Not all Los Angeles criminal defendants will face a trial or enter a plea. Many cases are dismissed by the prosecutor or by the court. Yes, criminal charges can be dismissed. And in general, the first step in a criminal case for a Los Angeles County criminal defense law firm is to examine if the case may be dismissed before a plea or a trial. Among the grounds for dismissal are:
- lack of probable cause for arrest
- an improper criminal complaint or improper charge document
- an unlawful stop or search
- insufficient evidence to show that the crime was committed by the defendant
- an unavailable witness who is needed to prove that the crime was committed by the defendant
- loss of the evidence needed to establish the defendant’s guilt
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, you need a Los Angeles County criminal defense law firm attorney who can put out a strong case on your behalf. A good Los Angeles criminal attorney will make or break your case, impacting whether or not you are able to avoid punishments or reduce fines. To successfully defend a serious criminal case, you need a defense attorney with the essential ability, knowledge, and experience.
At Strong Defense, we listen to your story without passing judgment and work with you to build a strong defense. Contact our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers right now if you’re in trouble with law enforcement and facing a potential criminal conviction.
Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Southern California?
Among the initial questions asked by someone facing a criminal charge in California is whether they should employ the services of a Los Angeles criminal lawyer. The obvious disadvantage is that having a defense attorney could cost a lot of money. Nevertheless, in many circumstances, the monetary expenses of a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer are small in contrast to the potentially life-altering consequences of not having the best possible defense.
The following are seven reasons why you should hire a good Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.
- Defense Attorneys Understand the Criminal Justice System
The most important benefit to hiring an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is that they are familiar with the criminal justice system. Even for those who work in it on a daily basis, the legal system can be exhausting, but an experienced defense lawyer understands the complexities of the judiciary system and can help you in navigating the process.
- They Have Established Relationships with the Prosecutors
After years of working in the legal sector, defense lawyers begin to form ties with their counterparts—the prosecuting attorneys. Although it may come off as strange to have a positive connection with an opponent, both sides recognize that when both parties are familiar with each other, everybody has a better experience. Having a defense attorney who has a good relationship with your prosecutor will have a good outcome in your criminal case. Their friendship may lead them to reach a more favorable plea deal or a lower bail.
- They Have Already Dealt with Cases Similar to Yours
Not all criminal defense lawyers are created equal. While all lawyers must have completed law school and passed the state bar exam in order to practice in the state, different attorneys have distinct specialties. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer has dealt with cases involving a criminal offense. They have dealt with cases that are essentially similar to yours.
- They Can Protect Your Future
A good Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can battle for you and your future. Due to police mistakes in unlawfully collecting evidence against you, a good attorney could be able to have your charges lowered, your penalties decreased, or even have your case dismissed. They may help in lessening your charges, lowering your potential punishments, and sparing you from the harmful consequences of a criminal conviction by having your charges dismissed.
- They Can Help You Save Money
It may seem paradoxical to believe that hiring a more costly lawyer would save you money, but it has been proven historically that paying additionally for an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is nearly always worthwhile. They can help you in obtaining the best possible sentence for your case that could allow you to keep your job or save your professional license.
- They Can Evaluate the Conduct of Law Enforcement
An average person cannot really grasp the true legal limitations of what law enforcement can do while gathering evidence in a criminal case by merely watching TV, reading the news, or browsing Facebook. A good Los Angeles criminal defense attorney spends years studying the intricacies of proper procedure and uncovering loopholes and blind spots. They understand what law enforcement officers are authorized to do while investigating a client and can check into every possible way the cops may have violated the accused’s rights. If the evidence was gathered improperly, the attorney could have the evidence taken away from your case, which generally leads to dismissals.
- They Can Inform You of Potential Outcomes
Some Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will present a rosy image of how they can help you in your case. They will tell you that nothing bad will happen should you go to court. Then you’re suddenly convicted of a crime and sentenced to 5 years in prison. The defense attorney promised you that it would not happen, but it did simply because you trusted the system to sort itself out and prove your innocence.
How Can Charges for a Crime be Dismissed?
Lack of Probable Cause for Arrest
To arrest someone, law enforcement must have reasonable cause to suspect that person has committed a crime. A police officer cannot arrest someone solely because he feels that person robbed the liquor shop down the road. The police officer must have a good reason to believe so based on objective facts.
For example, after the liquor shop robbery, an eyewitness to the crime described the criminal to the police officer as a man sporting a black jacket with a dragon insignia and holding a knife that has a long blade and a black handle. If the police spot a man fitting that description lurking in a corner across the street, he has probable cause to make an arrest.
