Stage 1: The Offense & Investigation
In some cases, a police officer may actually witness a criminal act. However, in many cases, the police are called, and they conduct an investigation. This consists of interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence.
Stage 2: Arrest & Booking
After being arrested, the accused is taken to jail for booking. Personal information will be collected, including fingerprints and photographs (“mug shot”).
The police may not read an arrestee their Miranda rights immediately. They aren’t required until interrogation. You should never answer police questions until you talk to a California criminal defense lawyer.
The police will send information about the situation to the district attorney’s office. If the D.A. decides to press charges, an arraignment will be scheduled. If not, then you will be released.
Stage 3: Arraignment
The arraignment is the first formal court appearance for the accused. They will be read charges and have a chance to enter a plea (not guilty, guilty, or no contest). If you plead guilty or no contest, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled. If you plead not guilty, the judge will consider bail.
You have a right to hire a defense attorney to represent you at all stages of the criminal justice process. If you can’t afford a private attorney, a public defender will be assigned to you. Hiring the best attorney you can find will save you stress in the long run, and you may get a better outcome overall.
For legal representation at any stage of the California criminal process, call Spolin & Dukes P.C. at (310) 424-5816.
Stage 4: Bail Hearing
The bail hearing may take place during the arraignment, or the judge may schedule it at a later date. You may present factors to reduce or eliminate your bail. Before altering your bail, the judge will consider your criminal history, the seriousness of the offense, the specific facts of the case, your community ties, your likelihood to return to court, and public safety if you are released.
Stage 5: Pretrial Process
If you plead not guilty, your California criminal defense attorney will prepare your case for trial. They will appear at court conferences and hearings on your behalf, file motions to get your case dismissed or evidence excluded, exchange discovery, and negotiate a plea bargain.
Mr. Spolin and his legal team at Spolin & Dukes P.C. excel at the pretrial process. As a former prosecutor, he knows how to work both sides of a case. He is a master negotiator and will fight to get you the best outcome possible.
Stage 6: Trial
Criminal cases that are not resolved during the pretrial process will proceed to a California Superior Court. There are two types of trials: bench trials and jury trials.
A bench trial is where the judge hears the case and makes the ultimate decision of guilt or innocence. In a jury trial, 12 of your peers will listen to the evidence and determine the outcome. You have a right to a jury trial, and your California criminal defense lawyer can make sure you get one.
Stage 7: Appeal
Spolin & Dukes P.C. will always fight to win at trial. However, if you are convicted, that is not the end. You can appeal your case to a higher-level court and challenge any legal errors that were made. Mr. Spolin and his team have a track record of successfully handing post-conviction appeals.
Learn About Our Top California Defense Attorneys
The award-winning defense lawyers at Spolin & Dukes P.C. have a track record of successful outcomes in criminal cases. They use proven strategies to achieve clients’ goals. (Prior success does not guarantee the same result in a future case.)
Attorney Aaron Spolin
As a former prosecutor, Mr. Spolin knows how the government develops their case. He understands the evidence they will use against you. Once a thorough investigation is complete, Mr. Spolin will use all of the evidence to support strong defenses in your case. As a trial attorney, Mr. Spolin will not settle for an unfair plea bargain. He will go to court and fight for you in front of a jury.
Attorney Don Nguyen
With nearly 30 years of criminal law experience, Mr. Nguyen has a plethora of knowledge to dedicate to each case he handles. He listens to clients and strives to make sure they feel respected throughout the criminal justice process. Many of Mr. Nguyen’s clients have faced difficult pasts, and he is always there to listen with compassion.
Attorney Jeremy Cutcher
Prior to working for Spolin & Dukes P.C., Mr. Cutcher worked for the San Luis Obispo Public Defender’s Office and for Justice Marvin Baxter on the California Supreme Court. He has in-depth knowledge of California law and court processes. He has handled all manner of serious criminal offenses. Mr. Cutcher gets personally involved in every case and strives to understand his clients’ stories.