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Pre-sentence Investigation Report and Interview

What is the purpose of the pre-sentence investigation report (PSIR) in criminal cases? In most criminal cases, guilty pleas are rapid and rote, and do not provide much information to the judge about the criminal defendant, his merits or his shortcomings. Perhaps because of this, most jurisdictions authorize an adjournment between plea or trial and [...]

By | 2016-10-15T19:24:54+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Trials & Sentencing|0 Comments

7 Common Defenses in Criminal Cases

In criminal cases, the prosecution presents its evidence first. When the prosecution rests, it is the defendant’s turn to present evidence in his or her defense. The defendant’s theory of the case often rests on one of these seven common defenses: 1. SODDI (“Some other dude did it”) This defense has the advantage of diverting [...]

By | 2016-10-15T19:17:07+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Trials & Sentencing|0 Comments

Two Types of Bargains

Most cases end with a bargain Most criminal cases end with a plea of guilty rather than a trial. Therefore, from the very start you and your criminal defense attorney should be looking for an opportunity to dispose of the charge short of trial. Criminal plea agreements and bargains fall into two categories: Charge Bargains: [...]

By | 2016-10-15T19:14:31+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Plea Bargaining|0 Comments

Grand Juries

A powerful investigative tool for criminal prosecutors How grand juries work Historically, grand juries were supposed to stand between the sovereign and the citizen by screening cases and rejecting those unfit for prosecution. However, they have evolved into a powerful investigative tool for prosecutors. Grand jurors are selected from the same pool as regular jurors, [...]

By | 2016-10-15T19:13:49+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Preliminary Hearings & Grand Juries|0 Comments

Your Right to a Preliminary Hearing

Your right to a preliminary hearing In federal court and most state courts you will be entitled to a preliminary hearing or examination at which the prosecution must introduce sufficient evidence to justify holding the case for court (also known as “bind over”). You have a Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel at [...]

By | 2016-10-15T19:12:09+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Preliminary Hearings & Grand Juries|0 Comments

Prosecutor’s obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence in criminal cases

The Brady case: the prosecutor must disclose exculpatory evidence In a case called Brady, the Supreme Court held that the due process clause obligates the prosecution to disclose to the defense any material evidence favorable on the issues of guilt or punishment. Evidence is exculpatory if it tends to disprove your guilt, whether by: Showing [...]

By | 2016-10-15T19:10:44+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Challenging Evidence & Your Rights|0 Comments

Does your case have a search and seizure issue?

The defense goals The primary aim in claiming an illegal search and seizure is to suppress the evidence that was seized, because in many cases, such as drug or weapons possession charges, suppression will be fatal to the prosecution’s case. Search and seizure challenges serve another purpose especially in jurisdictions without preliminary hearings. They permit [...]

By | 2016-10-15T19:06:23+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Challenging Evidence & Your Rights|0 Comments