BAKERSFIELD CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
Searching for a good criminal defense lawyer for a loved one, friend or relative
can be a very stressful task, particularly in today's Internet age where flashy
websites, unbelievable claims of success and slick sales gimmicks seem to
dominate the market. Our Bakersfield Criminal defense lawyers have been
helping decent hard working folks establish their innocence in Court for over
25 years, well before the world wide web became such a scary place. A real
lawyer represented real people in trouble with the law.
Call Matt Directly Today at 661-327-7833
If you have been arrested by a law enforcement officer the reality is that the
they will not tell you that you need a lawyer, there is a reason for that, they do
not want you to hire one. The police would rather you go to Court and plead
guilty or no contest and take your lumps. They would prefer that their actions
and conduct not be put under the microscope, oftentimes exposing improper
procedures or a blatant violation of your rights.
If you have been contacted by the Bakersfield Police, CHP or Kern County
Sheriff, you certainly need to speak to an experienced attorney immediately.
One of the reasons for consulting with a Lawyer is to find out if you actually
need representation or not. In some cases the government may not be
interested in prosecuting you. That is something that can only be decided with
a candid conversation with an experienced local Bakersfield criminal defense
lawyer, not a paralegal, or "case manager" . In today's day and age all too
many law firms on the web direct you to a "marketing specialist" who is not
licensed to practice law. When you call our firm you speak directly with the
You should know that if the case is one involving a drunk driving, the police
may fail to tell you that you must take immediate action with the DMV in order
to save your important driving privilege. Bruce Blythe, a local Bakersfield DUI
Lawyer can assist you in dealing with the state agency and securing a hearing
to challenge the action set in motion by the arresting officer.
IF I AM INNOCENT OF CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED AGAINST ME,
DO I STILL NEED AN ATTORNEY?
You certainly do! The fact that you are innocent does not mean you will be
acquitted at trial. We all like to think that truth and justice always prevails, but
unfortunately that is the ideal - not necessarily the reality. In fact, sometimes
police and prosecutors are so eager to push cases through the system that
innocent people are found guilty of crimes they did not commit. The only way
to ensure that your rights are fully protected and that the evidence in your
favor is fully and fairly presented in court is to hire an experienced criminal
defense attorney to provide you with proper legal representation. The general
public fails to realize the verdict in a criminal case made by a judge or jury is
either guilty or not-guilty. The jury or judge does not make a finding of
innocent or not innocent. A not-guilty verdict decision can be arrived at in any
several ways. For example, a judge or jury could believe the prosecution did
not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This generally means the
judge or jury think the accused person on trial probably committed the
offenses charged, however, the law requires that a conviction cannot stand on
probability. The verdict therefore would be NOT-GUILTY. Another example,
on the other side of the spectrum, would be a judge or jury believes an accused
person is actually innocent. Again, the decision would be NOT-GUILTY. The
legal decision or verdict is never innocent. A good example of this is where the
local Bakersfield news covers a court case. Oftentimes they report that the
defendant pleaded INNOCENT. In fact, legally the defendant entered a plea
of "NOT-GUILTY". This places the burden on the District Attorney of Kern
County to prove that he or she is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Another
example is where the media reports a verdict at the conclusion of a trial. If the
defendant was acquitted, they again oftentimes report it as being found
INNOCENT when in fact the jury found the person NOT-GUILTY. This
simply means that the D.A. has failed to convince a jury that the defendant
was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
DO I NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY IF MY CASE IS
UNDER INVESTIGATION AND NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED
Your need for the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney may be
just as great during the course of a police investigation, as afterwards. Please
keep in mind police and prosecutors do not always give people the benefit of
the doubt before filing charges. They also make mistakes. Don't assume that
the Bakersfield Police Department will fairly investigate all the facts, or that
prosecutors will fairly decide whether or not you should be charged. Any
evidence in your favor should be fully investigated and preserved by your own
experienced criminal defense attorney, representing only you, as early as
possible. Your attorney might also bring this evidence to the attention of the
police and prosecutors with a view towards convincing them not to file charges
against you. A good example of this is a case of domestic violence where the
alleged victim has come forward and recanted her previous statement, this
evidence should be brought to the attention of the D.A. in a timely manner.