If a police officer detained a person hiding in a doorway near a liquor shop, even without any physical description by a witness or any basis to suspect the man had committed the crime, the officer conducted the arrest without probable cause, and the charges can be dismissed. However, if the prosecuting attorney finds other strong evidence that tends to confirm that the accused robbed the shop, the prosecutor may refile the charge or possibly avert dismissal.
An Error in Criminal Complaint
Whenever a law enforcement agent drafts a criminal complaint or charging document, the officer has to sign it under oath, testifying to the veracity of the contents. Local and state laws govern what information must be included in a complaint or charging document. If the complaint doesn’t conform with local or state law due to a serious omission or mistake, the prosecutor cannot just modify the documentation by hand and present it to the court.
Under oath, the law enforcement officer that wrote as well as signed the complaint has to make those corrections. If the law enforcement officer retires or quits his post before the mistake is found or is otherwise unavailable, and no other law enforcement officer is concerned in the case, the prosecutor may be forced to dismiss the complaint.
Unlawful Stop or Search
Law enforcement can only pull over vehicles or people in the street under certain conditions, such as when the driver is speeding or breaking other traffic regulations. Or if the law enforcer has a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being perpetrated. The stop is unconstitutional and violates the individual’s constitutional rights if a law enforcer stops a person or a vehicle at random or due to the driver’s racial group.
Law enforcement can search a person, vehicle, or residence if they have a search warrant or if an exemption authorizes a warrantless search. For example, after detaining someone for a crime or having a reasonable suspicion that the individual is carrying a lethal weapon, law enforcers can search them without a warrant. Police may search a vehicle without a warrant after detaining a motorist for DUI or some other crime. In an emergency, like hearing guns fired inside the house, law enforcers can enter a residence without a warrant.
If police perform a search with no warrant and without special circumstances enabling the search, no evidence acquired during the search can be used as proof of the crime against the defendant. In this case, the defense may ask that the case be dropped on the basis that the prosecution lacks evidence to substantiate the defendant’s crimes.
If a person is arrested and criminal charges are filed against them, the prosecutor needs to present the case before a judge or a grand jury to prove that the charges are legitimate. The prosecution must produce evidence proving probable cause to suspect the accused committed the crime. The evidence, just like with arrests, must provide an objective, factual reason to believe that the accused did the crime.
If the prosecuting attorney falls short of the standard, the charges should be dropped. In a rare case, a prosecutor may decide that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the case and drop the charges on their own accord.
Unavailable Witnesses or Lost Evidence
If a crucial witness is unable to testify or if the prosecution loses critical physical evidence, the prosecutor may be forced to drop the case due to a lack of evidence. Physical evidence is very important in certain cases, and the prosecuting attorney cannot win the case without it. If a witness hides, dies, or is unwilling to testify on 5th Amendment grounds (since his statement can incriminate him by revealing that he, too, committed a crime), the prosecution may be out of hope.
Some cases may rely on a witness identifying the accused as the perpetrator of the crime. If the person can’t be identified, the other evidence may not be sufficient to convict them. If a witness decides after initially identifying the accused that he or she is doubtful and will be unable to identify the accused at trial, the prosecution may conclude that without the witness ID, there is insufficient evidence to win the case and dismissal is appropriate.
In other cases, the defense would question the procedure utilized by law enforcement to get the witness’ identification of the accused, such as how the police performed a line-up or other flaws in the witness identification process. If successful, the court could refuse to allow the witness to ID the defendant during the trial.
Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles County is the most populated county in the United States and the state of California. It is one of the most culturally and racially diverse counties in the country, housing more than a quarter of California’s population. Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier are popular tourist destinations. The beaches featured in the tv series Baywatch can be found farther north in Pacific Palisades. West of it lies the famed Malibu, home to numerous film and television stars.
Crimes are categorized differently in California than they are under federal criminal law. If you’re being charged with a crime in California, it is necessary that you consult with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. A defense attorney at Strongest Defense law firm can explain the details of the charges being thrown at you, the possible consequences if convicted, and the various defenses which you may be able to use in your defense. A criminal case involves serious issues. Therefore, it’s crucial that you have experienced legal representation throughout this process.
Call Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles County Now!
Being accused of a crime is terrifying, especially when California includes some of the harshest sentencing laws in the United States. If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact our Ventura criminal defense lawyer at Strongest Defense immediately. We know the ways you can fight your charges and the consequences of being found guilty.
We are a full-service criminal defense law firm that represents people facing felony and misdemeanor criminal charges in Ventura County and throughout California. Our primary areas of practice are:
Call us now to arrange a free case evaluation!
How To Visit Our Los Angeles County Law Office
To get to the Strongest Defense law firm from Los Angeles County:
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