South Lake Tahoe
Located in the Sierra Nevada, South Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for California and Nevada residents seeking outdoor recreation and diversion at any time of the year. With the largest population in El Dorado County and a consistent flow of tourists, South Lake Tahoe has witnessed many DUI and drug cases, as well as violent crimes and other offenses. However, defendants have the right to fight any charges brought against them. South Lake Tahoe criminal defense attorney William J. Routsis has successfully represented many people in California and Nevada courtrooms. As an experienced and dedicated advocate, Mr. Routsis can provide sound legal guidance if you need a drug crime lawyer, representation in fighting a DUI charge, or assistance in another criminal proceeding.Understand Your Rights During California Criminal Proceedings
Many people are unaware of their legal rights before, during, and after an arrest. You may be surprised to learn that although a police officer may arrest you in public with probable cause of a crime, a police officer generally cannot come to your home without reason and arrest you without a warrant. Similarly, you have a constitutional right to refuse a police officer’s request to search your home for evidence of a crime in most situations, if the officer does not have a valid search warrant. These rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures are protections provided by the U.S. Constitution and apply across California and Nevada. Consequently, the police must obtain a search warrant or permission from you or another authorized person in your household before conducting a search of the premises, unless exigent circumstances exist.
If the police do seize incriminating evidence as a result of an illegal search, you may ask the court to prevent the prosecution from using it against you during the criminal proceedings. Many times, when the court grants a motion to suppress evidence, the prosecution’s case is weakened significantly. For example, a felony charge for selling cocaine requires the state to prove that the defendant possessed and sold or attempted to sell cocaine. If cocaine seized from an illegal search is suppressed, the state has very little evidence that the defendant sold cocaine. This may, in turn, lead the prosecution to lower the charges against the defendant or even dismiss the case.
While police officers are not required to inform you that you may refuse to consent to a warrantless search of your house, they are required to inform you that you may refuse to answer their questions after an arrest. Furthermore, you must be read your Miranda rights as soon as you are taken into police custody. These rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. An illegal arrest or a violation of your constitutional rights while in police custody may have a significant effect on the criminal case against you. Just as incriminating evidence from an illegal search may be suppressed by the court, incriminating statements made by a defendant in violation of their due process rights may be suppressed. For example, if an officer begins questioning the defendant in the police car on the way to jail, before the defendant has been informed of their Miranda rights, a defendant’s confession in that situation likely would not be allowed in court.Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in South Lake Tahoe
A skilled attorney can guide you through all of the stages of the legal proceedings and develop a defense strategy that is tailored to the facts of your case. South Lake Tahoe criminal defense lawyer William J. Routsis has demonstrated his knowledge and commitment to client advocacy over a 25-year career. If you are seeking a DUI lawyer or legal advice related to a California drug charge or an arrest for theft, assault, or another crime, Mr. Routsis is here to assist you. Schedule your free consultation by phone at (775) 337-2609 or contact us online.