Sacramento Criminal Defense
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SACRAMENTO CRIMINAL DEFENSE
Criminal justice system is an adversarial system
When you are arrested lawfully, you can be searched without your consent. If you are arrested but not taken into custody, the police can search you for weapons and to prevent you from destroying any evidence. Should you be taken into custody, the police can conduct a full search of you, as well as the immediate area around you in case you hid something when the police arrived.
At the police station or the jail, you may be stripped-searched if the re is a possibility that you may be concealing drugs, contraband, or evidence on your body. Absent extenuating circumstances, a police officer of your own sex must do the search.
Once the jury is chosen, the trial begins. The adversary process is a process in which the adversaries attempt to achieve their different objectives through the rules of law and professional ethics. The prosecutor’s job is to obtain a conviction of the defendant. The prosecutor is an agent of the government and seeks to punish the criminal and prevent future crime.
The prosecutor is required to uphold the law, even if that makes it difficult to obtain a conviction. The defense attorney, on the other hand, is the client’s advocate. He attacks the state’s evidence, questions the credibility of its witnesses, and presents contrary evidence that tells a different story. An adversary process empowers a defense attorney to assert the rights of any defendant, guilty or innocent.
An arraignment is the first part of the criminal procedure that takes place in a courtroom before a judge or magistrate. It provides the accused with a reading of the crime with which he or she has been charged. According to the Sixth Amendment, arraignments are obligatory for protection against authorities holding those accused in custody for an extended period without telling them the charge.
Because of this, an arraignment must usually occur within a set time period after an arrest, usually being 72 hours. If this does not happen, the accused could have an argument that his or her constitutional right to a speedy trial has been violated. Bail and/or release are also reviewed at the arraignment even if they have been previously addressed. The court can also announce the dates of further proceedings, such as the pretrial conference and a trial date. As soon as you find yourself facing an arraignment, call an attorney.
The rules regarding arraignments vary depending on a federal or state crime and on your state of residence. The rules differ on whether arraignments are required for felony offenses or needed for misdemeanors as well. As a general rule, if you could be spending time in jail if convicted, you usually will have an arraignment. They are multiple-step procedures.
The first is having the accused appear in court where he or she will be advised to retain a represented attorney. If the accused needs a criminal law attorney, it will be arranged and the actual arraignment will be rescheduled. Once the accused is represented by counsel, the more formal part of the arraignment, the reading of the charges takes place. Here, the accused is expected to plea either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The no contest plea means that the accused is not admitting guilt but will not contest the charges. Parties can waive an arraignment and merely enter a plea if agreed to by the accused’s attorney in exchange for something from the prosecuting attorney.
First Court Appearance
Early in the course of a criminal proceeding, the defendant will be brought into court and the charges brought against him or her by the government will be formally read. The court will ask the defendant whether he or she pleads guilty or not guilty. At that stage of the proceeding, the defendant is expected to have an attorney unless he or she has waived his or her right to have an attorney. If the defendant cannot afford to have an attorney and meets the local guidelines for the appointment of counsel, then the court will appoint an attorney to represent him or her in that criminal case.
At any point during this process the defendant may plead guilty to the charge leveled against him or her. Likewise, at any stage during the process, the defendant or his or her attorney may conduct negotiations with the prosecutor to determine whether a plea to some lesser charge may be agreeable to the government. If such an agreement is reached, the plea agreement is brought to the attention of the court and the prosecution is concluded. The only thing left to be done is the imposition of whatever sentence has either been agree to and accepted or is otherwise established by the court. The judge has final control over what sentence is imposed.
Once a person has been arrested and charged by the police, then his or her case is reviewed by a prosecuting attorney. Magistrates are judicial officers who fulfill some of the functions of a judge but do not have the complete authority of a judge. The purpose of having the case reviewed by the prosecuting attorney or the magistrate in the early stages of the process is to determine whether the police had probable cause to believe that the person had committed the crime in question. If the magistrate or prosecuting attorney makes that determination, then normally the case will move on to the next stage.
The prosecutor is a governmental employee charged with the responsibility of bringing suspects to trial. Prosecutors are attorneys. Of all government officials that you may ever encounter, prosecutors are the most powerful. They have absolute discretion in deciding to prosecute an offense or not. If a murder has been committed in your hometown and the police have arrested a suspect, the prosecutor must decide whether the case will be taken to the next level. The decision of the local prosecutor is not subject to review by any other court officer or government employee. The only exception to that would be in the context of where a local crime involves some federal issue. For example, a violation of a federal civil rights law. Then a general prosecutor for that area may decide to prosecute for the federal violation.
Affects of Prior Convictions
Not all crimes are the same, but all criminal convictions have an important impact on your life. Hiring a Sacramento criminal defense attorney will assist you in evaluating all options before deciding whether to plead guilty or go to trial. If you already have a conviction on your record, the prosecution may be able to be used against you if you are later accused of another crime. State law determines if and how a prior conviction can be used in a later case. Even if the prosecution was not allowed to introduce your conviction as evidence, if you choose to testify, the prosecutors’ questions could lead you to admitting to the previous conviction. If this happens, the prosecution will often be allowed to pursue it. For some types of crimes, looking into previous convictions is usually mandatory. This is the case for driving under the influence cases where each conviction increases the sentence.
Sometimes, even sealed or expunged records can be used against you. But these vary according to jurisdiction so talking to your lawyer is the best way to get the vital information you need to know. Immigrants are even more vulnerable if they are convicted of two or more crimes. The consequence of such actions can include: deportation, ineligibility for readmission, and disqualification from U.S. citizenship. Make sure to talk to your lawyer before you take any actions.
Contact Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney
When you have been charged with a crime, choose a criminal defense attorney in Sacramento with the experience and dedication to make a difference. The Law Office of Wing & Parisi is dedicated to provide exceptional customer service and excellent legal representation for those charged with any type of crime.
Whether it’s your first charge or your second, you need a dedicated and skilled attorney by your side. Contact us online or call at (916) 441-4888 for a free and confidential case consultation, available in Spanish. We appear in state and federal courts in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer and San Joaquin counties.