top of page
los angeles criminal defense lawyers
California State Bar Attorney Search

California Criminal
Near Los Angeles

You need a pre-screened criminal defense attorney by your side who has experience representing clients against criminal charges, whether you or a loved one is under investigation for or has been charged with a crime.


California Criminal Defense Lawyer Referrals

It can hugely affect the rest of your life to be convicted of a criminal offense in Los Angeles, potentially impacting your future work prospects and child custody rights or causing you to lose your driving privileges.

Our Criminal defense lawyer referral service is approved and certified by the California State Bar to help the public find competent, ethical, and professional criminal defense lawyers. A criminal charge is a serious matter, regardless of what level of offense or allegations charges involved. Federal and state prosecutors have extensive police, investigative, and expert witness resources. You need a strong defense to minimize your chances of a conviction and jail time. 


Criminal defense lawyers from our network are highly vetted for experience, ethical practices, fail legal fees, and performance. When looking for a criminal defense lawyer in California, it's no surprise that each will claim they are the best choice for your legal matter. 


We take the guessing game out of the equation by screening criminal lawyers to ensure they have the experience they claim to have. All referrals to criminal attorneys in California are unbiased and impartial. Our professional legal team will protect your legal rights and preserve your innocence every step of the way, from the moment you are arrested to the resolution of your case.


Pre-screened California criminal defense lawyers provide competent, compassionate, and aggressive counsel, defending clients against charges in Los Angeles and across Southern California for state and federal offenses ranging from DUI and driving on a suspended license to rape, theft, and embezzlement.


Effective Criminal Defense Representation


In any criminal matter, the prosecution must be put to the test and be forced to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the alleged charges. Working with a pre-screened criminal defense lawyer increases your chances of minimizing a negative outcome. All possible defense scenarios must be explored and assessed. Our attorneys will ensure that the prosecution meets its full burden at every turn.


An experienced criminal attorney will understand lesser included offenses, plea bargaining, and sentencing ramifications and alternatives that will result in a more attractive outcome. Our criminal attorneys have that experience. They will represent you to the fullest extent of the law. They are compassionate, professional, and supportive in protecting and pursuing all your legal rights to find the best possible outcome in your criminal case.


Knowing local courts in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties is an advantage. Our criminal defense attorneys know prosecutors and law enforcement which is important in any defense.  Their experience with the California criminal justice system results from decades of local experience, which enables us to effectively represent you throughout the process.


Practices and sentencing alternatives vary from county to county in California. We creatively approach and explore all available sentencing options, using our profound working knowledge of local practices and rules and use them in your favor.

In California, criminal offenses are classified into infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Although the form of charge determines the possible punishment (fines, jail, or prison), it does not reflect whether an experienced attorney should seek advice from you. 

For example, in cases where they believe they have been unjustly prosecuted or where an additional driving infraction may cause a license revocation, job loss, or higher insurance premiums, anyone facing a traffic violation could benefit from a consultation with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney

In California, people facing a misdemeanor or felony charge should always consult a criminal defense attorney to discuss their rights. 

California Misdemeanor Offenses

Too frequently, the error of not obtaining the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney is made by clients charged with misdemeanors. Often, people facing misdemeanor charges have no familiarity with the legal system, have never been in trouble with the law, and erroneously assume that only felony charges need criminal defense attorneys

However, California's misdemeanor convictions can have some severe effects, including up to one year in prison, fines, legal expenses, probation, and other court conditions that can lead to further felony charges and penalties. 

A criminal conviction can be embarrassing; our criminal defense attorneys understand that and will offer you the support you need to beat or minimize your criminal charges in court.


Common Misdemeanor Offenses in California

California Felony Offenses

The expertise and experience of a pre-screened California criminal defense lawyer are often needed for felony crimes. Long-term criminal repercussions of a criminal conviction on a California felony charge include severe jail time, probation, fines and court expenses, and post-conviction limitations that can have serious long-term consequences.


