Best Modesto Criminal Lawyers
Modesto Criminal Lawyers – Your Guide to Finding the Best Defense Attorney
Getting arrested can be scary. Even if you’re innocent, facing criminal charges is overwhelming. Where do you turn for help? A good criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference.
If you’re looking for a criminal lawyer in Modesto, CA, you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you the scoop on finding the best attorney to fight your criminal charges.
What to Look for in a Modesto Criminal Lawyer
Not all attorneys are created equal. When searching for a criminal defense lawyer, keep these factors in mind:
- Experience handling your type of criminal case
- Knowledge of California and Modesto criminal laws
- Willingness to fight aggressively for you
- Resources to thoroughly investigate your case
- Skills negotiating plea bargains with prosecutors
- Track record getting charges reduced or dismissed
- Affordable rates and payment plans
The right lawyer for you depends on your specific situation. For example, if you’re facing domestic violence charges, you want an attorney with experience defending domestic violence cases.
Be wary of lawyers who promise too much too soon. No ethical attorney can guarantee a particular outcome before reviewing your case. Look for realistic assessments of your options.
Where to Find Modesto Criminal Defense Lawyers
Searching online is a good starting point for finding a criminal lawyer. Here are some helpful sites:
- Avvo – Read reviews and profiles of local criminal lawyers. You can also post your case for free legal advice.
- Justia – Browse Modesto criminal defense lawyer profiles with background checks and contact info.
- Lawyers.com – Search for Modesto criminal attorneys by experience, location, fees, and more.
- Martindale – Find peer-reviewed Modesto criminal defense lawyers.
- Nolo – Connect with local criminal attorneys and read legal guides.
Don’t just choose a lawyer from ads or billboards. Do your research to find someone experienced with cases like yours.
Consultations with Modesto Criminal Attorneys
Once you identify some potential lawyers, set up consultations. Many offer free initial consultations, but some charge a fee.
Come prepared to your consultation with details about your criminal charges and any evidence. Make a list of questions to ask the attorney, including:
- – How much experience do you have with cases like mine?
- – What defenses could we use in my case?
- – What are the risks if I go to trial vs take a plea bargain?
- – What are your fees and how can I pay you?
- – Can you share any success stories from past clients?
Pay attention to how well the lawyer listens and answers your questions. Do you feel comfortable with their approach? This relationship is important, so make sure you choose someone you connect with and trust.
Common Criminal Charges in Modesto
The most common crimes people face charges for in Modesto include:
- Drug crimes – Possession, possession for sale, transportation, manufacturing, etc. of illegal drugs like meth, cocaine, heroin, psychedelics, and illegally obtained prescription drugs.
- DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Can be a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on prior DUIs.
- Theft – Petty theft, grand theft, shoplifting, burglary, robbery, stolen property, identity theft, and more.
- Domestic violence – Physical abuse, threats, or violence against a spouse, partner, family member, roommate, etc.
- Assault & battery – Violent attacks causing injury to the victim. Can range from misdemeanor to felony charges.
- Weapons charges – Illegal possession of firearms, knives, brass knuckles, etc. Includes felons prohibited from having guns.
- Sex crimes – Rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, lewd conduct, indecent exposure, and more.
- Probation/parole violations – Breaking terms of probation or parole like failed drug tests, missed appointments, leaving the county, or new crimes.
- Resisting arrest – Physically resisting police, fleeing police, or disobeying lawful orders.
These are just a few examples – there are many other misdemeanor and felony crimes you could face charges for in Modesto. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help with any criminal allegation.
Investigation and Defense Strategy
After reviewing your case, your Modesto criminal attorney will conduct an independent investigation. This may involve interviewing witnesses, visiting the crime scene, hiring expert witnesses, and more.
Your lawyer will then determine the best defense strategies for your case. Common defenses include:
- Lack of evidence – The prosecution’s evidence is too weak or flawed to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Mistaken identity – You were misidentified and did not actually commit the crime.
- False accusations – The alleged victim is lying or mistaken in their accusations against you.
- Self-defense – You only used necessary force to protect yourself or someone else from harm.
- Alibi – You have an alibi proving you were somewhere else at the time of the crime.
- Entrapment – Law enforcement improperly induced you to commit a crime you otherwise wouldn’t.
- Intoxication – You were involuntarily intoxicated and unable to form the intent to commit the crime.
- Mental illness – You have a mental disorder that prevented you from understanding your actions or forming criminal intent.
An aggressive defense lawyer will fight to get charges against you reduced or dismissed. If charges aren’t dropped early on, your case could go to trial or end in a plea bargain.
Plea Bargains in Modesto Criminal Cases
Many Modesto criminal cases end in plea bargains instead of going to trial. With a plea bargain, you plead guilty or “no contest” to the charges in exchange for reduced penalties. The prosecutor may agree to:
- – Drop some of the charges against you
- – Reduce a felony to a misdemeanor charge
- – Recommend a lighter sentence
- – Dismiss enhancements that increase your punishment
An experienced criminal lawyer can negotiate with the DA’s office to get you the best possible plea deal. They’ll analyze the risks of going to trial vs taking a plea bargain. Your attorney may recommend a plea if it’s clearly in your best interest, but the final decision is always up to you.
Pre-Trial Motions in Criminal Cases
Before your criminal trial, your lawyer may make pre-trial motions asking the judge to rule on certain issues. Possible motions include:
- Motion to suppress evidence – Argue evidence was obtained illegally and should be excluded from trial. This could apply to evidence from illegal searches, coerced confessions, etc.
- Motion in limine – Ask the judge to exclude prejudicial evidence that could unfairly sway the jury.
- Motion to dismiss – Assert there is insufficient evidence for a jury to convict you and ask for the charges to be dismissed.
If the judge grants these motions, it can really help your defense. An experienced criminal lawyer knows how to craft persuasive, well-supported pre-trial motions.
What to Expect at Your Criminal Trial
If your case goes to trial, your Modesto criminal defense attorney will fight to win a “not guilty” verdict. Here’s how a criminal trial typically proceeds:
- Jury selection – The judge and lawyers question and select jurors who will decide your case.
- Opening statements – The prosecution and defense outline the case jurors will hear.
- Prosecution’s case – Prosecutors call witnesses and present evidence trying to prove your guilt.
- Defense case – Your lawyer cross-examines prosecution witnesses and presents witnesses supporting your defense.
- Closing arguments – Lawyers summarize their side of the case and argue why jurors should rule in their favor.
- Jury deliberations – The jury meets in private to discuss the case and reach a verdict.
- Verdict – The jury acquits you or convicts you of the charges.
- Sentencing – If convicted, the judge sentences you based on guidelines and prosecutors’ recommendations.
Experienced criminal trial lawyers know how to argue persuasively before judges and juries. They can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and present compelling evidence and testimony for your defense.
Finding the Right Modesto Criminal Lawyer for You
Facing criminal charges is frightening. The stakes are high, potentially involving huge fines, years in prison, and lifelong consequences. The right lawyer can make all the difference.
Now you know where to find Modesto criminal defense attorneys, what to look for, and how they can defend your case. Take time to research lawyers’ experience, case results, and client reviews. Compare consultation experiences. Consider lawyers’ fees and payment options. Weigh all factors carefully to choose the best attorney for you.
With an experienced criminal lawyer in your corner, you can face the charges confidently knowing your rights are protected. The justice system can be complex and intimidating, but a great lawyer levels the playing field. Fight for your future with the strong defense you deserve.