Sacramento Criminal Defense Services
If you’re ever in a situation where you’ve been arrested for a crime, it’s imperative that you seek out the legal guidance of a criminal defense attorney to represent your case in a court of law. Not only do you want a great defense attorney with ample experience, you’ll want to make sure your attorney cares about your well being.
At Kocot Law, we are confident that you will not find a more thoughtful or thorough criminal defense attorney in Sacramento. Criminal charges represent a terrifying experience, particularly if it represents an individual's first interaction with the criminal justice system. We’ll make sure that your well-being is our number one priority with some of the most trusted legal advice around.
If you’ve been charged with any of the following, your best course of action will be to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney:
- Domestic Violence
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Drug Charges
- Juvenile Crimes
- Property Crimes
- Sex Offenses / Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- White Collar Crime (Fraud)
Our Criminal Defense Process is laid out in a manner that has been tried and true for success. We’ll make sure that you’ll always know and understand what’s going on:
- Constant Communication - Our law office is proud of making sure that client communication remains a top priority. We’ll walk you through the criminal defense process to make sure you’re comfortable at all times.
- Pre-Trial Procedure - From your first court date to your bond, Kocot Law will coordinate all necessary procedures to get you ready for court.
- Preliminary Hearing - All persons charged with a felony have the right to a preliminary hearing within both ten and sixty days of your arraignment. We schedule and handle this process for you.
- Pre-trial Motions - We run a number of different pre-trial motions for our clients to ensure that if your rights were violated, it will nullify any charge placed against in in a court of law.
- Criminal Defense Trial - Most of our criminal defense cases do not make it to trial because of the thorough research and investigation we put into our clients cases.
The Criminal Defense Process Involves Constant Communication
When your attorney receives an update from the District Attorney or the Court, so should you. To provide almost instantaneous updates, we use an online case-management software called MyCase. This software can be accessed online through a computer or phone, as well as via an Android (Download on Google Play) or iPhone app (Download on iTunes).
MyCase allows us to upload reports and other discovery as we receive them. We've found that allowing clients to review reports online prior to our meetings will help facilitate a more in-depth discussion of the case. This can only serve to strengthen your defense - your involvement will help us provide a more thorough and compelling case to present in court.
MyCase also has an online messenger system. While you will have direct access to Attorney Kocot via his cell phone and email, the online messenger system makes MyCase a one stop shop for all of the concerns that come up during the course of a case. In addition to the messenger system, we regularly update the MyCase calendar so that you always know what your upcoming meeting and court dates are.
Sacramento Criminal Charges: Pre-trial Procedure Generally
Your first court date for a criminal defense case is called an arraignment. The purpose of an arraignment is for the District Attorney to let a defendant know what they are charged with, and what the offer is to resolve the case. If you are charged with a felony, you will be required to attend court. In most circumstances, if you hire a private attorney prior to your arraignment, your attorney can appear in court on your behalf without your personal appearance. However, in certain circumstances, the court may require you to post bail to remain out of custody. If requested to post bail, Kocot Law will take three steps to represent your interests in court:
1. Negotiate with the District Attorney
Often, we are able to come up with creative solutions that allow our clients to remain out of custody without having to pay money to have a bondsman post bail on your behalf.
2. Argue to the court that you should be released on your own recognizance (O.R.)
If the District Attorney will not budge, we still have the opportunity to convince the judge that you should not have to post a bond. The court considers some of the following factors found in Penal Code Section 1275:
- Protection of the public
- Seriousness of the offense charged
- Previous criminal record
- Probability of defendant appearing to next court date(s)
Prior to court, we will perform an in-depth interview to obtain as much helpful information as possible in order to advocate on your behalf during a bail hearing. Even if the court does not agree to release you on your own recognizance without posting bail, effective advocacy may lead to a reduction in the amount of bail ordered by the court.
3. Arrange for your bond to be posted
If we are unable to convince the District Attorney and Court to release you on your own recognizance, our firm will take care of arranging for your bond to be posted. This will not only save you from being remanded into custody, it will also save you money: bond companies offer reduced rates to clients of private attorneys. Reduce rates can represent thousands of dollars saved depending on what amount of bail the court sets.
