Few things can compare to the fear, stress, and hopelessness you may feel after being charged with a crime. This is especially true for those who have never been involved with the criminal justice system. What happens if you seem to be obviously guilty of the crime for which you were accused? Will you automatically be convicted of your charges? Our Ventura criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, invite you to keep reading as we discuss how a lawyer can help you if you are obviously guilty.
How Can a California Criminal Defense Lawyer Help an Obviously Guilty Person?
Every year, millions of criminal acts are committed in the U.S. If you are caught and charged with the commission of a crime, you may face severe legal and civil consequences. However, before anyone is convicted of a crime, they must go through the criminal procedure in the court. You may be obviously guilty in the eyes of many, but this is not necessarily the case. In our criminal justice system, all individuals are innocent until proven otherwise. This is where retaining the services of a criminal defense attorney becomes critical. A skilled, dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you defend your rights through the entire criminal proceedings against you.
The term “obviously guilty” is something that should not be taken lightly. How does one define an obviously guilty person? Are your looks, your overall appearance, and your prior criminal record something that would lead people to believe you are guilty? Are these outer criteria enough for the prosecution to convince the judge and the jury you are actually guilty of the crime you were charged with? Criminal defense lawyers are not only zealous protectors of their client’s rights, but they are also ethically bound to make sure you get high-quality legal representation. According to the ABA’s Canon 7, all criminal defense lawyers must provide zealous representation to their clients in each step of the criminal proceedings. This, however, must be done following the law.
What Are My Rights as a Defendant?
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the rights of all criminal defendants in criminal cases. Specifically, the Sixth Amendment gives all defendants the right to a public hearing, a lawyer, an impartial jury of their peers, the right to know their accuser(s), and the right to a proceeding without unnecessary delays. As you can see, some rights cover you even if you look obviously guilty of the crime you have been charged with.
It does not really matter whether you look guilty or innocent. What really matters is what the prosecution can prove in court. This is something prosecutors take full responsibility for. The prosecutor has the burden to prove you committed the crime for which you are being charged. During this time, you, as a defendant, have inalienable rights – as mentioned above – protecting you from potential abuse. A criminal defense attorney can help you by making sure the prosecution complies with the rules of evidence and criminal procedure.
As we mentioned above, you are innocent until proven guilty. We should strongly emphasize the words “proven guilty.” These words are paramount in every criminal case, no matter their nature. Determining your guilt requires meeting a steep threshold for the prosecution. In civil cases, a person can be convicted if the prosecutor can prove they are guilty by a preponderance of the evidence. However, criminal cases differ from their civil counterparts. A prosecutor must prove you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which requires a heavier quantum of evidence.
Potential Penalties for a Criminal Conviction in California
Being convicted of a crime must be one of the most challenging moments in any person’s life. Not only do you expose yourself to hefty criminal fines and penalties, but you will also face the negative social stigma that comes with a criminal conviction. California classifies crimes into three main categories. These are known as infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are lesser violations that may not be included in your criminal record. Parking tickets are some of the most common types of offenses in California.
Misdemeanors are considered more severe compared to infractions. These criminal offenses generally carry more massive penalties, which can include substantial fines and up to a year in jail. Different from infractions, misdemeanors will reflect on your criminal record, which can bring another set of complications over various aspects of your life. Examples of misdemeanors include DUI, domestic abuse, and probation violation. Felonies are the most severe type of crime you can be accused of. If you are convicted for an offense in California, you may face thousands of dollars in criminal fines, and up to life in prison. Common examples of felonies include rape, murder, aggravated assault, and other severe criminal offenses.
It is always in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and make sure you receive a fair trial.
Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Ventura and Santa Barbara, California
Being charged with an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony in California can make your life spin out of control. If you or a loved one has been charged for a crime in California, our Ventura and Santa Barbara criminal defense attorneys can help. At the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth, PLC, we have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to provide you with high-quality legal representation. We understand the difficulties associated with a criminal conviction. If the prosecution believes you are obviously guilty, they will try everything in their power to get a conviction. However, a skilled, dedicated criminal defense attorney can make sure they don’t overstep the boundaries of the law and uphold your rights as a defendant every step of the way. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our lawyers, call our law offices today at (805) 643-5555.