Lake Tahoe Criminal Defense

Dedicated Attorney Advocating for People Throughout the Lake Tahoe Area

As in other developed and populated areas, police arrests occur regularly in the communities surrounding Lake Tahoe. On the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, most criminal proceedings originate in the local justice courts, which have limited jurisdiction over minor offenses, such as traffic violations and misdemeanors. The district courts located in Washoe County, Carson City, and Douglas County have jurisdiction over felony and gross misdemeanor cases. Developing an appropriate defense strategy in a criminal case takes legal knowledge and a careful attention to detail. Lake Tahoe criminal defense lawyer William J. Routsis has successfully advocated for defendants in all kinds of criminal matters, from white collar crime and fraud investigations to drug trafficking and violent crimes. He can assist people arrested in Incline Village and other Lake Tahoe communities in Nevada and California.

Mounting a Defense Against the Prosecution

A well-crafted defense in a criminal case aims to protect the rights of the defendant, cast doubt on the prosecution’s case, and, if possible, present evidence to support the defendant’s innocence. Defendants are not required to prove their innocence to the court. However, they do have the right to offer their own evidence and witnesses to rebut the prosecution’s case if they choose. A thorough investigation of the facts may reveal information that will assist in defending against the charge.

In every criminal case, the prosecution has the burden of proving each element of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge or jury. A skilled criminal defense attorney in the Lake Tahoe area may attempt to weaken the prosecution’s case by rigorously cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses, such as the arresting officer or the alleged victim. In addition, the defense may object to the admission of evidence that may have been obtained illegally or in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. In some cases, if crucial evidence is suppressed by the court, the state may not be able to prove the crime alleged against the defendant.

One of the constitutional protections frequently at issue in a motion to suppress evidence is the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. A common dispute in drug cases concerns the propriety of a traffic stop. In order for a police officer to pull over a driver, the officer must have a reason to believe that the driver is committing or about to commit a crime. If someone runs a red light in Incline Village, for example, the officer would have cause to initiate a valid traffic stop. The stop may be unlawful, however, if the driver is obeying all laws, and the officer pulls them over without cause or an outstanding arrest warrant. Drugs or other evidence of criminal activity that are found during an illegal traffic stop are often the subject of a suppression motion by a Lake Tahoe criminal defense attorney. If it is granted, the state will not be able to use the evidence in court, which may leave the prosecution with little to support its case.

In some criminal cases, there are specific defenses that may be raised. A defendant charged with battery or another violent crime, for instance, may argue that the act was committed in self-defense because they reasonably believed that they were facing immediate harm. For offenses with an intent requirement, the defendant may assert that they lacked the intent to commit the crime. For example, someone who forgets to pay for an item before leaving a store, without intending to steal it, has not committed larceny or shoplifted. There are other defense strategies that may be appropriate if the defendant has been mistakenly identified or falsely accused of a crime. To learn more about your legal options, discuss the details of your situation with a qualified attorney.

Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Lake Tahoe Communities

With over 25 years of courtroom experience, criminal lawyer William J. Routsis has the skill to handle any felony or misdemeanor case in Nevada or California. If you are facing a drug, DUI, or theft charge, or any other type of criminal proceeding, in Incline Village or in the vicinity of Lake Tahoe, Mr. Routsis is qualified to assist you. Schedule your free consultation by calling our office at (775) 337-2609 or submitting our website contact form.

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