Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney

Going to Criminal Court in Gold River, CA

It can feel intimidating standing inside the courtroom. Any misstatement or improper conduct can affect people’s impression of you and shape the outcome of your trial. This makes it important to be familiar with what goes in the criminal court. Our criminal defense attorneys in Gold River, CA can prepare you for your court appearance to maximize the chance of a favorable verdict. 

 

Pretrial Hearings in California

If you’ve been charged with a felony in state court, you have the right to a preliminary hearing before the case goes to a jury trial. A pretrial hearing or a grand jury ensures that there is enough evidence to formally bring criminal charges. 

Think of it as a “mini-trial” before your case proceeds. For more information about what happens at each part of the trial, read California’s guide on how criminal cases work

In summary, the prosecution must convince the court that there is reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed and that you committed it. This is a low burden of proof, but it does require that some evidence of “each and every element” of the crime be proven.

The preliminary hearing is a crucial part of your case. If you’ve been arrested for a crime, Our skilled Gold River CA criminal defense attorneys can help prepare you for your appearance at the pretrial hearing and possibly even prevent the case from going forward. Call our office now for a case evaluation!

Facing Criminal Charges?

Our Sacramento County criminal defense attorneys are near you in Gold River, CA. We are ready to fight for you. Contact The Chastaine Law Office to schedule a consultation and begin your defense today.

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Proving Elements of a Crime

Every crime has certain elements that have to be proven. 

A “conduct” element means that there are certain actions that you have performed. There may also be a mental element or “intent”

For example, a first-degree burglary requires that you enter an occupied dwelling (conduct) with the intent to steal or commit a felony (mental state). If you broke into a home just to sleep you did not have the “intent” to steal or commit a felony so the elements of burglary would not be met.

If you bring your case to our skilled Gold River criminal defense attorneys, they can help you figure out what elements of the crime are pertinent to your case and how they can help protect you against prosecution. Call our law office now to get your case evaluated!

How Much Evidence Does a Prosecution Need?

Prosecutors have a much easier time with pushing through a preliminary hearing than proving your crime in the actual trial. This is because they only need “probable cause” to charge you while to convict you, they need to prove you committed a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt, ” a much higher standard.  

Despite the lax rules of evidence at the pretrial hearing, every defendant retains their Constitutional rights to remain silent, to not be compelled to testify, to cross-examine any witness that is called to testify and to have an attorney.

This makes it important to hire a qualified Gold River CA criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can make your preliminary hearing much more favorable for you. If you need savvy legal representation, get in touch with us right away.

Does Hearsay Count as Evidence in California Pretrial Hearings?

During the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor can present available documents, witnesses and other evidence to the court. For pretrial hearings, a qualified police officer can present hearsay statements in court. 

Since 1990, in California, the rules of evidence for a preliminary hearing are different from those in a jury trial. As the result of Proposition 115, hearsay (out of court statements) is permitted if presented by a qualified police officer. This is known as a “115 prelim” and means that the actual victim does not have to testify.

Proposition 115 also limited what, if any, defense you may put on at a preliminary hearing. The defense must make a showing that the proposed evidence will provide a defense to some element of the charge. Like most legal processes, it can be rather complicated.

With the complexity of how evidence works, it’s best to have a competent Gold Rive criminal defense attorney to help you. Call us now to hire the best legal representation in the area. 

Can You Be Found Guilty in the Pretrial Hearing in California?

While the preliminary hearing is very important, in most cases, it will be short and the accused will be “bound over” – probable cause will be found to make the individual stand trial. This is not a finding of guilt. This is only a determination that there is some evidence to support the charges and legally justify moving forward to the next stage.

Just because a court found “probable cause” to allow the case to legally go forward does not mean the prosecution will be able to convince a jury of twelve people that the proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Every felony case that goes to a jury trial has to get past the pretrial hearing stage. However, just because the case is allowed to move forward after the preliminary hearing does not mean the person will be found guilty at trial.

Even if there’s no chance you’ll be found guilty at the pretrial hearing, it still is important to have a skilled Gold River criminal defense attorney by your side to turn everything in your favor. Call us now to find out what we can do for your case with a legal evaluation.

Does Every Evidence in Preliminary Hearing Go to Trial?

There is an opportunity for their attorney to dispute the admissibility of certain evidence. During a pretrial hearing it is possible to move to suppress evidence under Penal Code section 1538.5. You can argue that certain evidence should not be presented because it is irrelevant to your charges. This can be very important.

Hire our Gold River Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

Getting convicted is no small matter. Aside from the punishments like jail time and fines, you might also face problems in your work and relationships. Our Gold River criminal defense attorneys at The Chastaine Law Office will protect you from the lawyer prosecuting you and help you understand what you should do in court. Contact us today for an initial consultation!