San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys

Best San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys: Learn More And Get Help

Hiring one of the best local San Diego criminal defense attorneys near you who are aggressive and one of the best decisions you can make for your criminal charges.

The right San Diego criminal lawyer can be the difference between minimal jail time and a long time in prison.

So retaining the right San Diego criminal defense lawyer who handles all types of state and federal criminal charges should be your top priority for your drunk driving offenses, theft offenses, sex offenses, drug offenses, hit and run felony,  embezzlement cases et cetera.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California,  In San Diego County in 2016, there were over 1000 arrests for misdemeanor offenses and over 4000 for felony offenses.

So when you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with breaking the law, it’s not time to give up it’s time to hire an experienced, aggressive, and one of the best criminal defense attorneys San Diego.

Making the best choice by hiring the right criminal defense attorneys in the area is very important for a positive outcome of your case.  Finding the right attorneys can make a difference in your case.

Contact a criminal lawyer near you whose ultimate goal is to provide you with the best representation that can get all your charges dismissed or reduced significantly.

Going through criminal charges in San Diego is frightening and nerve-wracking.

There is so many California criminal law process that it can be daunting for someone who is not a lawyer.

On this page, we will give you some information about the process of criminal cases, what to look for in a criminal lawyer, and the number to call for a FREE consultation.

Let’s get started.

Misdemeanor & Felony Process in San Diego

Below is a brief summary of the process for both misdemeanor and felony cases in San Diego. Most of the San Diego criminal laws are based on the California criminal penal codes. We will be giving the general overview of those laws below, however, when you meet or talk to defense attorneys that you are considering to hire, they can go further into details on how each process pertains to your specific case.

A. Misdemeanor Cases

Misdemeanor Arrests

First, an arrest is made. Often times in a misdemeanor case, the Defendant is not taken to jail, but rather given a citation and makes a promise to appear at an Arraignment within the next 30 days or so. If the police take you to jail, three things can happen

  •  released with no charges filed;
  • posts bail/bond or is released on his or her own recognizance (“O.R.”) and is scheduled for arraignment; or
  • remains in the custody and is transported to court for arraignment.

Misdemeanor Arraignment

  • The Defendant’s first appearance in court is the Arraignment.

The following events occur at an Arraignment:

  • informed of the charges against him or her;
  • advised of his or her constitutional rights;
  • cannot afford an attorney of his or her own choice, an attorney is appointed by the court;
  • enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
  •  is released on his or her “Own Recognizance,” or the court sets bail, and the defendant is remanded/committed to the custody of the Sheriff.

Also at the arraignment, your criminal attorney in San Diego area may move for a Demurrer, or dismissal of the Complaint under Penal Code §1004, if the Complaint either (1) Fails to meet the specificity requirement adequately putting the Defendant on notice of the charges filed; (2) If the Complaint is filed in the wrong Court and that Court does not have jurisdiction over the Defendant; (3) Due to Mis joinder; (4) If the Complaint fails to state a Public Offense; and (5) If there is a legal excuse or bar to the particular prosecution.

Misdemeanor Investigation

After the Arraignment, your San Diego attorney should begin an independent investigation into the alleged offense. This includes, among other things, visiting the scene of the alleged crime, interviewing witnesses to the alleged crime, interviewing and investigating the accuser, interviewing the family and friends of the charged, and sending any necessary evidence to scientific and/or psychological experts.

THE Pre-trial Hearing or Readiness Conference

At the pretrial hearing, there is an exchange of information between the prosecution and the defense known as discovery. Pretrial motions may also be filed before the start of the trial. Motions may be made to set aside the complaint, to dismiss the case, to suppress evidence, etc. The defendant may at this point change his or her plea to guilty or no contest.

Pretrial Motions and Motions in Limine

Prior to trial, your legal representative may file any relevant pre-trial motions that will affect the outcome of the case. Examples of common pre-trial motions include, but are not limited to: Motion to Suppress Evidence Unlawfully Seized; Motion to Compel Additional Discovery from the Prosecutor; A “Pitchess Motion” to review the personnel file of any police officers involved in the arrest; A Motion Forcing the Prosecution to Disclose the Name of their Confidential Informant; A Motion to Dismiss for Governmental, Police, and/or Prosecutorial Misconduct; A Motion to Suppress a Confession; A Motion to Suppress an Eyewitness Identification; A Motion to Exclude Evidence of Rape/Trauma Syndrome; and A Motion to Include Evidence of the Accuser’s Prior Sexual Conduct in a Rape Case, among many other possible motions.

Jury Trial 

Before a trial can begin, a jury must be selected. During the trial, witnesses may testify and evidence will be presented. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury must decide if one is guilty or not guilty. If the jury finds someone not to be guilty, he or she is released and cannot be tried again for the same crime.

If one is found guilty, the case will be continued for sentencing, or he or she may be sentenced immediately. However, a San Diego criminal defense attorney may appeal a conviction to the Appellate Department of the Superior Court.

Court Trial

In lieu of a jury trial, the parties may agree to proceed with a court trial, in which the judge hears the evidence and arguments and finds the accused guilty or not guilty. Most criminal defense attorneys will try to avoid a court trial and will try to work out a deal as court trials are very expensive and things might get worse for you.

B. Felony Cases 

Felony crimes are punishable by a sentence to a state prison term of more than one year or death. Some examples of felonies are murder, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, robbery, and rape.

Felony Arrest

It is possible, in a felony case, that the charges were brought against the accused after a Grand Jury investigation which led to a Grand Jury Indictment. If this is the case, a warrant will likely be put out for your arrest, and then you will be arraigned after the arrest. However, in most cases, the accused is arrested and then arraigned on the complaint.

