Reliable. Honest. Professional.
Law Office of Russell Brown
Santa Barbara, California
Your Constitutional Rights
- 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure;
- 5th Amendment rights to remain silent, to due process, and ban on double jeopardy;
- 6th Amendment rights to a speedy public trial, to an impartial jury, to notice of the charges, to confront witnesses, and to be represented by an attorney.
Criminal Defense Strategies
Attack Validity of Charges
A technical defect can weaken the prosecutor's case and sometimes results in dismissal. Examples include illegal searches and interrogations, mis-calibrated equipment, police misconduct, and destruction of exculpatory evidence. In a felony case, you may contest the probable cause for the charges at a preliminary hearing.
Make a Plea Deal With the Prosecutor
After contesting any technical defects, you may be in a better position to negotiate with the prosecutor. Often the prosecutor will offer a plea deal to settle the case. The plea deal requires you to plead guilty to a charge and give up your right to fight the charges. In return, you will receive less than the maximum punishment. Accepting the plea deal may be the right choice even when you are innocent.
Request Court or Jury Trial
If you cannot make a deal with the district attorney to resolve your case, the next step is trial. Due to the costs and risks of trial, most cases end with a plea deal. You cannot be punished for deciding to go to trial because it is your constitutional right.
Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney
Finding a hard-working, trustworthy criminal defense lawyer can be difficult. The best idea is to select an lawyer whose legal knowledge, effort, communication, and ability to work with others are the best fit for accomplishing your goals.
Charges and Maximum Penalties
Some charges have greater punishments. You can look up the punishment for your charge here.
The judge can also issue personal conduct orders. For example, an order to stay away from certain people or places (restraining order). The judge can order that you abstain from alcohol, attend AA meetings, or get counseling for anger management.
Due Process Rights
You are innocent until:
- Proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; OR
- Plead guilty or no contest.
1. You have the Right to a Court or Jury Trial that is speedy and public. You have the right to 12 impartial jurors chosen from the community.
2. You have the Right to an Attorney of your choice to represent you in misdemeanor and felony criminal proceedings. If you cannot afford an attorney, the Court will appoint an attorney to represent you at little or no cost.
3. You have the Right to Confront and Cross-examine Witnesses. The prosecution must bring witnesses to court to testify under oath.
4. You have the Right to Remain Silent and not testify in court. Your silence cannot be used as evidence against you.
5. You have the Right to Produce Evidence and Present a Defense. You have the right to subpoena witnesses and to testify under oath.