When you have been charged with a criminal offense, you have not yet been convicted. To be convicted you have to either plead that you are guilty, or the Court must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That is your right as a person.
It is important that you are fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your case before you plead to anything, and before you prepare to go to trial. In addition, it is necessary to know if you have any applicable defenses so that you are fully prepared in Court when you are asked to present you case before a Judge.
An experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer deals with cases like yours everyday. They know the Judges, and the prosecutors and would be able to inform you what the strengths of your case would be. They would also let you know what the weaknesses are and work hard to accommodate for those weaknesses so that you can get the best possible results.
In Court, you do not have to make a court appearance if your case is a simple misdemeanor. Your attorney can appear for you. Your attorney can also negotiated and discuss your case with the prosecutor directly, as soon as they walk into the courtroom. Someone who is not represented must wait their turn to come into the courtroom and wait until their name is called.
Attorneys get first priority in the courtroom and can be in and out in a matter of minutes. They also are able to collect any discovery right then and there in the courtroom. Discovery is any police reports and statements made by the officers at the time of the arrest, as well as arrest reports.
The attorney also has a reputation with the courtroom so that they are able to talk frankly with the prosecutor and determine exactly where the case stands. Knowing where the case stands can help the attorney prepare for the upcoming court appearances.
Let’s consider an example. Adam is Dan’s attorney. Dan has been charged with a DUI with a blood alcohol level of .09. Adam is a regular in the Court that Dan is being tried, and knows Paul the prosecutor pretty well. Adam knows that Paul is not too harsh on DUIs where the BAC is .09, and Adam knows that Paul is likely to reduce the DUI to a reckless driving if he approached with ample positive evidence. That is how Adam proceeds and gets the DUI dismissed for Dan.
In comparison, David is representing himself. He gets to the court house an hour before his court time because he must wait in the long line. He then waits for an hour plus outside the courtroom and inside, waiting for the Judge to call his case. Once the Judge does, David is told that he was driving with a blood alcohol level higher than the legislative limit of .08. David believes he will be convicted of the DUI and immediately pleads guilty.
The scenarios outline why it is so important to have legal representation inside court and throughout the entire legal process. Consult with a professional as soon as possible.