If you have recently been charged with a criminal offense in San Diego you are likely worried about the outcome of your case. Unless you have been through the criminal justice system numerous times before, much of your worry stems from the simple fact that you aren’t sure what to expect. In addition, you are probably operating under a number of misconceptions about how a criminal case is handled and what rights you actually have as an accused. The best thing you can do for yourself is to retain the assistance of an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. In the meantime, however, consider the following 5 things the prosecutor doesn’t want you to know:
- You have a right to remain silent (and other rights). Although the officer who arrested you was required to read you your rights you may not have been listening well. Moreover, you have many more rights than those listed in the Miranda warning read to you. These rights are important and are intended to protect you. Specifically, your right to remain silent should be exercised until you can speak to an attorney. Don’t ever let a police officer and/or the prosecutor convince you that you can “help yourself” by talking to them. Remember, their job is to convict you, not help you.
- The officers may have done something illegal. Law enforcement officers are human, meaning they make mistakes all the time, contrary to what they would have you believe. Sometimes, those “mistakes” amount to illegal activity. For example, if an officer searched your home without a warrant, or without a reason that qualifies as one of the few exceptions to the warrant requirement, it is considered an illegal search and all evidence obtained as a result of the search is inadmissible at trial.
- The prosecutor is overworked and doesn’t want to go to trial. Prosecutors have unrealistic caseloads. Unless you were arrested for a high profile, career making crime, the prosecutor doesn’t really want to do the work required to prosecute your case at trial. This can work to your advantage if you are considering a plea agreement.
- Time is often on your side. The prosecutor will push to get you to take a plea agreement as fast as possible. One reason for this is that time usually works in a defendant’s favor. Witnesses disappear, victims become complacent, and police officers move to different positions or agencies. Frequently, this means that the State’s case becomes harder to prove the more time that goes by.
- A good defense attorney does make a difference. A good prosecutor knows a good defense attorney. They also know that a good defense attorney can make or break a case for a defendant. So when the prosecutor tells you not to waste your money hiring a private attorney remember why he or she is telling you that.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in San Diego, contact an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney right way to begin working on your defense.