How a California Criminal Defense Attorney Prevents Charges Being Filed Against You

criminal defense precharge investigation

How a California Criminal Defense Attorney Prevents Charges Being Filed Against You

Did you know a criminal defense attorney can start working on your case even before the prosecution files a case against you? It’s true.

A California criminal defense attorney can help prevent the prosecution from ever even filing charges against you. Building an early defense strategy to avoid charges can protect your good name and prevent arrests and charges from showing up on background checks.

Being proactive and hiring an attorney when you know there is the potential that you’ll face criminal charges is a good idea. One example of this is if you were to be called in to answer questions about an investigation. While you might be completely innocent, you should still hire an attorney to go with you during the questioning to protect your rights.

Your proactive attorney can work to prevent the prosecution from filing charges against you. That way, you never face an arrest or warrant for arrest.

Negotiation During Pre-filing Investigation

There are steps that the prosecution must take to formally charge you with a crime. Throughout this process, your attorney can be advocating for your case and working to avoid formal charges against you.

During the pre-filing investigation, a police officer can investigate you for a crime without arresting you. This might happen if the police officer isn’t completely certain that you committed the crime. Or, they don’t have enough evidence against you yet to formally charge you.

But once the officer has enough evidence, they will meet with the prosecutor to present the evidence. The evidence that the police office shares will include:

  • Physical evidence
  • Witness statements
  • Statements from the defendant

Once the officer has presented this information to the prosecutor, they’ll ask that formal charges be filed against you. Prosecutors can decide whether there is enough evidence to move a case forward or not and what charges to formally file.

During this process, your attorney will work to prove that the evidence against you is not valid. They will be negotiating your case the whole time to prevent formal charges. The sooner an attorney is involved in your case, the better equipped they’ll be to protect you from formal charges.

Negotiation During Arrest

Some cases move swiftly to arrest and formal charges. One way this can happen is if the police officer catches you while you’re committing a crime. Another way a case moves swiftly to arrest is if the officer has probable cause for questioning you or completing a search and finds evidence of a crime, such as a drug possession.

In these cases, your first opportunity to hire an attorney will be after your arrest. Even though you’ve been arrested, that doesn’t mean there are formal criminal charges against you yet. At this phase, the prosecutor will review the information against you to determine how best to move forward with your case. Your attorney still has some time to advocate for your case and work to avoid charges.

The attorney aims to show that the prosecutor doesn’t have a solid case against you. This might be by showing that the evidence against you is weak or that the arresting officer somehow didn’t follow proper procedure during the arrest.

How a California Criminal Defense Attorney Influences Decisions in Such Cases

Once your attorney presents their case for you, the prosecutor can decide to reject the case or send it back to law enforcement. If they send it back to law enforcement, they can continue their investigation, in which case you could still face charges.

Criminal cases are complex issues with many facets and phases. No matter where you’re at in facing such a case, you should seek an attorney to represent you and protect your rights. This is your best chance at avoiding conviction or receiving lesser charges.