There are many common misconceptions surrounding the process that the government uses to obtain convictions in criminal cases. An arrest is based on the probable cause standard, which only means that the police have a founded suspicion that a crime has occurred. After this initial arrest, both the U.S. Federal Constitution and the Florida Constitution offer certain procedural protections to anyone accused of a crime by the government. This is done to make sure that the person did in fact commit the crime, and there is enough supporting evidence to confirm the initial suspicion of criminal activity.
However, without proper legal representation, many criminal defendants end up making mistakes such as either waiving some of these rights or taking a plea too quickly, which can result in larger fines and longer sentences.
Are suspects in criminal cases always convicted?
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about two thirds of felony cases result in convictions. This means that a significant number of criminal cases never even reach the point where a defendant has to take a plea or is found guilty after a trial. The number of convictions for misdemeanor offenses is even lower, as less time and resources tend to be devoted to investigating and prosecuting minor offenses. The likelihood of a conviction or an unfavorable plea decreases even more if the defendant utilizes the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The lawyer will certainly know about many common defenses or strategies that reduce the probability of an unfavorable result for their client.
Common ways defense attorneys get reduced charges or make cases go away
Did you know that during a DUI investigation in Florida, the officer needs to properly inform a suspect of the state’s implied consent law and their right to refuse to give a breath sample? DUI defense lawyers know that they can get crucial evidence excluded from the state’s case if an officer does not follow these procedures properly.
Many other crimes will require one crucial witness to be in court on the trial day to prove the elements of the offense. Sometimes, the state attorney assigned to the case has trouble getting in touch with this person and they miss the court date. These situations result in dismissal of the case.
The burden of proof
The burden of proving that each element of a crime occurred beyond all reasonable doubt is one of the highest burdens in the law. This is certainly not easy for prosecutors to do in every case, and juries are specifically instructed that if one of the elements has not been conclusively proven, they must acquit the defendant. This was integrated into the U.S. criminal justice system based on the idea that convicting an innocent person is worse than seeing a guilty person go free.
Get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Myers
For further information about how a lawyer can defend against your criminal charges, contact Michael Raheb before dealing the state’s prosecutors and police officers on your own.