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Aggressive Advocacy for Criminal Defendants in Modesto

Modesto has a higher rate of crime than most cities in California, with over 10,000 crimes committed annually. Theft crimes and burglary account for approximately 8,000 of those crimes, and murder, rape, robbery, and assault account for the remaining 2,000 crimes. In any city in which there are increased crime rates, there will be a higher number of people charged with crimes. If you were recently charged with a crime, it is critical to engage an assertive Modesto criminal defense lawyer to help you protect your rights. Attorney John W. Noonan has over 55 years of experience working in the California criminal court system and will work tirelessly to provide you with a thorough defense. Mr. Noonan is aware of the significant impact that a criminal conviction could have on your life, and he can help you set forth the strongest available defense in your specific situation.

Obtaining a Modesto Police Report

Often, a resident of Modesto wants to know which arrests and convictions are on their official record. Anyone seeking a Modesto police report must complete a report request form and either mail the form or submit it in person at the main Modesto police station, which is located at 600 10th Street. The request form must state the name, telephone number, and address of the person seeking the report, as well as the reason why the report is requested. Photo identification must be presented at the time of the request. The information requested will be released pursuant to the Public Records Act. While some reports are immediately available, others require approval from a supervisor or Juvenile Court to be released. The cost of a report is 10 cents per page, plus tax.

The State’s Burden in a Criminal Case

If you are charged with a crime, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In order to prove that you committed the crime with which you are charged, the prosecution must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. While “beyond a reasonable doubt” is not defined by statute, it has been interpreted to mean that the evidence is so great that there is no room for any reasonable belief other than the belief that the defendant is guilty of committing the alleged crime.

The beyond a reasonable doubt standard is the highest burden of proof, and a Modesto criminal defense attorney can make sure that the prosecution is held to this standard. While the State must produce substantial evidence to meet this standard, a defendant does not have any burden of proof and is not even required to prove a defense. That said, it usually is in a defendant’s best interest to present a defense so that their position is fully articulated.

Common Criminal Defenses

Even if the prosecution is able to prove that you committed each element of the crime alleged, this does not mean that it is certain that the jury or judge will find you guilty. Instead, you may be able to set forth an affirmative defense to justify or excuse the acts that you committed. Self-defense is an example of an affirmative defense. It justifies an actor’s use of force against another person when the actor reasonably believed that he or she was under a threat of serious harm or death. In another example, a criminal defense lawyer in the Modesto area may be able to help a defendant avoid a trespass conviction if they can show that the defendant reasonably believed that he or she was permitted to enter a certain property.

There are also defenses that rely on procedural and evidentiary rules. For example, if evidence was obtained during an illegal search and seizure, the State should not be permitted to introduce it at trial. Additionally, if a defendant is charged with multiple crimes based on the same act, he or she may be able to argue that the double jeopardy clauses of the state and federal constitutions prohibit more than one conviction for a singular act. A knowledgeable attorney can analyze the facts of your case to determine which defenses you may be able to set forth.

Retain an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you face criminal charges in Modesto, it is essential to retain an experienced attorney who can assist you in developing a plan to help you retain your rights. Attorney John W. Noonan is a proficient criminal defense attorney serving the Modesto area who can provide you with a thorough and assertive defense. Mr. Noonan can be contacted at 925-479-0033 or through the online form to set up a consultation to discuss your case.