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圣地亚哥刑事律师 | Criminal Attorney

Criminal Defense


Your Case. Your Future. Criminal attorney that understands your case. 

We pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to providing exceptional legal representation for clients facing criminal charges in California, with a particular emphasis on the San Diego area. We strive to ensure that the rights and interests of our clients are zealously defended at every stage of the legal process.

Recognizing the importance of proactive engagement, we make it a priority to become involved in cases at the earliest possible opportunity. We believe that early intervention allows us to build a solid foundation for a successful defense strategy by identifying potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case, exploring favorable evidence, and preserving crucial witness testimony.


By actively engaging with clients and their cases from the very beginning, we can offer invaluable guidance and support throughout the entire legal journey. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive, personalized representation, ensuring that our clients receive the highest level of legal expertise and care they deserve.

Whether you are the subject of an investigation or charged with a misdemeanor or felony, we can help you. 


Sex Crimes


Domestic Violence


Drug Crimes


Gun Possession

How Criminal Cases Work in California

When a crime is committed, arrests don't necessarily follow. For certain misdemeanors, like Petty Theft, law enforcement may issue a citation that includes recommended charges and a court appearance date instead of arresting the individual. The first court appearance is called the arraignment. Based on the police report and other relevant information, the prosecutor will decide if charges should be filed and what those charges will be, ranging from infractions to felonies and/or misdemeanors.



After an arrest, the police will take the individual to jail. However, release from jail is possible if:

  1. The prosecutor decides not to file charges;

  2. The person posts bail (a "bond") or is released on their own recognizance ("OR") (a promise to appear in court for the arraignment); or

  3. The individual remains in jail until the arraignment date.

The prosecutor must file charges against you within 48 hours of arrest and when you are in custody (Weekends, court holidays, and mandatory court closure days do not count towards the 48 hours)


It is crucial to attend court dates on time. During the arraignment, the judge will inform the individual of:

  1. The charges against them;

  2. Their constitutional rights; and

  3. The appointment of a lawyer if they cannot afford one. Eligible individuals will receive a court-appointed lawyer (public defender).

You will also be asked to enter a plea. This means you will tell the judge if you want to plea guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges. Before entering a plea, your lawyer will tell you if the prosecutor has made any offers to settle your case for a less serious charge and/or sentence. 

If you are in custody at the time of arraignment, the judge will also conduct a bail hearing to: 

  1. set your bail and send you back to the jail until the bail is posted; 

  2. release you on your "own recognizance"; or 

  3. refuses to set bail and send you back to jail. 

The person will also enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest). Their lawyer will inform them of any settlement offers from the prosecutor to resolve the case with a less severe charge and/or sentence.

If in custody, a bail hearing will be conducted to set bail, release the individual on their own recognizance, or refuse bail and return them to jail. Bail is money paid as a promise to return for future court dates, and it will be returned once all court dates have been attended and the case is resolved. Failure to appear or violation of conditions may result in bail forfeiture. The judge will consider factors such as the crime's nature, community danger, and flight risks when setting bail.


After arraignment, the court will set dates for a Felony Disposition Conference (FDC) (if charged with a felony crime) and/or a Preliminary Hearing.


If the person has difficulty understanding English, they will need a court interpreter, which should be requested in advance.

After Arraignment, but before trial

For misdemeanor cases, if the person pleads not guilty, the case proceeds to a Readiness Conference and the discovery stage (exchange of information between the lawyer and prosecutor). The Readiness Conference is another opportunity for negotiation. The lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor, file pre-trial motions, and aim for a favorable settlement before the trial. If unsuccessful, the case goes to trial.

For felony cases, if the person pleads not guilty and does not settle before the trial, a preliminary hearing is held. The judge will hear evidence and witness testimony to determine if sufficient evidence exists to proceed to trial. If the judge finds sufficient evidence, the prosecutor files an "Information."


The individual will be arraigned a second time, enter a plea, and the case moves to the discovery stage, with both sides preparing for trial. A plea can be changed to guilty or no contest at any time.

**The information provided here is not intended to provide you with any legal advice in regard to any legal matter you may have. If you have questions about your case, please speak to your lawyer.

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