Attorneys.Media

Get Interviewed!
|

Really, What Is A Jury of Your Peers?

Really, What Is A Jury of Your Peers?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“A jury of your peers? You know, twelve of your peers. Does that actually happen?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Well, I don’t know. Is anyone my peer? Or is anyone your peer?”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“That’s the question. How are they going to be viewed? How are you going to be viewed? Do you have to have the same set of circumstances in my life, as my life, if I was a defendant, are you going to look for the same type of people that could understand where I’m coming from?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Well it would be nice if you could find people like that, but you’re stuck with the jury pool that comes in. And I will say that I have been moved by the quality of the jurors I have seen. Most of them are college graduates. Many of them have post graduate degrees. Many of them have positions of responsibility. They are people who are leaders. Oftentimes, there are some exceptions. It’s not that blue collar people don’t come in, but they seem to be less a part of the jury pool today than they were 20 or 30 years ago.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Why is that? That’s actually a very good question. Is that because of Silicon Valley exploding in the Bay Area?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“I suspect that the old distinction between a blue-collar worker who was someone who was a mechanic or a plumber or something like that versus a white-collar person, a person working with a suit and tie in an office…those distinctions are blurring a bit because of Silicon Valley having a dress code where someone coming in a coat and tie like this would be looked at with suspicion. But they’re certainly not blue-collared workers, the person doing more hands-on oriented jobs.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Trades.”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Trades for example. Right. However significant those would be, see for example if you knew someone who was working as a waterline person, you wouldn’t know they were doing their job unless there was a problem with the water. But if that person was retired, that person would be available to serve on a jury. Would that person be a peer? The general word for peer is just someone who is fitting into the community. So, if someone lives in the community, lives in the Bay Area, so that’s really more of what it is. The idea, I think is that it’s not someone who is appointed, it’s not a government employee, it’s someone who is out in the civilian world.”

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.