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Common Myths About the Criminal Justice System

Roth Legal, A Professional Law Corporation Dec. 6, 2023

Male lawyer or judge consulting or discussing contract documents with clientsThe truth about the criminal justice system can be hard to find in the heap of misconceptions and myths we see online or hear from the people around us. Understanding the realities of this intricate system is crucial, especially when your rights and future are at stake. Roth Legal, A Professional Law Corporation, led by Attorney Ryan Roth, is committed to guiding individuals through the often confusing maze of criminal law in Modesto, California, and surrounding areas. 

With nearly a decade of experience handling both federal and state criminal cases, Attorney Ryan Roth has seen firsthand how misinformation can impact a case. He is well-versed in a wide range of criminal charges, from DUIs to violent crimes, offering reliable legal counsel every step of the way.

This article aims to debunk some common myths about the criminal justice system, emphasizing the importance of having strong legal representation to ensure your rights are protected. 

Myth 1: It’s my first arrest, so I’ll get off easy. 

One prevalent myth is that first-time offenders will get off easy. While California categorizes charges as misdemeanors, felonies, or infractions, there's no guarantee that being a first-time offender will lead to leniency.

Whether a misdemeanor is standard or aggravated, or a felony is a straight or wobbler offense, the penalties can vary widely and can include possible imprisonment, even if it is your first arrest. 

Myth 2: Everyone gets one phone call. 

Another common misconception is that everyone detained gets one phone call. In reality, the number of calls allowed can depend on various factors, including the specifics of your case and the policies of the detention facility. 

Myth 3: If the victim doesn’t press charges, the case will be dismissed. 

Many people believe that if a victim doesn't press charges, the case will be dismissed. However, it's important to note that this is not always true. Even if a victim decides not to press charges, the state can still decide to prosecute based on the available evidence and the severity of the offense. The decision to pursue legal action ultimately rests with the prosecuting authorities, taking into account the overall circumstances of the case. 

Myth 4: I’ll get off if I just plead insanity. 

Pleading insanity is rarely successful and demands substantial proof to support it. It's a complex and nuanced approach that should only be considered under the guidance of a highly skilled attorney who can execute it with precision and thoroughness. It requires a thorough examination of the defendant's mental state, meticulous gathering of evidence, and persuasive argumentation to convince the court of the defendant's lack of criminal responsibility due to mental illness or impairment. 

Myth 5: A guilty plea means I committed the crime. 

A guilty plea doesn't always mean you've admitted to committing the crime. In some cases, it may be a strategic move suggested by your attorney based on the evidence, the potential outcome of the trial, and the specific circumstances surrounding your case.

By carefully evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case, your attorney may advise you to consider a guilty plea as a strategic maneuver to potentially minimize the consequences or secure a more favorable resolution. This decision is often influenced by a multitude of factors, such as the potential penalties, the likelihood of success at trial, and the potential impact on your personal and professional life. 

Myth 6: I don’t need a criminal defense attorney. 

Perhaps one of the most dangerous misconceptions is the belief that one doesn't require the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. While public defenders are undoubtedly well-intentioned, their heavy caseloads can potentially restrict the level of representation they are able to offer.  

However, by enlisting the services of a dedicated criminal defense attorney like Ryan Roth, you can ensure that your case receives the personalized attention, extensive knowledge, and unwavering commitment necessary to pursue the best possible outcome. With Attorney Ryan Roth by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that every detail of your case will be meticulously examined and skillfully advocated for, leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice. 

Get the Support You Need 

Navigating the criminal justice system can be daunting, but it's important to remember that myths and misconceptions should not dictate your actions or decisions. With a professional law firm like Roth Legal, A Professional Law Corporation on your side, you can rest assured that your rights will be fiercely defended.

Offering free case consultations, the firm serves clients in Modesto, Stockton, Manteca, Merced, and throughout the state of California. Remember, this information is for general purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. For specific guidance tailored to your situation, contact Attorney Ryan Roth today.