Interviewer: What about the people who feel they are guilty or believe that they are guilty, should they throw themselves to the mercy of the court, or should they fight the charges?
Matthew Murillo: That’s going to be dependent on the individual. Sometimes people come in and they say,“I don’t even know if I should fight it, I am guilty” and that’s fine. If somebody feels like they shouldn’t fight it then, they should throw themselves on the mercy of the court; they have every right to do so. But the problem is, like I mentioned earlier, it’s not their job to prove that they were innocent; it’s the district attorneys job to prove that they are guilty. Sometimes that may depend on having enough credible evidence against that individual, sometimes the officers make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes mean that there is a technical deficiency in the evidence. Sometimes, it even has more to do with getting a fair punishment and doing some “damage control” then eliminating criminal charges.
Even If a Person Feels that They’re Guilty, they Should Still Consult an Attorney Prior to Pleading Guilty
Now,if you are going to admit guilt, why not make sure that the District Attorney actually has evidence against you? Sometimes you can get a dismissal; sometimes you can get a reduction in charges. Sometimes the person, doesn’t really have a choice in whether to fight the charges, because their job depends on it. If there’s a DUI, for example, it’s a 2 point violation on a driver’s license. If you have a job that requires you to drive, and company policy states they can’t get any points, then that’s a case they are going to have to fight. Even if you are guilty, you should at least consult an attorney, that way you can make sure you are looking at it from every angle, and make the best decision possible.
The Impact of Having a Good Character in a Criminal Case in California
Interviewer: If the person has never been in this situation before, can the court show any leniency, does it matter that person is a good person, or has a family, has never been in trouble before?
Matthew Murillo: Technically, no. But sometimes these facts do play a role in the outcome of a case, especially when the district attorney is on the fence on a certain course of action. Generally speaking, it won’t be the basis for a dismissal or a reduced charge, but say, for example, there are some issues with the evidence, that may cause the DA to consider reducing a charge, but they are not quite sure about it. Having something like that, having a family recommendations, character references from friends, family, employers, etc., having no prior record, being involved on some volunteer activities – things like that will tend to nudge the DA into a reduction, sometimes even a dismissal.
An Individual is Not Obligated to Meet with Police If they Call on Him without a Warrant
Interviewer: Are you officially obligated to meet with police officers or meet with detectives or answer questions?
Matthew Murillo: No, you’re under no obligation to actually meet with police or detectives, if they call you. If you choose to do so; you do have the right to have an attorney present with you. But if you choose to do so and you choose to have an attorney present with you, make sure you discuss the entire situation with the attorney before hand. If a detective calls and they are saying that they are investigating a case, and want you to come down to the police station to discuss the case, you’re under no obligation to speak with them. So I don’t see why somebody would, especially because, people tend to incriminate themselves, without knowing they are actually doing so before being arrested.