Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in California?
When you are accused of a crime and facing a criminal charge, you don’t want to go into court unprepared. From the pre-file investigation to the initial arrest, all the way to a trial, our credible San Luis Obispo criminal defense attorneys at 805 Law Group can be your strongest advocate during this difficult time.
Within the complex criminal justice system, our criminal defense law firm will be your guide. We can help you weigh all the choices you are offered, from the types of charges to the plea deal options and help you determine what’s best in your favor. Our legal team will have your charges reduced, penalties lessened, or the case dismissed depending on your case and other circumstances. We will aggressively defend your rights and fight for your freedom.
How to Prepare for a Trial?
Unlike civil cases where people can bring each other to court to resolve their disputes, criminal cases are brought to the court by the state. The state is represented in criminal trials by a prosecutor whose job is to prove that someone is guilty of committing a crime.
In a criminal case, every defendant is presumed to be innocent until the prosecutor proves that he or she is guilty. Therefore, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, the accused’s lawyer is called the defense, representing the accused and presenting his or her side of the story.
If your case ultimately goes to trial, you’ll have the opportunity to present your evidence and testimony. However, everyone worries about going to trial. Most of the fear and worry are caused by not knowing what will happen in court once you get there.
Despite the legal system’s complexity, most criminal trials are conducted similarly. The 30 days before a trial are the most critical. Every minor detail of the case must be properly monitored and studied to ensure that the case proceedings are managed well.
A reliable San Luis Obispo criminal defense lawyer can help you understand each step of the process and prepare for a trial. You need to be ready to take the stand with a strong testimony and make an excellent impression on the judge and the jury.
Read the Complaint
Before going to a trial, it is imperative to read and understand the complaint. This is the official document to be reviewed by the judge. Whether you are preparing for a civil or criminal trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant must be familiar with every line, claim, accusation, and footnote of the document.
By reading the complaint line by line, you will be able to determine what it will take to prove or refute the statements in the complaint and prepare an effective defense strategy. The judge will be looking for an explanation of all the items in the complaint. You must prove (or disprove, if you are the defendant) what was alleged in the complaint. You need to gather enough evidence, speak with relevant witnesses, and make a comprehensive testimony.
Gather All of Your Evidence
Identify and prepare the important documents and physical evidence that you plan to bring to trial. Your evidence must be relevant to the case, reliable, and authentic. Find copies of any written communication between you and the other party involved. It is advisable to organize them and highlight the key information.
Depending on the nature of the trial, your evidence may include photographs, medical records, financial records, police reports, and sworn statements. Keep in mind that you must prepare multiple copies of the evidence. Do not give any original documents to the judge or the other party unless the judge specifically asks you to do so.
Prepare the Witnesses
One major piece of evidence in a criminal trial is witness testimony. The prosecution and the defense can call upon witnesses to support their case. Each side is allowed to present and challenge evidence.
A good witness must support a key point in your case based on firsthand knowledge and observation. He or she must have no reason to lie about the situation. The witness should have personal knowledge of whatever they are testifying about. This means they have seen, heard, or experienced whatever you want the witness to prove. Your witnesses must be willing to testify on your behalf on the day of the trial.
Speak to Your Defense Attorney
While gathering pieces of evidence and witness statements, you’re bound to encounter questions and uncertainties. If you have any doubts regarding your case, seek legal advice from a seasoned San Luis Obispo criminal defense lawyer before your trial schedule. By doing so, you’ll gain clarity on the important details and have the ability to present your testimony with assurance and confidence.
Arrive Calm and Prepared
It is important to always be calm and composed even in the most stressful situations. This helps the mind function better during your court trial. Maintaining a calm demeanor even under tremendous stress will positively affect the people in the courtroom. Always come prepared and have confidence in knowing the truth is on your side.
In some cases, the court date might be postponed multiple times due to continuances. In the event of a civil case, you may settle without even entering the courthouse. In addition, it is also important to know what to do if the other side doesn’t show up.