n almost any criminal case, the defendant will be faced with a choice -- (1) go to trial and face severe consequences if they lose or (2) plead guilty in exchange for lighter consequences. Depending on the nature of the charges, the difference could be years in prison versus probation or a career-ruining criminal conviction versus the equivalent of a speeding ticket. Throughout the entire case, the prosecutor will be there reminding the defense attorney, and ultimately the defendant, of what's at stake.
Certain questions always get asked when potential clients call our firm. They typically ask about the likely outcome of the case (they want legal advice) and how much it will all cost. However, in normal day-to-day life, non-potential clients ask different questions once they find out I am a criminal defense lawyer. They ask: How can you represent criminals and what do you do when you know they are guilty? My answers are typically short even though my reasons are important. Rarely are they interested in really hearing my full explanation. Now is a good time to explain. So, bare with me a bit while we examine this issue from a variety of angles. Hopefully by the end I will have answered why I am a defense attorney and why you should care.
In a first of a series of articles we address criminal court procedure in California with specific focus on how each county does things. Many people assume that criminal procedure is consistent across all the counties in California and this simply is not the case. While your rights will remain consistent the actual procedures of court vary widely. Let's dig in.
There are many misunderstandings about the Miranda rights: what they are, what they protect against, when they must be stated and when they can be evoked. Experts estimate about 80 percent of suspectsunintentionally waive their Miranda rights. It's often due to a lack of understanding, the stress of the moment or a combination of the two. Make sure you know the facts and how the law protects you.
There are dozens of situations that can arise throughout our lives that require the expertise of a lawyer. When that time comes, where do you start your search and what should you ask potential attorneys? Here are a handful of tips to help streamline the process of locating the right legal professional for your circumstances.
You've more than likely heard that phrase countless times in courtroom dramas, reality shows and popular cop movies, but what does it mean exactly? How did we get that right, and how do we invoke it?
In recent years, bystanders have recorded several controversial incidents between police officers and citizens with their smartphone cameras. These encounters have occurred all over the U.S., and the power of social media has allowed them to spread quickly and gain ground in the national spotlight.
Being arrested can be one of the scariest moments of your life. Knowing what to do next can help you navigate your way through a complicated and daunting situation. Here are some steps you can take:
As asset forfeiture becomes more and more common these days, it is increasingly important you understand its function and procedures. As written before, asset forfeiture is essentially a taking of your property (including money) by the government.
Police officers must respect your rights. If your car was searched, the officers need to prove they were justified in both stopping you and searching your vehicle. If they can't, your charges could be dropped.