Besides, a felony conviction will prohibit you from keeping specific jobs, securing loans, or renting homes, which can harm your reputation with friends, family, and co-workers and decrease your social and professional quality of life for many years to come.

Common Felony Offenses in California

Lawyer for Criminal Protection of Wobbler Offenses 


It is important to employ a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to advocate for the victim in pleading with the judge to mitigate the charges when reductions are necessary. It is less difficult to excel with these acts, whether it is a first offense, the actions were not aggressive, or no harm occurred.

California Criminal Court Process

You might have no idea how to navigate your way around when you're in. The court system may feel like a labyrinth of bureaucracy. Laws and court rules for people unfamiliar with their technicalities can be very complicated and confusing. Once you have been charged with a crime in California, this page provides some of the legal process steps. 


It's possible, however, that you have more questions. A California criminal defense lawyer will help demystify the criminal court process and address questions you have about your particular case. A good criminal lawyer will clarify what to expect in court and explore your charge's options to be vigorously defended. 


Investigation Inquiries 

Unless police have observed you committing a suspected crime, law enforcement officials are likely to have investigated and arrested you. An investigation includes finding information and questioning witnesses to bring together the events surrounding a potential crime. The aim is to determine if and who committed a crime was committed. The police can arrest someone or several people at the end of the process. 


Police may want to interview you or perform a search of you or your property as part of a criminal investigation. Even at this early point, you will profit from a San Diego criminal attorney's involvement before any arrest is made. During any police questioning or search, an attorney will help ensure your rights are secured. 


During the investigation, an attorney will inform you on how to handle yourself, what questions to answer, and what your rights are. To prevent the arrest or prevent criminal charges from being filed, an attorney might also work with police or prosecutors. 


Arrest and Indictments 

If police discover proof during an investigation that they think leads to your guilt, you might be arrested. When you're arrested, the police will look for you. This is called a search event for an arrest, which is one occasion where the police do not need a search warrant. 


Police need probable cause to arrest you, or in other words, they need ample evidence to suspect that you have committed a crime. When this happens, you can sometimes be detained on the spot, such as police seeing what appears like an illicit purchase of drugs and arresting the participants. If an investigation results in your arrest, police can show up with an arrest warrant at your home, your company, or any other location. 


It is then up to a judge to determine whether to file charges against you when arrested. 


  • You will be released if no charges are brought, 

  • If the prosecutor feels ample evidence to convict you, you could be released on bail or held pending arraignment in custody. 


When you are arrested and charges are filed, an arraignment is your first appearance in court. During an arraignment, the tribunal will: 


  • Read the indictments against you 

  • Explain thy privileges 

  • Explain that a California public defender will be assigned for you if you cannot afford one. 


You'll still have the option to enter a plea to the charge at the arraignment. Nonetheless, you may seek a defense if you do not yet have a criminal defense attorney. Generally speaking, before you have an opportunity to talk to a prosecutor and consider the implications of the various plea choices, it's a good idea not to join your plea. 


When you make a plea, either of them will be: 


  • Not guilty: You tell the court that you have not committed the crime. 

  • Guilty: You confess you have committed the crime. 

  • No contest: The same as pleading guilty. The court will then find you guilty as you plead no contest and proceed to your sentencing. 


Based on the particular circumstances of your charge, your trial counsel will clarify the pros and cons of each form of plea and make a recommendation for which plea you should join. 


The Bail 

Bail may be mentioned or presented at a separate bail hearing during your arraignment. A judge can, depending on the circumstances of your charge: 


  • Without bail, free you, otherwise known as on your own recognition." 

  • Set bail Up 

  • Bail Deny Bail 


When a judge sets a bail amount, you stay in jail until the bail is paid. The amount of bail depends on several variables, including the nature of your crime, your criminal background, and whether the judge feels you are likely to escape. 


If bail is refused, you remain in jail as the case goes to court. 


Pretrial Process

In a criminal case, much of the work occurs during the pretrial period. In a procedure known as discovery, the defense attorney and the prosecutor will trade facts. Each side is going to establish its respective cases. The pretrial procedure is often the moment where appeals are filed by each side to resolve some kinds of legal questions that may influence how the case goes to trial or whether it proceeds to trial at all. 


