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Do Criminal Court Judges Look At Each Case Individually Or Are The Cases Just Another Number?

Do Criminal Court Judges Look At Each Case Individually Or Are The Cases Just Another Number?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“When a Judge sits on a bench, when a District Attorney or Assistant District Attorney reviews the next case that comes across his or her desk to prosecute, after a period of time are they just looking at numbers and circumstances, and it doesn’t matter if the guy’s name is John Smith, Jim Brown, Jack whatever, or the gal? It’s just statistics almost. Does that not create cynicism? Especially when a Judge sits on a bench and hears the same thing again and again, this charge, that charge? How do you, as a criminal defense attorney, get that Judge to set aside the obvious cynicism that is created over a period of time, and get them to look at…’this is a living breathing human being. He may have screwed up, but he’s not all that…what you see there’. Or what the District Attorney says…”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Well, I would say the majority of the Judges that I have dealt with, in Alameda County and San Francisco County, want to know what’s going on with my clients. They want to know is there something else that’s involved that comes into play for them to determine what’s appropriate. In Santa Clara County, they simply just won’t hold the District Attorney in check. What the District Attorney wants is almost always what the Judge will want to deliver.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“I have actually heard that…since the mid-80’s. That the District Attorney’s office in Santa Clara County just drives everything.”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Yeah, yeah they do. It’s a conservative county, so because it’s conservative the District Attorney takes a more aggressive position because they are going to win. The jury results are going to be, generally, not so favorable for the defendant. At the same time, it is true that a significant percentage of cases that go to trial are cases that aren’t very strong. Typically, they go to trial because the offer that the District Attorney gave is so unattractive for the defendant that it’s worth taking a chance. If you have a deal that’s basically the worst-case scenario, then why not go to trial? The worst that happens…is the worst that happens. I’d say, most Judges remain free of too much cynicism, but occasionally, I am tempted to suggest the Judge retire and get a poodle and go home and pet it and become kind again.

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“That works really well for you, I’m sure!”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Well, I haven’t used that line yet, but I think I’d be strong enough in the right circumstance to do it.”


If you’ve been charged with a crime, one of the things that you should think of is what type of defenses are available to you. There are different types of legal defenses available in criminal law, and the type of criminal defense applicable to you and your case will depend on your situation.

Criminal defense law consists of all the legal protections given to individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. In criminal court, the prosecutor must meet the burden of proof – that is, the responsibility of proving their allegations against the accused.

The police and prosecutors have plenty of resources at their disposal to go after someone and charge them with a crime. To balance the power within the justice system, certain protections are in place for the accused. These, and the skills and experience of a defense attorney will dictate how a defendant will be treated in criminal litigation.

An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to use constitutional laws for the benefit of their client. For instance, criminal prosecution is based upon the evidence gathered by law enforcers. This evidence can be in the form of physical evidence. This will usually consist of objects found in a crime scene, like a possible weapon, tire marks, shoe print, or even tiny pieces of fabric.

Common Defenses in a Criminal Case

There are many common defenses to criminal charges. You may argue that there are inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case against you, that the evidence gathered violated your constitutional rights, or that you had a justifiable reason for committing the crime. Below are some common primary criminal law defenses.

Alibi

The defendant didn’t commit the crime you were charged for. The defense can provide an alibi proving you weren’t at the scene when the crime occurred, or present evidence and witnesses that can counter the prosecution’s case.

Self-Defense

The defendant admits to using force. However, the defense argues that it’s justified since it was done in self-defense due to the violent and threatening actions of the other party.

Insanity Defense

The defendant may plead insanity to avoid being punished, since a criminal punishment is only justified if the offender has full control over their actions and understand that what they did was wrong.

Under Influence

In certain circumstances, a defendant may commit crimes under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This can be used as a criminal defense as if it affects the defendant’s mental functioning to the point where they cannot be held accountable for their actions.

Entrapment

If law enforcement officers caused the defendant to commit a crime that they wouldn’t have otherwise committed, then it’s considered entrapment and be used as a defense in criminal court.

Innocence

Claiming innocence is one of the most basic defenses to criminal liability. You must remember that the prosecution has to prove the crime filed against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re innocent, you don’t have to prove anything, but you can provide documents, testimonies, or evidence that will support the claim that you’re innocent.

Constitutional Violation

A constitutional violation is a type of criminal defense used if the evidence collected by the prosecution was gathered in a manner that violated your constitutional rights. This can include the illegal search, entry, or seizure of your house, car, clothing, etc. Failing to obtain an entry warrant, getting an improper confession, or failing to read to you your “Miranda Rights” at the time of your arrest are also constitutional violations that could lead to suppression of evidence against you or the total dismissal of the case.

Defense of Others

Similar to self-defense, you can use this type of defense if you have used a justifiable amount of force or violence to protect others who are being threatened or are in danger.

Other types of criminal defenses include defense of property, necessity, involuntary/voluntary intoxication, mistake of law, coercion, abandonment, and the statute of limitations.

If you’re accused a crime in California, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why you need an experienced defense attorney on your side when you face your charges. With over 20 years of experience successfully defending clients in California, Andrew Dósa understands the unique challenges of criminal defense in Alameda, CA and other areas in California.

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