Sometimes it is easier to convince prosecutors not to file charges initially than it
is to persuade them to dismiss charges after they have been filed.
IF THE GOVERNMENT HASN'T FILED CHARGES AGAINST ME
AFTER MANY WEEKS, DOES THAT MEAN I PROBABLY WON'T BE
Not necessarily. The Kern County District Attorney can file criminal charges
at any time within the applicable "statute of limitations". In most felony cases,
that time period is 3 years, in most misdemeanors it is 1 year. There are many
reasons why prosecutors wait to file charges. Generally, prosecutors do not
file charges until they are certain the investigation is reasonably complete. This
process can takes months, even years. Never think that because a significant
period of time has passed that the state cannot file charges against you. This is
an important aspect of your case that should be discussed with your attorney.
WHAT CAN A BAKERSFIELD CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY DO
FOR ME IF CHARGES HAVE NOT BEEN FILED?
Your attorney might be able to persuade prosecutors that there are good
reasons why charges should not be filed against you. Perhaps there is a legal
reason why the law doesn't apply to your factual situation. Perhaps there are
weaknesses in the evidence that law enforcement officials have overlooked.
Perhaps there are others who are more criminally responsible than you are. For
a variety of reasons, an attorney might be able to convince the authorities that
you should not be the focus of their investigation.
WILL DETECTIVES CALL ME TO GET MY SIDE OF THE STORY?
Maybe. Maybe not. If the police think you will talk to them and that your
statement would help their case, i.e. you will incriminate yourself in some way,
they might try to interview you. Whether you should speak to them is
sometimes a complex decision that is always best made with the advice of an
experienced criminal defense attorney. As a general rule do not talk to the
Bakersfield Police without counsel present to represent you. It is your
constitutional right, exercise it, don't waive it. The police are very experienced
at getting people to say what they want them to say.
IF I AM GUILTY, AND IF I PLEAD GUILTY, WILL I GET
PROBATION IF THIS IS MY FIRST OFFENSE?
While probation is presumed on first offenses such as DUI and misdemeanor
charges, other cases such as felony matters and domestic violence may be
looked upon differently. . Judges are bound by sentencing guidelines that have
removed a great deal of discretion from their hands. You could find yourself
sent off to prison even if the judge believes that you would make a good
candidate for probation. In Bakersfield, Superior Court judges can also be
overly harsh in their sentencing, depending upon the facts of the case and the
recommendation of the District Attorney.
There are many crimes in California that require mandatory prison time. i.e.
Selling Drugs, crimes that may fall under the California 3 strikes law,
Aggravated/Felony Drunk Driving, Assault with a Deadly Weapon. A lawyer
who practices criminal defense in Bakersfield can advise you of strategies for
increasing your chances of avoiding jail or incarceration in a penitentiary. Only
with the guidance of a legal counselor can you be confident that the state will
not take advantage of you if you plead guilty.
WHAT CAN A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER DO IF CHARGES
HAVE ALREADY BEEN FILED?
Any competent lawyer will take the time to evaluate the evidence to determine
if the government can prove its case against you. Sometimes prosecutors are
mistaken about the strength of their evidence and can be persuaded to abandon
their case after hearing both sides of the story. Other times, prosecutors can be
persuaded to dismiss charges because of changes in the evidence. If the
evidence against you is too strong to obtain a
dismissal of charges, your attorney must evaluate whether it is in your best
interest to go to trial or obtain a negotiated plea agreement. Only an
experienced Bakersfield Criminal Defense Lawyer can evaluate your chances
for success at trial. If you are likely to lose at trial, your attorney will attempt to
negotiate the best possible deal that can be obtained from the prosecution.
Sometimes, those who are willing to deal early in the proceedings are able to
avoid jail or other significant penalties such as large fines. Finally, if you and
your attorney decide to take your chances and go to trial, your attorney will
develop evidence in your favor with the goal of persuading a jury that there is a
reasonable doubt as to whether you are guilty of the charges.
IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT ABOUT WHAT TO DO, TALK TO AN
EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY NOW:
Call Matt at 661-327-7833
If the information contained on this page did not answer questions you may
have about your case, be sure to visit Attorney Bruce Blythe on Google Plus to
read more about the criminal justice system.