Charged With a Crime in LA? Know Your Rights.
If you are charged with a crime in Los Angeles, you may start to see cracks in the facade of the criminal justice system. You may have cheered when police caught the bad guys in those movies or thought men who you’d seen on TV were guilty before trial because acquittals are so rare. But, when you are arrested and charged with a crime, it suddenly seems like those stereotypes that you used to separate yourself from others are shattered. And, in fact, due to the overcriminalization of everything in the United States, just about anything can be construed as a crime.
Finding the Right Attorney
When you are charged with a crime in Los Angeles, time is of the essence. There may be video evidence or witnesses who can have bearing on your case and indemnify you if proper steps are taken to preserve the evidence or obtain their testimonies. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who doesn’t have to waste time by researching the contours of the law can be the difference between a pleasant life and one full of eternal problems.
An experienced L.A. defense attorney knows the elements of a crime because he has represented hundreds of other defendants charged with the same thing. He can quickly assess the strength of the state’s case by going over the Criminal Information, Affidavit of Probable Cause, or Indictment with you. Since the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal cases, he will immediately spot deficiencies in the evidence. For example, if a case relies solely upon a witness who herself does not know with certainty what occurred, the evidence is insufficient to go to trial.
An experienced L.A. defense attorney will hold the witness to a solid statement and complete discovery before dismissing the case. This saves you the time, money, and the embarrassment of facing a trial that is based on speculation and drama.
Constitutional Rights for All U.S. Citizens:
The First Amendment prohibits infringement of free speech and court access.
The Fourth Amendment prohibits unlawful search and seizure.
The Fifth Amendment protects the right to a trial before a jury of your peers and the right against self-incrimination.
The Sixth Amendment protects the right to trial counsel of your choice or the ability to represent yourself, the right to confront witnesses against you, and the right to be provided clear notice of allegations.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bails and cruel and usual punishments.
The Fourteenth Amendment protects the right to equal protection and fundamentally fair due process of law.
Things to Remember
If you are charged with a crime in L.A. never speak with police. No matter how friendly they may seem, they can complicate the case by twisting your words around and using tangential reasoning. You have a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and should effectuate it, at all times. Choosing the right attorney can help you effectuate your other civil rights.