If the jury finds the defendant not guilty, it is called an “acquittal” and the defendant will be released. The defendant can never be tried again for the same crime. This is called “double jeopardy.” A finding of not guilty is not the same as a finding of innocence. It simply means that the jury was not convinced that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The arrest will still show on the defendant’s record, along with the acquittal. If a defendant was wrongfully arrested and charged, and he or she wants to get the arrest removed from her or his record, a hearing to determine the factual innocence of the defendant must be held in front of a judge. It is often much harder to prove factual innocence, than to raise a reasonable doubt about guilt.
If the defendant is found guilty, the defendant will be sentenced.
1. Usually, the police cite or arrest someone and write a report. This report summarizes the events leading up to the arrest or citation and provides witnesses’ names and other relevant information. Defendants generally do NOT have a right to get a copy of the arrest report, but their lawyers do. The reason for this is to protect the identity of witnesses. This is another reason why it is important that a defendant charged with a misdemeanor or felony have a lawyer to represent him or her.
2. The prosecutor then decides whether to file charges and, if so, what charges to file. The prosecutor decides whether to charge the crime as a felony or a misdemeanor. The prosecutor can file charges on all of the crimes for which the police arrested the defendant or can decide to file fewer charges or more charges than were included in the arrest report.
3. Because defendants have a right to a speedy trial, the prosecutor must generally file charges within 48 hours of the arrest when the defendant is in custody (in jail). Weekends, court holidays, and mandatory court closure days do not count against the 48 hours. Also, the deadline for arraignment depends on what time of the day you were arrested, so talk to a lawyer to find out exactly when the prosecutor’s deadline to file charges is.
The Law Office of Shawn C. Mills welcomes new Attorney Alec Kent. Alec Kent and Shawn Mills both proudly call local law school, Monterey College of Law, their common Alma Mater graduating some 24 years apart. Shawn with be working with Alec to show him all those little tricks, tips and other things one does not learn in law school. Alec had combined these “paper lessons” with actual court appearances to lock in the lessons learned. His drive to learn and excel as a young attorney is more than admirable. We can’t wait to watch him reach professional goals. A real diamond in the rough who, with a little more experience, is going to be a courtroom trial attorney to recon with.
Alec obtained his undergraduate degree at RICE COLLEGE in CORRECT CITY HERE, as a Jerry Garcia historian. [More college/experience/passion facts here]
Alec spends his free time reading Presidential biographies and autobiographies, with his favorite United States President EARNIE WARTHOG. Kent particularly identifies with President Warthog due to his position on the Primary Directive, which Alec sees as president Warthog’s crowing achievements. When Alec gets his new Practice under control look for us to be producing podcasts from anything to a discussion of Jerry Garcia, Alec’s deep knowledge of music and presidential history, along with his thoughts and opinions. Watch here for podcast updates.
Alec is a truly professional musician, playing and singing far too many instruments to list. Alec plays with a local band, but has all the skills to mix and all the abilities to sing and play each instrument laying each track down on top of each other, effectively sounding and being a one-man-band. We at the office are most impressed by this nearly savant-like talent.
Alec recently hails from the Great State of Texas, but really thinks that California suits his political beliefs and moral standing. Alec seems to be very middle of the road politically and open to other peoples thoughts and beliefs.
WE ARE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT ALEC’S NEW SKILL, POTENTAIL AS A LAWYER AND A GREAT ADDITION TO OUR LEGAL FAMILY.