Felony Arraignment

A felony arraignment on the complaint is the defendant’s first court appearance.

The court sets bail and the defendant is remanded to custody, or the defendant is released on his or her “Own Recognizance”

Felony Preliminary Hearing

If the case was filed by a complaint, then once you are  “held to answer,” the prosecuting agency files a document called the Information. You will subsequently be arraigned on the Information at which time he or she will enter a plea and proceed to trial.

The rest of the process is just like a misdemeanor.

San Diego Federal Criminal Charges 

Federal charges in San Diego are very serious crimes.  In Federal charges, the government has the resources to prosecute you. And this is why you need the right San Diego criminal defense lawyer with the resources to fight your case

Federal crimes are crimes that are committed across the state line or involve federal agencies like banks, post offices, federal agents, etc. Internet crimes like illegal download of songs or movies are also considered federal crimes.

Here is the list of some federal crimes:

  • Securities Fraud
  • Social Security Fraud
  • Health Care Fraud
  • Immigration Fraud
  • Internet Fraud
  • Wire Fraud
  • Accounting Fraud
  • Antitrust
  • Tax Crimes
  • Terrorism
  • Computer Crimes
  • Conspiracy
  • Corporate Crimes
  • Drug Crimes
  • Espionage
  • Bank Fraud

The federal criminal law steps are different than the states and can be more complicated. So if you are facing a federal please seek out the best possible legal representation.

Connect With A Defense Lawyers Near You Asap

The California criminal law process is a very complicated process and requires aggressive representation from experienced  San Diego criminal defense lawyers.

So if you or a loved one is charged with committing any times of crime in San Diego call now at 619-493-1207 to be connected with criminal attorneys who may be able to help you.

Do not wait, your freedom and life are at stake. Get a no-obligation consultation with criminal lawyers who may be able to help you or a loved one.

San Diego criminal defense attorneys who get their client’s results throughout the county courts can make a difference in your criminal case.

Typical San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Practice Areas

San Diego criminal attorneys represent those accused of any type of felony or misdemeanor charges, they typically can handle all San Diego criminal defense cases and those types of cases are known as practice areas. So if you are looking for any of the below types of criminal defense attorney help call 619-493-1207 or click below to learn more about that type of law and lawyers who handle such cases.

  • DUI
  • Murder 
  • Rape 
  • Sex Crimes 
  • Assault Lawyer And Battery 
  • San Diego Child Abuse 
  • Drug Crimes 
  • Drug Possession 
  • Drug Sales 
  • Drug Trafficking 
  • Drug Manufacturing 
  • Domestic Violence 
  • Theft Crimes 
  • Restraining Order 
  • Burglary 
  • Robbery Lawyer and Carjacking
  •  Illegal Weapons Crimes
  • Gang Crimes 
  • Fraud 
  • Juvenile Crimes 
  • Grand Theft 
  • Petty Theft Attorney & Shoplifting 
  • Embezzlement Attorney & White Collar 
  • Traffic Ticket 
  • Probation Violation 
  •  Expungement 

Whether you are looking for any of the above types of criminal lawyers or other criminal-related cases get help by speaking with experienced criminal defense attorneys law firm.

Questions To Ask San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys

When charged with a crime in San Diego there is usually a lot of things at stake. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to hire the wrong private legal representation or go with a public defender. Here are a few things to look out for when choosing your next criminal lawyer:

1. Have they been practicing law for a number of years

2. Have they won serious cases

3. Are they exclusive or main practice criminal defense law

4. Do they have testimonials and positive reviews from past clients

5. Do they have the resources like an investigator and other support staff that can help in winning your case

6. Are they a member of both the state and local bar

7. Are they respected by their peers, judge, and feared by the prosecutor

8. Have they been disciplined by the state or local bar

9. Do they pick up their phone when you need them

Please do your due diligence before hiring an attorney.

Ask them good questions to make sure that they will fight hard to get you results.

Even though, a San Diego defense lawyer typically can’t guarantee results, hiring the best of the best will increases your chances of getting your charges dropped or reduced significantly.

What The Best San Diego Criminal Attorney Offer

Attorneys in the city should pride themselves on client care. They should strive to treat each other with core values of respect and communication.

Each client’s case should be important regardless of how much they pay. No case is too large or small. So seek a legal professional who brings years of experience to all types of criminal defense cases.

A criminal attorney’s goal should also be to ensure that each and every one of their client is afforded the right to a defense and the right to a fair trial. They should fight hard to uphold the Constitution and to force the Prosecution to meet their burden of proof.

In doing so, they will do whatever is necessary to fight for your freedom, to fight for your innocence, and if necessary, to create a reasonable doubt as to your guilt.

In addition to some of the basic core values mentioned above, they should fight aggressively for your rights in every case and also  offer:

  • When you call or meet you will be speaking with an experienced legal team
  •  Consistent availability during your case
  • Have gotten many of their clients’ positives results and helped get their cases dismissed
  • Years of combined proven legal experience
  • They will fight your case all over San Diego County court
  • Free Case Evaluation
  • Offer payment plans options
  • Possible evening & weekend appointments

Asking For Payment Plans & Affordable Criminal Lawyer Help

That’s right. Some lawyers offer payment plans and affordable criminal defense help.

Just ask for affordable payment plans and finance options when you speak with a law firm.


How do criminal lawyers charge their clients?

Most criminal lawyers charge based on retainers. Some offer a flat fee or by the hour.

How long does a criminal case take?

It all depends on so many circumstances, however, a misdemeanor might take one to six weeks and felony two months to one year.

Can I recover my fees or sue for malicious prosecution

Yes, but it hard to win these cases. You can file a civil lawsuit for malicious persecution.