Understanding the Criminal Defense Process
If you were recently charged with a crime under the California Penal Code,
you are probably concerned about what will happen next. The Law Offices
of Evan E. Zelig is staffed with an attorney who not only has experience
working in large and small firms, but has also worked as a prosecutor
prior to entering practice as a Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyer. We
encourage you to contact our office right away to get started on your
criminal defense. The process can be lengthy and grueling, depending upon
the charges involved, but we are ready to stand by your side from start
are FREE. Call (707) 418-5352.
The First Steps Following Arrest
When you first meet with your criminal defense attorney, make sure you
bring copies of any documents pertaining to the case. This could include
police reports, warrants or any other paperwork related to your criminal
charge. Our attorney will review these documents and discuss the facts
of the incident. If any defenses are immediately apparent, such as an
unlawful search or self-defense, your lawyer will make certain to raise
these right away.
The Criminal Discovery Process
In the weeks following your initial intake, your attorney will engage in
the discovery process with the prosecutor. This involves the mutual exchange
of evidence and information related to the case. Evidence which may be
inadmissible at a trial, such as evidence of drug possession obtained
without a warrant or an unlawful traffic stop that led to
DUI, may still be discoverable during the trial preparation period.
Under the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case
Brady v. Maryland, the prosecution must reveal any evidence that exculpates a criminal defendant,
- Evidence that a witness for the prosecution lied or committed perjury
- Pending criminal charges against a witness for the prosecution
- Evidence that directly contradicts a witness' testimony
- Racial, religious or personal bias against the defendant
- Promises made between the witness and the prosecutor, including grants
As your case proceeds, your criminal defense lawyer may request a suppression
hearing. This process is invoked when it becomes apparent that certain
evidence was obtained by police in violation of the defendant's criminal
procedure rights. If the judge holds that contraband or material evidence
was obtained without a
warrant or probable cause, the evidence will be excluded from consideration during
the guilt phase of the pending trial.
Contact a Santa Rosa Criminal Defense Attorney at (707) 418-5352
If you are facing criminal charges and would like more information about
how the criminal defense process works, talk to our team today. We can
assist you with a wide range of charges, including drug violations, sex
crimes, homicides, gang-related charges and assault, as well as
expungement of criminal records in certain circumstances.
Give us a call
at (707) 418-5352 to get started.