Sacramento Felony Criminal Charges: Preliminary Hearing
Facing felony charges in Sacramento represents different challenges than misdemeanor charges. If you are charged with a felony in Sacramento, you have the right to a preliminary hearing within both ten and sixty days of your arraignment. The question that is being answered at the preliminary hearing is: Does the District Attorney have enough evidence to prosecute the crimes they have charged? A preliminary hearing is sort of like a trial in that it is a formal court hearing with witness. However, there are a few key differences between preliminary hearings and trials:
- There is no jury; the judge makes the decision.
- The burden of proof is lower. At a criminal trial, the District Attorney’s burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof at a preliminary hearing is probable cause.
Our goal at the preliminary hearing, first and foremost, is to present a defense that shows the judge that the District Attorney does not have enough evidence to go forward. In order to do this, we will spend countless hours preparing for the hearing and subpoenaing all the evidence that is relevant to your defense. This preparation is crucial to presenting affirmative evidence, as well as cross examining adverse witnesses, from a position of strength.
Even if the judge finds that the District Attorney presented enough evidence to move forward with your case, all hope is not lost. If your Sacramento felony criminal charge is a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, we can argue to the judge under Penal Code Section 17(b) that the charges should be reduced to a misdemeanor. To be prepared for this, Attorney Kocot will gather all the necessary information to advocate for a 17(b) reduction.
Sacramento Criminal Defense Charges: Pre-trial Motions
There are a number of pre-trial motions that we commonly run on behalf of our clients:
1. Motion to Suppress
A motion to suppress alleges that a violation of a client’s Fourth Amendment occurred. For example, in the context of drug possession cases, we commonly run motions to suppress that challenge whether a police officer had the right to enter our client’s car (where drugs are found) in the first place. At motions to suppress, Attorney Kocot will present evidence on your behalf and aggressively cross examine all of the District Attorney’s witnesses.
If the judge presiding over your motion to suppress agrees that your constitutional rights were violated, evidence that is key to the District Attorney’s case could be excluded or “suppressed.” A win at a motion to suppress commonly results in the dismissal of Sacramento criminal charges.
2. Serna Motion
A Serna Motion argues that the District Attorney took to long to either (a) file your case or (b) prosecute your case. The District Attorney has one year from the date of the alleged incident (or from the time the District Attorney should have reasonably known of the incident) to file Sacramento misdemeanor charges, and three years with Sacramento felony charges. Often times, whether or not a Serna Motion is successful comes down to an in-depth analysis of the discovery provided by the District Attorney. In particular, the document referred to as a “Warrant Worksheet” commonly reveals whether or not the District Attorney and law enforcement diligently investigated your case, or if they were negligent. At Kocot Law, we will scour each and every page of the reports we are provided to evaluate the potential of a successful Serna Motion which could result in the dismissal of your Sacramento criminal charges.
3. Pitchess Motion
While less common, we also run Pitchess motions on behalf of our clients. A Pitchess motion allows a defense attorney to obtain a police officer’s personnel files if the judge grants the motion. These personnel files can be crucial to a defense if a police officer has a history that is relevant to how he or she handled their investigation and arrest.
These three motions do not represent all the motions that we run on behalf our clients. Rather they are the most common. The motions that we run on behalf of clients are based on strategic considerations that Attorney Kocot takes into account based on the facts of each individual case.
Sacramento Criminal Charges: Trial
Most cases do not make it to trial, and this is a good thing: if a case does not go to trial, that means the case was either dismissed pre-trial or your criminal defense lawyer was able to negotiate a favorable deal with the District Attorney prior to trial. Also, remember that going to trial is your choice and your choice alone. No one can force you to go to trial.
Attorney Kocot is here to advocate on your behalf at trial, should you decide to move forward. If Kocot Law handled your case at the pre-trial stage, most of the preparation will be done:
- At Kocot Law, we treat each case like it is going to trial from day one. This means that we obtain each and every piece of relevant evidence to your defense, regardless of whether the case is set for trial.
- However, if we did not handle your case at the pre-trial stage, we will make sure we have all evidence necessary to the strongest possible defense prior to proceeding to trial.
Charged with a Criminal Defense Crime in Sacramento? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a crime in Sacramento and have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Even if you do not intend to hire a private attorney, we are always happy to answer questions. Attorney Kocot can be contacted directly at 916-572-6455 or RyanKocotLaw@gmail.com.