Oak Harbor Criminal Defense
The Oak Harbor attorneys at Platt & Buescher have handled hundreds of criminal defense cases. Our office has an emphasis in complex and high profile felony cases. However, our office also handles misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor matters filed in courts of limited jurisdiction. Platt & Buescher has provided representation for defendants accused of murder, vehicular homicide, robbery, assault, domestic violence, malicious mischief, theft, robbery, burglary, possession of controlled substances, DUI, and numerous other criminal charges.
Criminal Charges in Oak Harbor
A person who is charged with a crime is presumed innocent. There is a world of difference between an actual conviction and a mere charge. All a police officer needs to make an arrest is “probable cause.” Probable cause is one of the lowest legal requirements—a far cry from a conviction. Probable cause can be based simply on a person’s mere statements or accusations as opposed to hard evidence.
The prosecution has the burden of proof. The defense does not have to prove anything. As mentioned above, the defendant is presumed innocent until the prosecution proves that the defendant accused of the crime committed the offense.
Each crime consists of specific “elements.” Before one can be convicted of a crime, each and every element must be proved by the prosecution “beyond a reasonable doubt” to the unanimous satisfaction of a jury. A person charged with a crime must be found not guilty if the prosecution fails to prove each and every element of the crime.
The prosecution must show convince each and every member of a jury that each and every single element of the crime charge exists beyond a reasonable doubt. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is the most difficult burden of proof to overcome. There is a universe of difference between probable cause (sufficient for a lawful arrest) and beyond a reasonable doubt (necessary for an actual conviction).
A jury must find a person not guilty if there is any doubt based on reasonable common sense that a single element of the crime charged is lacking.
Role of the Defense Attorney
It is crucial to have a defense attorney on your side. The defense attorney will demand discovery from the prosecution and will analyze the police report for both legal and factual issues.
Legal Issues: The state and federal constitutions, the rules of evidence, as well as other
bodies of law, prohibit the prosecution from presenting evidence that is unreliable or unlawfully obtained. The defense attorney will thoroughly analyze a criminal case and systematically spot legal issues that may lead to (i) a dismissal, (ii) suppression of evidence, or (iii) evidence being deemed as inadmissible.
When a person is faced with criminal charges—less evidence is more. The less evidence the prosecution can present to a jury, the more difficult it is for the prosecution to prove its case.
Factual Issues: A criminal defense attorney will also spot factual issues, errors, and will craft a theory of the case that is favorable to the defendant. The defense lawyer will then present a story to the jury which shows the innocence of the accused.
The power of persuasion is but one tool in the defense attorney’s arsenal. The ultimate goal is to show the jury that reasonable doubt exists which requires a finding of not guilty.
The Defense lawyer will also engage in negotiation with the prosecution. Oftentimes cases are resolved without the need for trial. A defendant has a right to a jury trial, cross-examination, the right to present evidence including testimony, and also has the right to a speedy and public trial. These rights may provide a defendant with inherent bargaining power. The existence of a legal or factual issue may also persuade a prosecutor to provide the defendant with an offer that may in the interests of the defendant.
Contact our office today at (360) 678-6777 to schedule a consultation and being fighting against criminal accusations.