The admissibility of proof is one of the most critical concerns discussed during the pretrial period. Your defense counsel could question whether the search or surveillance was carried out lawfully if prosecutors wish to use evidence obtained through a search of you or your property or wiretapping or surveillance. 


If a search or police surveillance has in any way violated your rights. A judge will rule that prosecutors are not entitled to use information collected from unlawful search or surveillance. That, in turn, may weaken the prosecution's case to the point that your charge is dismissed or decreased. During the pretrial period, many court cases are settled without going to trial. 


The Trial


A trial is where a judge or jury has arguments, proof, and testimony provided by either side. You have the right to a jury trial for some form of criminal crime that is not an infraction. However, you may have the right to waive a jury trial and opt to have a judge determine your innocence or guilt; a procedure also referred to as a court trial. The distinction between a jury trial and a court trial and what might be best for a professional San Diego criminal attorney can be explained. 


A prosecutor must show your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt during a trial. If the prosecutor fails to do so, a not guilty verdict should be returned by a jury or judge. You go free if you're found not guilty. Your charge passes the sentencing process if you're found guilty. 




Sentencing frequently takes place apart from judgment. A jury returns a verdict of guilt, and a judge then sets a sentencing trial date. The judge hears feedback from the prosecutor and your defense counsel at a sentencing hearing on the appropriate punishment, depending on your charge's circumstances. To support each side's recommendations, facts and testimony may be presented. A judge then makes a judgment on the sentence. 




You have a right to appeal the conviction when you are found guilty of a crime. There may, however, be reasons for the appeal. Usually, reasons for an appeal include defects in the court procedure, such as: 


  • Not enough evidence existed to justify the decision, 

  • During the process, errors of law were made that affected the result. 

A mistake of law may include a case such as a judge that requires evidence to be used because it was collected in an unauthorized search. An appeal court can override the verdict if a mistake has been made or send your case back for a fresh trial. It's necessary to understand that the facts of your case will not be re-decided by an appeals court. 


An appeal is certainly a process in which you would like the support of an experienced prosecuting attorney from San Diego. Appeal problems will revolve around minute and technical aspects of the law that can be better interpreted and argued on your behalf by an attorney.

Choosing The Right California Criminal Defense Lawyer. 


Our criminal defense lawyers also provide criminal defense for federal charges, including drug sales, violent crimes, and drug trafficking. In most cases, our criminal defense lawyers will also offer you a payment arrangement to help alleviate the burden of coming up with a full retainer at the beginning of your case. 

When submitting your criminal case, simply choose "willing and able to pay for a lawyer" and request a payment arrangement in the case summary. Even though we do not offer pro bono criminal defense assistance, we guarantee that we monitor legal fees to ensure they are fair and within range of the type of criminal case you have. 

Criminal lawyer referrals are FREE of charge; get an immediate case review by submitting your criminal case now.  


los angeles criminal defense attorney

California Lawyer Referral Service is a California Bar Certified Lawyer Referral and Information Service. 


This is a public service that helps members of the public to find a competent and pre-screened criminal defense lawyer and receive general knowledge about common legal issues. 


Accessing information via our site is FREE and there is no charge to get a referral to a California criminal defense attorney or for personal legal consultations. 

Why You Need To Hire

Pre-Screened  California Criminal Defense Lawyers

The California State Bar investigates in average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys every year. 

We conduct due diligence by verifying experience, credentials, professional responsibility, and ethical standards.


We also run criminal background checks on every lawyer. Visit our attorney discipline section for more information. 

Types of Crimes in California


Infractions: Bear a fine and no time in prison or other limitations. The most popular example are minor traffic tickets. 

Misdemeanors: In prison for up to a year and a fine of $1,000. Popular examples of serious misdemeanor charges include trafficking solicitation, shoplifting and certain charges of DUI and domestic abuse. 

