There is a process to the criminal court. A person is not automatically found guilty of a crime and sentenced. There are many hurdles and protections given to each and every person through the United States Constitution so that their rights are protected.
When a person has been arrested, they are arrested based upon the officer’s observations and Judgment. This does not mean that a person has been charged. The officer will prepare a report that essentially states the reasons they believe a person should have been arrested. They must also state the reasonable cause they had to make the arrest in the first place. Once this has been completed, the officer will give their evidence and report to the Prosecutor’s office.
The Prosecutor’s office is aware of the elements that they must provide beyond a reasonable doubt in order to find someone guilty of the offense they have been charged with. For example, for a person to be found guilty of driving under the influence in Los Angeles, they must show that 1) the person was driving and 2) the person was intoxicated at the time they were driving. Both elements must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. If the evidence is weak, or does not support such a conclusion, Prosecutors will not waste resources and will not formally charge the person.
If the prosecutor decides that there is enough evidence to formally charge a person, then they will serve the person with a citation and charges will be filed. At that point the person has the option to plead guilty, or to proceed to trial and to state their case.
A Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney is very experienced not only with the criminal law and cases, but the specific courthouse and county in which the person has been charged. This has a huge impact on how an attorney can handle a case. The attorney will know which Judge wants to hear which evidence and which Judge is likely to be more lenient on certain facts and cases.
The attorney is also familiar with and has argued the law applicable to your case hundreds of times. They know what weaknesses to present and when to negotiate with the attorney for a reduction of charges. Hiring a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney can potentially dismiss your case before formal charges are ever filed. The attorney knows the prosecutors who are determining whether there is enough evidence to file formal charges. The attorney can contact the prosecutor and begin negotiating the case right then and there so that it helps influence the prosecutor before the charges are even brought. If the attorney can convince the prosecutor that there is not enough evidence to waste the county’s resources, or that there is not enough evidence to find a person guilty, the case will likely not be filed.
If you find yourself in this situation, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is the best thing you can do for yourself and your future!