Richard Wynn, Esq.

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Wynn Law Group
Shoreline Square Building
301 E. Ocean Blvd. Suite 1700
Long Beach, CA 90802

Tel. (562) 590-3700


Criminal procedure, body of law regulating the inquiry into whether a person has violated criminal law. Criminal procedure governs the investigation of crimes; the arrest, charging, and trial of accused criminals; and the sentencing of those convicted (found guilty of a crime). It also regulates the convicted person's possible appeal for review of the trial court's decision.

Inquisitorial System The inquisitorial process is characterized by a continuing investigation conducted initially by police and then more extensively by an impartial examining magistrate. This system assumes that an accurate verdict is most likely to arise from a careful and exhaustive investigation. The examining magistrate serves as the lead investigator-an inquisitor who directs the fact-gathering process by questioning witnesses, interrogating the suspect, and collecting other evidence. The attorneys for the prosecution (the accuser) and defense (the accused) play a limited role in offering legal arguments and interpretations that they believe the court should give to the facts that are discovered. All parties, including the accused, are expected (but not required) to cooperate in the investigation by answering the magistrate's questions and supplying relevant evidence.

The case proceeds to trial only after completion of the examining phase and the resolution of factual uncertainties, and only if the examining magistrate determines that there is sufficient evidence of guilt. Under the inquisitorial approach, the trial is merely the public finale of the ongoing investigation. At this point, the accused assumes the burden of refuting the prima facie (apparent) case of guilt developed in the examining phase. Critics argue that the inquisitorial system places too much unchecked power in the examining magistrate and judge, who both investigate and adjudicate (legally determine) the case.

Adversarial System In a common law system, an adversarial approach is used to investigate and adjudicate guilt or innocence. The adversarial system assumes that truth-that is, an accurate verdict-is most likely to result from the open competition between the prosecution and the defense. Primary responsibility for the presentation of evidence and legal arguments lies with the opposing parties, not with a judge. Each side, acting in its self-interest, is expected to present facts and interpretations of the law in a way most favorable to its interests. The approach presumes that the accused is innocent, and the burden of proving guilt rests with the prosecution. Through counterargument and cross-examination, each side is expected to test the truthfulness, relevancy, and sufficiency of the opponent's evidence and arguments.

The adversarial system places decision-making authority in the hands of neutral decision makers. The judge ascertains the applicable law and the jury determines the facts. The system emphasizes procedural rules designed to ensure that the contest between the parties is a fair fight. Critics of the adversarial approach argue that the pursuit of winning often overshadows the search for truth. Furthermore, inequalities between the parties in resources and in the abilities of the attorneys may distort the outcome of the adversarial contest.

If you have been wrongly convicted of a crime, proving your innocence can be difficult. At Wynn Law Group, we have access to experienced private investigators and crime experts that can help to prove your innocence, and our criminal defense attorneys are experienced in appeals and will fight aggressively to prove that you were wrongly convicted. Our lawyers have handled appeals in all courts in the State of California, including the Court of Appeals and State Supreme Court, as well as all Federal Courts, including the Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

When your future is on the line...Call Wynn Law Group for a free & confidential consultation at (562) 590-3700 or contact us on line.

Richard Wynn is admitted to practice law in all California State Court as well as the Central and Northern Districts of United States District Court.

      Wynn Law Group represents clients in Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Bellflower, Lakewood, Downey, El Monte, Beverly Hills, Compton, Culver City, Glendale, Huntington Park, Inglewood, Long Beach, Norwalk, Pasadena, Pomona, South Gate, Hawaiian Park San Pedro, Torrance; Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Stanton, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, San Clemente, Westminster, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Orange, Cerritos, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Brea, Placentia, Yorba Linda; and Inland Empire: Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, Moreno Valley, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Palm Springs, Upland, Chino, Victorville, Redlands, Temecula, Indio, Colton, Highland, Murrieta, Palm Desert, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Norco, Banning, Beaumont, Woodcrest.

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