Felonies: The most extreme form of criminal charge in California. Bring a term of more than one year in jail, as well as fines, parole or probation, and other severe punishments.

>How A Pre-Screened Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Avoid or minimize severe penalties,  jail time, major fines, and criminal convictions. You want a reputable criminal defense lawyer fighting for you if you are facing all of these because of a serious crime. 

No matter how savvy you might be, it is very difficult to represent yourself in a successful way in a criminal trial. Criminal defense attorneys are qualified to uncover and discover special aspects of cases.


Criminal defense attorneys will always spend more time fighting your case than a public defender.  

Pre-screened California criminal defense attorneys search for variables and listen for reasons that can minimize a conviction of a suspected crime. Their role is to organize and present the facts in such a way that a winning legal theory is best supported. 

Also during a trial, there are numerous legal concepts at play in which a defendant will not know when a specific fact could have a crucial impact on a criminal case. You need to know how a criminal defense attorney can assist you for these reasons.

Reducing Felonies to Misdemeanors in California


The ramifications of a criminal conviction are serious. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to reduce a misdemeanor to a felony charge.


A reduction in the criminal charge can offer the convicted defendant a reduction in penalties, fees, terms of imprisonment or imprisonment, and other adverse effects. 


When a criminal defendant is convicted of a felony in California, from the felony charge to a misdemeanor, he or she may have the opportunity to reduce the actual conviction itself.


This would cause an impact that, depending on the offense, lightens the penalty, decreases sentences, and can ease prison terms' concern.


There are additional advantages of not being known in society as a felon, being able to check no felonies on a work application, and less stigma in a neighborhood where the prisoner lives. 


The issues that arise with felony convictions are not completely eradicated, but they are significantly reduced. 


In California, when the defendant has been convicted of wobbler crimes or criminal acts that can wobble between felony and misdemeanor, the Penal Code 17(b) PC permits a reduction to a misdemeanor.


These are usually possible based on the facts of the case, the convict's criminal history, and other items that may be decided by the judge in each instance.


Probation must be completed, and any other penalties, such as fines that may be reduced or jail time in certain instances of at least 48 hours, will apply. In order to seek these reductions, if possible, it is important to have a California criminal defense lawyer. 

Minimizing Wobble Crimes 


It is possible to punish a person for a crime through the California penal codes at the discretion of the court. This can lead to imprisonment in county jails or in a state jail.


Fines are also often issued. Nevertheless, misdemeanors also minimize this when the correct requirements exist to reduce the fines.


The court grants the right to amend the offense to a misdemeanor that can grant probation rather than a penalty.


The applicant is then, however, remanded for the remainder of his or her period under the probation process to a probation officer. 


Charges may also be reduced only if the violations are of a lesser degree or are not exacerbated. This can involve stealing, injury to others, and other forms of fraud.


The courts and the presiding judge have the discretion to change the charges so that the conviction is less than life-altering. This can reduce penalties to only probation or minor fines and jail for only a few days.


The perpetrator's conduct and acts, however, are more taken into account than the actual charges. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to argue on behalf of the consumer is crucial. 


What May be Reduced 


It must be eligible for a judge to continue with this procedure before a criminal conviction has the opportunity to be reduced.


There are two California Penal Code 17(b) PC requirements. It must be a wobbler offense, and the offender must have been given probation through his or her sentence.


The conviction will remain a felony with all the more severe penalties applied if these requirements are not satisfied. Time served for wobbler offenses in a state jail disqualifies this option.


After the reduction, any further punishments can be eliminated, but the person must still be eligible for the option. 


Based on the case's factors, the conduct of the accused, and the acts he or she took during the incident, if a judge presides over a case with a wobbler offense, he or she may reduce the crime to a misdemeanor.


The sentence must have the possibility of probation, and there must be no time in a state or federal jail for a reduction to be possible.


The convicted will not be liable for any reduction if the conviction is a straight felony or a federal crime since the laws only apply in California.


To mitigate criminal charges, it is necessary to employ a criminal defense lawyer to fight on behalf of the accused. 

bottom of page