Almost all states, as well as the Federal Government, have codified their criminal laws into statutes that one can refer to in text form. The Courts interpret the statutes and determine the intent of the Legislature, and, when the statutes are challenged as unconstitutional, rule as to their validity. When the Courts interpret a statute, that interpretation becomes a part of the law, and the statutes may never be interpreted to override Constitutional rights without an amendment to the Constitution itself.
In California, criminal law is primarily contained in the statutory laws stated in the Penal Code, the Health & Safety Code, and the Vehicle Code, but many other Codes have criminalized statutes or have impact on criminal law, such as the Corporations Code, Harbors & Navigation Code, and Fish & Game Code. These are what many refer to as the “black letter” law. A great resource to look up all of the current California Codes can be found here.
If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, however, you do need a lawyer to represent you in your case who is trained, licensed, and knowledgeable in how statutes, case law, and Constitutional law interact to best represent your interests in Court. At Honeychurch & Giambona, we work tirelessly to defend our clients rights to receive the best results for their case. Call our office today for a free consultation at 707-429-3111 if you have been accused of a crime in Solano, Yolo, or Napa County, to determine how we can best assert and defend your rights under the law.