Orange County Criminal Defense

Criminal defense law is the area of law that deals with crime and crimes are actions that the state legislature has deemed conduct prohibited within a jurisdiction. Every crime has a series of elements that must be proven in order for the action to be criminal. For example, each crime involves an action as well as a state of mind. Elements of a crime may include physical or other actions and either general or specific intent, defined by the law.

When someone is accused of a crime, naturally, that individual may deny, try to explain, justify, or excuse the purported action. Criminal defenses are conditions that tend to negate an element of the crime. At a criminal trial the state or prosecution is required to prove each and every element of the crime charged. The practice of raising defenses is the territory of the criminal defense lawyer.

Criminal defense lawyers are lawyers who are charged with the responsibility to defend clients against criminal charges. Defense of a criminal charge may take different forms, based on the facts of the case. Initially, a criminal defense attorney will first review the accusation to determine if the alleged conduct is in fact a crime. Assuming the alleged conduct is a crime, the criminal defense lawyer will view the prosecutor’s evidence to determine if the prosecutor can prove the charge or charges to the highest standard of proof: beyond a reasonable doubt. The criminal defense lawyer commonly reviews police reports, video, audio, documentary, or other evidence provided by the prosecution. The prosecution must also provide exonerating evidence that tends to show the defendant is not guilty.

A criminal defense lawyer will also conduct his or her own investigation, interviewing witnesses, gathering mitigating evidence, or obtaining record or other information using the subpoena power of the court. A criminal defense lawyer will often consult with a private criminal investigator and experts if a case requires knowledge, information, or an opinion outside the realm of the law

An effective criminal defense lawyer will consider all of this evidence before advising a client of a recommended course of action. This will include what strategy to take if the defendant wants to go to trial. Ultimately, the criminal defense lawyer may advise the client what possible outcomes may happen at or after trial and whether the defense lawyer advises the defendant go to trial. However, the ultimate decision whether to go to trial is the defendant’s alone.

A criminal defense lawyer may try the case to a judge or jury and will advocate for the client’s position, raising defenses, and using a strategy informed by the lawyer’s knowledge of the law, education and experience. In the alternative, the lawyer may try to settle the case through effective negotiation on behalf of the client. The criminal defense lawyer will assist the client through either process, insuring they are advised of their rights as they navigate either path through the criminal justice system.

Many criminal lawyers enter the profession because they have a passion for protecting and defending individual rights. They recognize that anyone can be accused of a crime but that our system of justice places the burden of proof entirely upon the government to present a prosecution of that individual. The criminal defense lawyer should have compassion for their client’s situation and work with the client to obtain the best outcome under the circumstances. They should also maintain the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and ethics in order to establish a good reputation and in the best position to represent that client in the courts.

The criminal defense lawyers at the Johnson Criminal Law Group are career professionals who have committed their lives to defending the rights of defendants accused of crimes. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, contact us now so we can begin the process of defending your rights.

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