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Orange County Criminal Lawyer

Being part of a criminal investigation can be a nerve-wracking and stressful situation. How would you handle being questioned by investigators? Or a police officer showing up at your door with a search warrant? Most people do not think of how to react to these situations until they occur, but at that point, it may be too late to protect your rights. As soon as you discover that you are the subject of a criminal investigation, contact a defense attorney to handle the legalities of the investigation.

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Can an Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Help?

The criminal investigation process can be extensive, and an Orange County criminal defense attorney can assist you through each step of the process. From ensuring that you are not illegally questioned or searched to attempting to reduce bail after an arrest, a skilled attorney is an invaluable asset when it comes to criminal investigations.

If you or a loved one is part of a criminal investigation, seek representation from the team at The SoCal Law Network. Call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation today.

What is the Criminal Investigation Process?

It’s essential that you understand the entire criminal process so you know the road that you may face ahead once you’re the subject of an investigation. The earlier that you contact an Orange County criminal lawyer, the sooner he or she can protect your rights during the investigation.

Allegation – Before any criminal investigation begins, someone must allege that you have committed a crime. The source of this allegation could be anyone, from a private citizen to the Drug Enforcement Agency, and you may never find out who it was even after the investigation is complete.

Pre-Filing Investigation – During this stage of the criminal investigation process, law enforcement officials will analyze the details of the case to determine whether they should recommend that the prosecutor file charges against you. It is in this stage that police officers may question you or loved ones who may have witnessed the alleged crime or ask to search property as part of a crime scene investigation. It is never wise to be questioned by law enforcement without an Orange County criminal defense attorney by your side. It is crucial that you have hired a lawyer by this point in the investigation at the absolute latest to avoid incriminating yourself or loved ones.

It is the prosecutor’s decision whether or not to pursue charges. If the prosecutor believes the case is strong, he or she may file charges. If not, the charges may be dropped or the prosecutor could ask the criminal investigator to gather additional evidence.

During this stage of an investigation, an Orange County criminal lawyer may be able to persuade the prosecutor to drop the charges or to reduce the charges that will be filed. An attorney will also be able to review the police report and object to any inaccurate statements or unlawful investigation techniques.

Without an experienced Orange County defense attorney, you may be subject to intense police questioning, illegal property searches or confusion as to what your rights are as a suspect.

Arrest – If charges are filed against you, an arrest warrant may be issued. You cannot legally be arrested unless the police have probable cause to do so, meaning they have a reason to believe that you are guilty of a crime.

At this stage of the criminal investigation, Orange County defense attorneys may be able to argue on your behalf to reduce the bail. Your lawyer may be able to convince the court to let you go on your own recognizance, meaning on the promise that you will show up to court for an arraignment hearing. Having a lawyer at this part of the criminal investigation could save you thousands of dollars in bail.

Arraignment – During this hearing, the judge will inform you of the charges that have been filed against you and details the rights that you have now that you are accused of committing a criminal act. Future court dates may be scheduled at this time.

Bail Hearing – The majority of defendants who are in custody have the right to bail, however, it could be expensive depending on the nature of the crime. During a bail hearing, your criminal defense attorney could argue for a reduction in bail.

Plea Entry – Defendants may plead guilty, not guilty or no contest during this hearing. A no contest plea does not admit or deny guilt and is often used in cases where a civil lawsuit may also be filed against the defendant. Your lawyer will be able to consult with you prior to the hearing to discuss the options that are available and possible consequences for each.

If you believe that you or a loved one is being investigated, call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation with the team of attorneys at The
SoCal Law Network.

Orange County criminal lawyer

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How Long Does a Criminal Investigation Take?

There is no way to predict how long a criminal investigation will take. Depending on the complexity of the case and the evidence available, the investigation could take anywhere from a few months to years. Although many criminal charges have a statute of limitations of one year, some crimes do not carry a statute of limitation. This means the criminal investigation could remain open decades after the alleged crime took place.

Are you or a loved one the subject of a criminal investigation? Contact the team at The SoCal Law Network to speak with a highly skilled Orange County criminal lawyer. Call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation today.