Criminal Defense lawyer San Diego – Understanding the Criminal Law Process
The first time most people are accused of criminal offenses is after being arrested for drunk driving. Though common, this can be a serious criminal offense. Your first step after any arrest should be getting a good criminal defense lawyer San Diego. Although the criminal law procedures vary, the basic process is the same no matter the arrest. In this article, we will focus mainly on the key steps taken in a criminal law procedure.
As you may have guessed, the criminal process starts with an arrest. The police will take you into custody. When this happens, you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer San Diego. Getting an lawyer is among your rights after any arrest. You will be held until arraignment or you may be released with details on the first court date.
Enter plea at arraignment
The first court hearing after an arrest is known as the arraignment. It is at this hearing that the judge will read your crimes. After this, you will be required to enter the plea to each of the charges. You can plead guilty or not guilty. Seek advice from your criminal defense lawyer San Diego before entering into a plea. It is also in this step that bail is set if you are still in police custody.
Determining if a trial can be held
After arraignment, the prosecution will need to prove to the judge that there is adequate evidence to go to trial. This is achieved by presenting evidence to the special jury. This process of the prosecution convincing the jury that there is enough evidence to go to trial is known as the indictment. Keep your criminal defense lawyer San Diego close during this time. He will advise you accordingly and may also help you avoid trial.
The trial is the main part of a criminal procedure. This is where your criminal defense lawyer San Diego will work hard to help you avoid conviction. Your lawyer and the prosecution will present different versions of the crime committed. The prosecution goes first and your lawyer can question the witnesses brought forward by the prosecution. When presenting your version of the crime, the prosecution can question your witnesses.
The different versions of the case that are presented by your criminal defense lawyer San Diego and the prosecution are what enable the jury to draw a conclusion. After the jury has weighed the sides, you will be informed of the verdict. You may either be found guilty or not guilty. If you are found guilty, the judge will go ahead and sentence you.
An important fact you should note is that the law surrounding the criminal procedures is a complicated one. If you do not present the facts well, you might end up being convicted for a crime you didn’t commit. To avoid such outcomes, you need to hire the most experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer San Diego. The lawyer has dealt with similar cases before and his knowledge of the law will help you win the case.