Oakland Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Oakland Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing Criminal Charges in California? Unfortunately, even allegations of a criminal offense can tarnish your name Furthermore, you can also face limitations to you and your loved ones’ opportunities. A criminal conviction can involve financial penalties and/or time in prison. In addition, you may become intelligible for government benefit programs like education grants, housing and food share programs. Even if you are innocent of charges, it can be difficult to clear your name. That is why choosing the right Oakland criminal defense lawyer can help you mitigate risk and make a difference in your defense.

Every day police arrest thousands of individuals for alleged criminal conduct. If you were arrested anywhere in the United States of America, then you have important Constitutional rights. A Oakland criminal defense attorney can make sure that you get the benefit of every right that is your due. At The Law Office of Louis J. Goodman, we use reliable defense strategies that can strengthen your defense. For over thirty years, we have defended our clients against criminal charges. We handle cases throughout Alameda County, including in Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Fremont, Newark, Union City, Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore.

Call Our Oakland Criminal Defense Lawyer for State and Federal Cases.

What Do Criminal Attorneys Do?

Some people wonder: what is a criminal defense lawyer? Overall, the characteristics of a good criminal lawyer are universal. A good criminal defense attorney can make sure an arrest does not define the rest of your life. Our Alameda county criminal defense firm uses every strategy available under criminal defense law. As soon as you contact us after your arrest, our firm can use our experience to mitigate your risk. For example, prosecutors may intimidate you to confess or work against your best interests. In some cases, prosecutors may pressure you by trumping up charges. An Oakland criminal defense lawyer can help make sure you do not unknowingly incriminate yourself.

In addition, our California criminal case lawyer can help bring immediate protection. We can work to build a strong case by bringing in a team of experts. These legal professionals can scrutinize evidence and can determine if any entity broke the law during your arrest. As a result, hiring a criminal defense attorney can make a substantial difference in your case. Our firm’s success stems from our experience defending the accused for over thirty years. We understand how to draft a strong defense that can mitigate your risk.

Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you discover you are under investigation or are arrested, contact our Hayward and Alameda County criminal defense lawyer immediately. Our legal professionals can guide you through every option that the law makes available for your defense. The sooner you contact our firm, the better the chances are to reach a favorable resolution. For instance, the longer you wait, the more likely helpful evidence will disappear. Our Oakland criminal defense lawyer can review reports, scrutinize evidence and cross-examine witnesses. We handle California criminal defense cases that involve but are not limited to:

  • DUI: A California DUI charge can be serious. As a result, we look for any way to reduce or dismiss charges. For example, we may challenge a field sobriety test, as they are not always accurate
  • Domestic Violence: Facts and details of domestic violence can be difficult to determine for outside parties. Our Oakland criminal defense lawyer can help mitigate risk by detailing your narrative of events.
  • White Collar Crimes: These crimes are an emerging area of law that requires a skilled attorney. In general, white collar crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or a violation of trust.
  • Federal Criminal Defense: Mail fraud, robbery, identity theft, computer crimes and other allegations can be federal crimes. Unfortunately, if convicted, you face a high conviction and incarceration rate. Our California criminal defense lawyer can strengthen your defense in federal crime accusations.

Our Alameda County Criminal Defense Attorney Weighs in on Frequently Asked Questions

Criminal cases involve a wide array of illegal actions. They may consist of violent conduct, homicide, possession of drugs, crimes of a sexual nature and theft, among others. Facing criminal charges is a serious matter. Potential penalties include jail time, fines and a permanent record. If you have recently been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, then it is likely that you have numerous questions. To alleviate some of your stress, our Alameda County criminal defense attorney has compiled the following list of frequently asked questions to help guide you.

California Criminal Defense Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is an arraignment?
  • How Are Criminal Charges Processed in Court?
  • What Happens to a Criminal Case If the Charges Are Dropped?
  • What Are the Differences Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?
  • What Is Bail?
  • Should I Plead Innocent or Guilty?
  • When Should I Take a Plea Bargain?
  • Should I Represent Myself or Seek Out a Criminal Defense Attorney?

What Is an Arraignment?

After the initial arrest, an arraignment will be held as the first step in a criminal case. Arraignment refers to a formal proceeding held in front of a judge. At this time, the defendant will be charged with a criminal act. Then, the defendant will state their plea as either guilty or not guilty. Then, depending upon the case, the prosecutor can request that special restrictions be placed on the defendant’s freedoms. This may include detaining the defendant until trial, or setting bail.How Are Criminal Charges Processed in Court?

A few factors will influence how your criminal case will unfold. First, the way you plea in your arraignment will determine whether your case will be debated in a formal trial. If you plead guilty in your arraignment, then the judge will find you guilty and submit a formal conviction.

If you plead not guilty, then your case will begin a process of negotiation and plea bargaining that may involve a trial. You and your attorney will decide whether to request a jury trial or a court trial.

In a jury trial, the prosecution will attempt to prove to a jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a court trial, they will attempt to prove this to a judge. In both cases, if the prosecution succeeds, then you will be found guilty and sentenced to formal punishments.

At your trial, both sides are given the opportunity to make an opening statement. The opening statement gives you a chance to present your account of the event in question. Then, both sides will present evidence and witnesses to back up their account of the event. Finally, each side will be allowed to make their closing arguments before a final verdict is announced.

