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Criminal Defense Strategies

California Criminal Defense Lawyers

If the state has charged you with a crime, you can’t waste time waiting for the prosecution to drop your charges and apologize. The time to begin crafting your defense strategy is now. Taking a proactive approach to your defense will show the prosecution that you take the charges against you seriously and preserves important evidence. Even if the state has charged you with a misdemeanor versus a felony, a conviction could have a permanent negative impact on your life. Jail time, fines, and the conviction record will all set you back further in an already-difficult world.

My Rights Law‘s experienced criminal defense lawyers will protect your rights. Let our experience go to work for you. Get started by calling My Rights Law at (888) 702-8882 or submitting our secure web form for a free consultation.

Constitutional Defenses

The U.S. Constitution guarantees several protections regarding criminal investigations, arrests, and prosecutions. Prohibiting searches and seizures, the Fourth Amendment sets many of these. If the legal process has violated your rights, you may have the leverage to get your charges reduced or dropped. Certain violations will also exclude[1] evidence from the court. This can make it nearly impossible for the prosecutors to obtain a guilty verdict against you. You should review every detail of your case with a defense attorney to see if any violations of your constitutional rights are present.

Reasonable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is the standard used to determine whether a search by a police officer was constitutional. This criterion is a lower standard than probable cause, but a police officer still must have something more than a whim or suspicion to search. For example, if the police arrested you for DUI, the police officer must have had reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Depending on the crime, a broad array of activities can give a police officer reasonable suspicion for a search. In the case of driving under the influence, swerving, speeding, making wide turns, and more could all signify to a police officer that you’re driving impaired. You can review your arrest records with your defense attorney for signs that the police lacked reasonable suspicion to search you.

Probable Cause

Probable cause is the constitutional standard for a police officer to arrest someone. For a police officer to have probable cause, they must reasonably believe that a crime occurred and the defendant committed it. A valid probable cause defense could have put you in a much better position with the prosecution. Continuing with the DUI example, evidence like your admission of guilt or a chemical test you took at the station could be excluded. Without these, the prosecution may not have a leg to stand on. This could mean leverage during plea negotiation or even dismissal of your case.

Failure to Read Miranda Rights

If you’ve ever watched a crime television show, you’re probably somewhat familiar with your Miranda rights.[2] They include the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney if you cannot afford one, etc. The police must read you these rights when you are placed under arrest. The police’s failure to do so could have your statements made post-arrest excluded from evidence. This could have no effect on your case, or it could be huge. Depending on your case’s unique facts, this could be the linchpin that secures you a favorable plea deal or not guilty verdict. Let your defense attorney know as soon as possible if you don’t remember being read your Miranda rights when you were arrested.

Chain Of Custody And Equipment Errors

Technology has widely expanded law enforcement’s ability to catch criminals. However, it doesn’t always work how we want it to work. For example, Breathalyzer tests are a convenient and accurate way to determine someone’s blood alcohol content while driving. They can produce inaccurate results under certain circumstances. Certain medical conditions can cause false breathalyzer test readings. Results can also be inaccurate if the officer doesn’t wait long enough since the driver has eaten, drank, or puked. Even radio frequencies can cause technical errors in some of the devices that police officers have on the road. You and your attorney can review the details of your arrest for mistakes the police may have made.

The police may also have made errors with how the evidence against you was transported, transferred, and maintained. California law[3] prohibits police from allowing evidence to be handled in a way that could tamper with or affect it. There are certain procedures for labeling and testing different types of evidence. If your lawyer can prove that police did not follow the procedures, the evidence might be excluded from the case against you.


If someone physically harms you or makes you fear it, you have the right to defend yourself under California law.[4] The police can make mistakes and arrest the wrong person in a fight. If the aggressor is convincing enough, you could end up in jail for self-defense. You’ll need to assemble any evidence available to prove your side of the story. Some should be at the scene, but the police might not be aware of other evidence relevant to your case. Text messages and social media exchanges between you and the assailant could give your case more context. So can police reports and protective orders from previous altercations between you and the other party. You should also seek witnesses who can testify to interactions between you and the assailant.

Plea Bargaining

Sometimes, the evidence the prosecution has against you is too overwhelming to walk into a trial with confidence. Maybe if given the opportunity, you would rather plead guilty with the guarantee that you will receive punishments on the lower end of the applicable penalty ranges. The prosecution might even offer you a plea deal with a lesser charge with enough evidence in your favor. Completing diversion, anger management, or another court-approved course relevant to your case can help your chances at a plea deal.[5]

It may not make sense why you would want to plead guilty to a crime. Let’s say you have been charged with assault. There is video footage of the incident, plenty of eyewitnesses, and the victim is eager to testify. The police haven’t violated your rights in any way, and maybe there is even DNA evidence placing you at the scene. Because the victim wasn’t seriously harmed and you have no priors, the prosecution decides to offer you a plea deal. You can plead guilty to disturbing the peace, pay a modest fine, complete community service, and get on with your life. If you refuse, you will need to go to trial. You will be risking jail time, a more serious conviction on your record, and more. Any plea deal you’re offered should be reviewed by a defense attorney to see if it is fair.

Expertise In Defense Strategy, Plea Negotiation, And More

My Rights Law’s strong team of criminal lawyers have the resources and experience that enable us to pursue difficult cases yielding favorable results.

Dealing with criminal defense charges is a stressful ordeal. We protect our clients through our expertise in the law and extensive experience in handling all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases including, but not limited to, alcohol-related crimes, drug crimes, violent crimes, domestic violence, sex crimes, crimes against children, theft crimes, juvenile crime, gun charges, property crimes, cybercrimes, driving offenses, public safety crimes, federal crimes, financial crimes, crimes against the government, crimes against justice, and inchoate crimes. We also specialize in restraining orders, pretrial diversion programs, and expungements. Having a reliable, experienced defense attorney can make you feel more secure throughout the process. When creating your legal strategy, no stone should be left unturned. Our skilled defense lawyers have the knowledge and resources to explore possible ways to mitigate an arrest’s negative effects.

A good defense attorney could mean staying out of jail, keeping your job, less damage to your reputation, and more. If you’re reading this article, you probably don’t feel comfortable leaving your fate in the hands of a court-appointed attorney. At My Rights Law, our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, support, and resources to achieve the best possible outcome with the charges you face. See what our firm has to offer with no risk or obligation—call (888) 702-8882 for your 100% free and confidential consultation today.

[1] U.S. Const., amend. IV.
[2] Facts and Case Summary – Miranda v. Arizona
[3] California Penal Code 1405.
[4] California Penal Code 198.5.
[5] Cornell Legal Information Institute: Plea Bargain.

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