy and public trial
  • Pen. Code § 687 – To not be re-prosecuted for the same offense after acquittal

Criminal suspects who cannot afford an attorney may request a Sacramento County public defender free of charge. They also have reasonable time to speak with and retain private defense counsel with whom they may discuss these essential rights.

Sacramento Criminal Justice Process

The U.S. Constitution mandates that prosecutors bring criminal cases to a speedy resolution. Most prosecutions follow a set procedure beginning with the arrangement within 48 hours of arrest. In Sacramento County, the accused has the right to request a criminal defense attorney during an arraignment and may subsequently enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere to the charges.

Defendants who plead not guilty proceed to a phase called discovery.

During discovery, a legal defense team could review the prosecution’s evidence, gather evidence in the defendant’s favor, and raise any applicable constitutional challenges. Building a strong defense during discovery may result in dismissal of the charges or a beneficial plea deal. If the charges are not dismissed or a plea deal is not reached, the case proceeds to trial.

Potential Defenses to Felony & Misdemeanor Charges

Defendants may raise constitutional, evidentiary, and substantive defenses to criminal charges. Constitutional and procedural defenses challenge the legality of the prosecution and evidence gathering process. For example, incriminating evidence seized without a warrant may be excluded from consideration during trial. Serious constitutional and procedural violations often result in acquittal or dismissal of criminal charges.

Substantive defenses assert a defendant’s innocence by mitigating an element of the offense or otherwise justifying a defendant’s actions. Common examples of these defenses include:

  • Actual innocence – Presenting evidence that a defendant did not commit a crime under state or federal law
  • Not guilty by reason of Insanity ( Pen. Code § 1026) – Claiming that a defendant did not have the mental facilities necessary to comprehend the nature and illegality of his or her actions
  • Self-defense/defense of another ( Pen. Code § 198.5) – Arguing that the offense was justified because the accused was protecting himself or another from death, rape, or serious bodily harm
  • Duress – Contending that a defendant was being forced to commit a greater crime and could not reasonably request police assistance
  • Mistake of Fact – Explaining that the defendant honestly believed certain justifying facts were true even if they were not

An experienced defense attorney in Sacramento County could analyze a criminal complaint to determine the strongest applicable defense to the charges. Defendants may raise numerous procedural, constitutional, and substantive defenses to a criminal complaint.

Call a Dedicated Sacramento County Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing any criminal charge can be stressful and overwhelming. Prosecutors often overcharge defendants to strong-arm them into pleading guilty before scrutinizing the evidence against them with defense counsel. A qualified Sacramento County criminal lawyer might convince local prosecutors to reduce or dismiss many of these charges.

Do not let law enforcement intimidate you into waiving your right to an attorney. Call us immediately to discuss your potential defense.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

Our Team

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Meet Our Team

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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