Share This Post
Navigating Pretrial Procedures and Investigations-Tips for Criminal Defendants inn San Diego
The criminal court process in California may seem like a confusing maze of complex rules and court procedures that are impossible to navigate on your own. The truth is, it can be incredibly difficult to negotiate the early stages of a criminal case, including a criminal investigation and pretrial activities, without the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. If you have been accused of a crime in San Diego, learning more about the pretrial procedures and investigations stage of the criminal process can help you better prepare for your case and improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Every criminal case is different, which is why we recommend consulting a criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested or discover that you are under investigation for a crime in San Diego. Call us today at (619) 430-2355 to schedule a free legal consultation with our San Diego criminal defense attorneys.
If you have been accused of a crime in San Diego, learning more about the pretrial procedures and investigations stage of the criminal process can help you better prepare for your case.
The goal of a criminal investigation is to prove that the suspect or suspects committed the alleged crime, and if you are the subject of a criminal investigation, the police will do everything in their power to obtain evidence against you.
Some criminal cases are resolved during the pretrial phase, either because the defendant makes a deal with the prosecution or the judge makes the decision to dismiss the criminal charges.
A good criminal defense attorney can ensure that you have the tools you need to successfully navigate a criminal investigation and pretrial process.
Understanding the Criminal Court Process in California
The criminal justice system is complex and a criminal case can be very confusing, particularly for defendants who have had little or no previous experience with the California court system. Even for those who have previously been arrested or charged with a crime, the criminal court process can be mind-boggling. To successfully navigate the criminal justice system, you need a defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the criminal court process in California.
We often get questions from clients about how criminal cases work in San Diego, which led us to create this helpful guide with tips for navigating pretrial procedures and investigations. Below is an overview of the preliminary stages of the criminal court process in California.
How Does the Criminal Process Start?
How the criminal process starts depends on the specific facts of the case. If the police actually witness you committing an alleged crime, you may be arrested on the spot. In many cases, however, the criminal process begins when the police discover that a crime has taken place and initiate a criminal investigation to determine who committed the crime.
What to Expect from a Criminal Investigation
Criminal investigations can be stressful, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Upon learning that you are under investigation for an alleged crime, your natural instinct may be to cooperate with the police and do everything you can to prove that you are innocent. We cannot stress enough that you do not have to participate in the investigation or cooperate with the police.
The goal of a criminal investigation is to prove that the suspect or suspects committed the alleged crime, and if you are the subject of a criminal investigation, the police will do everything in their power to obtain evidence against you. This may include calling you on the phone, showing up at your home or place or work, interviewing witnesses, and/or searching your property. If the police make any attempt to contact you, we recommend respectfully invoking your right to remain silent and referring them to your defense attorney.
Even at this stage in the criminal process, an experienced criminal defense attorney can lend essential guidance and support by ensuring that your rights are protected during any police search or interrogation. An attorney can also offer valuable advice about how to conduct yourself during a criminal investigation and which questions you should answer.
Being Arrested and Charged with a Crime
At the end of a criminal investigation, if the police have enough evidence to establish probable cause, they may execute one or more arrests. If you are arrested for a crime in San Diego, it falls to the prosecutor (the district attorney) to decide whether to file criminal charges and what charges to file. If no charges are filed, you will be released. If the district attorney believes there is enough evidence to prove that you committed the alleged crime, you will be charged and either released on bail or held in custody.
Your first court appearance after being arrested and charged is called an arraignment and it is during the arraignment that the court will formally present the charges against you and you will be asked to enter a plea. In some cases, a defense attorney may be able to reach out to police or prosecutors during the early stages of a criminal investigation and avoid an arrest or prevent charges from being filed.
Could My Case be Resolved During the Pretrial Phase?
The pretrial process is a crucial part of a criminal proceeding. Much of the work in a criminal case is done during the pretrial phase, as the prosecution works to build a case against you and your attorney develops a strong defense against the charges. It is during the pretrial process that each side shares information and evidence (called discovery) and files motions asking the judge to make certain legal decisions about the case. These decisions can affect how the case moves forward to a trial, or whether it goes to trial at all. If the defense and prosecution can reach an agreement to end the case (i.e. a plea bargain or some other settlement agreement) or if the judge dismisses the charges, your case could potentially be resolved during the pretrial phase.
The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego County
Having a criminal defense attorney by your side is essential for defendants in San Diego County. The role of a criminal attorney in a criminal case is to provide legal advice, represent their client’s interests, and ensure fair treatment throughout the process. From the initial investigation to the arraignment and pretrial procedures, a criminal attorney can guide defendants through each step, protect their rights, and work towards achieving the best possible outcome. Therefore, it is crucial for defendants to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as they have contact with the police to ensure proper legal representation and navigate the complex criminal trial process effectively.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
In San Diego County, hiring a criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. From pretrial procedures to investigations, a skilled attorney can guide you through the complex legal system in California and ensure that your rights are protected.
At Sevens Legal Criminal Lawyers, our experienced attorneys offer a free legal consultation to help you understand your legal options and develop an effective defense strategy. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us today to schedule your free consultation and get the legal representation you deserve.
How to Contact Our Criminal Lawyers
Only by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney can you know exactly what to expect from the criminal justice system. Our criminal defense attorneys at Sevens Legal Criminal Lawyers have helped clients fight all kinds of criminal charges in San Diego, and we can ensure that you have the tools you need to successfully navigate a criminal investigation and the pretrial process. You can reach our San Diego criminal defense firm today by calling (619) 430-2355.