San Diego Criminal Law

Criminal Law is a legal process initiated when someone is arrested. It is a process that is monitored by the courts and the constitution and has several steps throughout. The first stage is the arrest. When the police feel that there is probable cause to arrest someone then what they do is tell them they are under arrest, read them their rights, generally handcuff them and take them to jail. Once in jail the person will go through what is called the booking process. They are fingerprinted, their biographical information is taken and they are entered into the system that they have been arrested. After the arrest the individual gets a court date. In California, they must go to court within 72 hours or they will be released from jail. They either stay in jail, or they start the bail process. The bail process is where a bail company takes 10% of the full bail amount of the offense entered, and they pay that to the courts, with a promise that the arrested person will appear. The other option is called “cash bail” where the full amount of the bail is given to the jail. In a situation with the bail company, the arrested person never gets that money back. In a situation with cash bail, that money is given all back around 6 weeks after the case is resolved.

The first court date is called the arraignment date. It is a time where a plea can be entered. The options are guilty or not guilty. In some courthouses for example in San Diego, California, on felonies, you are not able to enter a guilty plea at the first court date. After this it goes into the resolution phase of the process. Readiness conferences are scheduled where the attorney has an opportunity to talk with the judge and the prosecutor and try to resolve a case in the most reasonable manner. Although this process is adversarial, it is also when all parties are working together in order to get the best result for the person and for their life. During the settlement conference stage, it is a time to file any motions that are necessary. The most common motions are constitutional motions saying that the arrest was in violation of the constitution and therefore the case should be dismissed. The 4th amendment of the constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure. An example of this would be someone being pulled over because of their race or their gender and not because the officer saw them commit a crime or believed this individual was about to commit a crime.

San Diego California has become a hub for criminal defense issues. There are four courthouses in San Diego and they are Vista, El Cajon, Chula Vista and downtown. The downtown courthouse has the most volume of cases and has the most departments. At the downtown courthouse in San Diego the City Attorney prosecutes misdemeanors whereas the California District Attorney prosecutes all felonies. At all other courthouses in San Diego it is the District Attorney that prosecutes both the misdemeanors and the felonies. San Diego is a very competitive market for criminal and that is why it is so important to put your trust into the right person.

If you cannot settle the case then the case goes to trial, which is a jury of 12 peers deciding whether the previously arrested individual is guilty or not guilty. Every person in the US who has been arrested is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. For criminal defense information and for reference information about criminal defense issues, we trust the San Diego criminal defense attorney at  Ozols Law Firm whenever we need answers to complex legal issues.

Want to know who is in jail? Visit Who’s In Jail? to find out.