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Criminal Defense

Vigorous Legal Advocacy for Southern California Residents Facing Prosecution

Being charged with a crime is a stressful and unsettling experience. Criminal defendants are often uncertain as to the rights that they have or the actions that they can take. If you are charged with a crime, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, it is critical to retain a skilled Riverside County criminal defense lawyer to help you develop a strong defense in hopes of protecting your liberties. Shaffer T. Cormell is a proficient defense attorney with more than two decades of experience representing criminal defendants in California courts. Mr. Cormell understands the gravity of criminal charges and can provide you with a comprehensive strategy in pursuit of a successful outcome under the facts of your case. Mr. Cormell serves residents of communities such as Blythe, Banning, Riverside, Murrieta, Indio, Palm Springs, Coachella, Joshua Tree, Hemet, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Victorville, Barstow, Brawley, El Centro, Winterhaven, and other cities throughout Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial Counties.

Rights Afforded to Criminal Defendants

Simply because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you will be convicted or that you need to plead guilty. Under the California and U.S. Constitutions, criminal defendants are afforded several rights to help prevent their liberties from being unjustly taken away. For example, you have a right against self-incrimination. This is granted under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and protects you from being forced to make incriminating statements against yourself. The right extends from your initial arrest and interrogation through the length of your trial. You also are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment, which means that you cannot be searched without a warrant or probable cause. If you are unconstitutionally searched, the State may be precluded from introducing any evidence obtained during the search against you at trial. A criminal defense attorney in Riverside County could bring a motion to suppress in this situation.

The California Constitution grants criminal defendants a right to be advised of the charges that they face through either an indictment or an information. Furthermore, both the California and U.S. Constitutions afford criminal defendants a right to a speedy trial and a right to confront any witnesses who testify on behalf of the State. Additionally, defendants are protected from being tried or convicted more than once for the same criminal act, which is known as double jeopardy. If any of these rights is violated, it may result in the dismissal of the case or the reversal of a conviction.

The State’s Burden of Proof

While it is common knowledge that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty, many people do not fully understand what this means. Under California law, to obtain a criminal conviction, the State must prove each element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard of proof under the law, and it has been interpreted to mean that the State must produce enough evidence to show that there is no reasonable belief other than that the defendant is guilty of the crime alleged. Criminal defendants are not required to prove anything to avoid a conviction. If you face criminal charges, you should speak with an experienced Riverside County criminal defense attorney to discuss the appropriate manner in which to defend against the charges that you face.

Available Defenses

Even if the State can prove that you committed the crime alleged, this does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted. There are affirmative defenses to many crimes that can justify the commission of the allegedly criminal act. For example, under California law, the use of force against another party is permitted in certain circumstances. Thus, if you are charged with assault, but you can show that you used force against the alleged victim only because you were in imminent fear of harm, you may be able to show that your actions were undertaken in self-defense and avoid a conviction.

Speak With an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal conviction can irreparably alter your life. If you are charged with a crime in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Imperial County, you should meet with a capable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Shaffer T. Cormell is adept at navigating the complexities of the California criminal court system and has the skills and experience needed to help you seek a favorable outcome under the facts of your case. As a criminal defense lawyer in Riverside County, he understands the importance of obtaining a successful result in a criminal case and will be prepared to assist you in formulating a defense. To talk to Mr. Cormell about your case, contact him at (888) 922-5051 or via the online form.

Client Reviews

Very grateful for Attorney Cormell. His calmness very attentative to what was going on with what I needed. I needed an attorney that was honest and knew what needed to be accomplished to get to the goal.


They did a great job. Plead not guilty and got the case dismissed. Shaffer and his team have a great attitude and outstanding work ethic. They have always been very kind and caring as most cases can be sensitive. Thanks again to Shaffer and team.


Mr. Shaffer is very knowledgeable. He was a excellent lawyer. I retained hIm, he gave me accuracy of what the outcome would be, and it was. He was honest up front and throughout my proceedings. I would refer him to anyone looking for a great lawyer with swift results. He’s a winner.


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