What Happens to a Criminal Case If the Charges Are Dropped?

Criminal charges that are dropped, dismissed or acquitted all have different implications.

When a criminal charge is dropped, it typically means that the prosecution does not want to proceed with the charge. This may be because they do not have a strong enough case or lack the evidence to succeed. However, dropped charges can still be refiled later.

When a criminal charge is dismissed, the judge has found a factual or legal issue with the charge. However, the prosecution may make appropriate changes to the charge to cover the same illegal action. Therefore, you still may not be off the hook.

Sometimes, criminal cases end after charges are dropped or dismissed, but not always. Only when a defendant has been acquitted of a charge are they guaranteed to be completely free from it. With double jeopardy, you cannot be tried again for the same crime after you have been found not guilty. Although civil litigation can proceed and in certain rare cases Federal criminal charges can be filed.

What Are the Differences Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

The main difference between a felony and a misdemeanor lies with the seriousness of the criminal act. Felonies are seen as more serious and misdemeanors less so. As a general rule, the penalties for both will differ in severity as well. However, depending upon the crime, and the perpetrator’s criminal history, exceptions to the following rules can be made.

In California, a felony may be punishable by anywhere from 1 year in jail to life imprisonment. In some cases, the death penalty may come into play. Additionally, a felony may result in a fine of up to $10,000 or more.

A misdemeanor in California may result in a maximum of one year in jail. It may also involve fines up to $1,000. An Alameda County criminal defense attorney can provide you with more information about sentencing during an initial consultation.

What Is Bail?

During the arraignment, the prosecution may request that bail be set for the defendant. If this is granted, then the defendant will return to jail until bail has been posted. Bail refers to an amount of money the defendant must pay to be released from jail while awaiting trial. Thus, posting bail is a way for the defendant to promise to return to their court hearings.

How bail is set will depend on factors such as the nature of the crime, whether the defendant is a threat to others and whether the defendant is likely to run away. Bail can be paid at the Criminal Clerk’s office or at the detention center holding the defendant. Once a case has been disposed, bail can be returned to the payer. Bail can also be forfeited if the defendant does not appear in court.

Should I Plead Innocent or Guilty?

Determining how you should plea in a criminal case will depend on many factors. Each criminal case is different, both in the nature of the crime and in the details of the case. In any criminal case, you want to secure the best possible outcome for yourself. Sometimes, this will mean pleading innocent, and other times it will mean pleading guilty. It all depends upon the likelihood that your case can win in court. The best way to determine your options would be to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney in Alameda County.

When Should I Take a Plea Bargain?

Determining whether or not you should take a plea bargain is another subjective matter. Again, you want to secure the best outcome for yourself. The likelihood of your case winning in court may surpass the benefits offered in a plea bargain. Alternatively, a plea bargain may be the best path forward. Speaking with a criminal defense attorney is the best way to identify which path is right for you.

Should I Represent Myself or Seek Out a Criminal Defense Attorney?

There are many reasons to seek out an attorney for your criminal case. First, facing criminal charges is a serious matter. This is true regardless of whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony charge. In either case, you are potentially facing jail time or imprisonment, hefty fines and a criminal record. These consequences alone merit taking your case seriously and finding a Dublin, Oakland, or Fremont criminal defense lawyer if your case is in Alameda County.

Furthermore, the law is complex. The average person will not fully understand the law as it applies to them. Nor will they fully understand the process for obtaining a successful trial.

Lastly, representing yourself in a criminal case may be emotionally overwhelming. Since the stakes are high, you are likely to make mistakes due to stress. Allowing a Dublin, Oakland, or Fremont criminal defense attorney to guide you will help you remain objective.

Contact Our Alameda County Criminal Defense Attorney for More Information

While the above list contains the most common criminal defense questions, it is, unfortunately, not exhaustive. If you are facing criminal charges, and your question is not addressed here, then we encourage you to reach out. The Law Office of Louis J. Goodman welcomes any questions you may have about your criminal case.

Arrested for a crime or believe you are under investigation by a law enforcement entity? Do you have concerns that your rights have been unknowingly violated? Most people worry how to choose a criminal defense lawyer that can work for them. For this reason, our firm offers reliable strategies developed from over thirty years of experience. With a criminal defense lawyer free consultation from our firm, you can mitigate risk. Instead of worrying about criminal defense lawyer fees, you can move on with your life.

Odds are, you have questions about your rights and possible outcomes for your case. Our Oakland criminal defense lawyers can work to bring you peace of mind by answering your questions. Ultimately, our firm can work to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. If you need immediate options for reducing charges and penalties, we can negotiate with prosecutors. Contact The Law Office of Louis J. Goodman online or call 510-582-9090 to schedule a free consultation.

To find the answers you are looking for, call us today at 510-582-9090. You may also submit inquiries to us online through our private messaging portal.


Louis J. Goodman, Attorney at Law
1290 B Street, Suite 307
Hayward, CA 94541 I represent clients in Alameda County, including Hayward, Union City, Newark, Fremont, Castro Valley, San Leandro, Dublin, Piedmont, Emeryville, Pleasanton, Livermore, Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda.


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