How can I win my case?

Each case must be evaluated and turns on its own individual set of facts. There are a variety of issues that a criminal defense attorney must evaluate and a few of those, but not all, are set forth below. These items may or may not be applicable to your case.

Unlawful detention, search and/or arrest

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable government intrusions. A police officer may detain, search and arrest you in certain instances. You may be temporarily detained if law enforcement are executing a search warrant or a probation search and you are present on the premises. You may also be detained, and possibly even searched if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that you are involved in criminal activity. If you are arrested under these circumstances your arrest may or may not be lawful. There is no set rule for the determination of “reasonable suspicion”. This is determined on a case by case basis. If you have been unlawfully detained, searched, or arrested, you may be able to have certain evidence against you suppressed. In the event this occurs, the prosecution must determine whether they can prove with their case without this evidence. If they cannot, the case will generally be dismissed.

Insufficient evidence to be held to answer for felony charges

If you are charged with a felony, you are entitled to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of the date of your arraignment, and an ultimate right within 60 days of the date of your arraignment, unless you waive that right or the court finds good cause have the hearing after that date. A preliminary hearing is a probable cause determination. It is not a trial. The prosecution must present sufficient evidence for the court to conclude that a crime has been committed and that you may be the person who committed that crime. The burden of proof on the prosecution is very low at this time. If you are held to answer to felony charges and the reviewing court determines that the evidence was insufficient for such a showing, you may have you case dismissed upon the proper filing and hearing on a motion pursuant to Penal Code § 995. The prosecution may re-file charges in the future if they obtain additional evidence.

Dismissal of charges

In certain rare instances, your case may be dismissed if, after a review of all of the evidence, including information submitted to the prosecution by you or your attorney, the prosecution determines that their is insufficient evidence to prosecute you. This may occur at any time after your arrest, up to, and including, the day of trial.

Failure to prosecute

There are statutory limits wherein the prosecution must file criminal charges and/or bring you to trial. This varies by type of case and the circumstances surroundings any delay in prosecution. If this right is violated, your case may be subject to dismissal.

Right to Trial

You have the right to have your case brought to trial, by jury or by a judge. A jury trial means that 12 of your peers will hear the evidence against you, any defense that you may wish to present, and determine whether you are innocent or guilty. The standard for a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Should you chose to be tried by judge, that standard does not change. It is wise to seek the counsel of your criminal defense attorney to determine which is best in your case.

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