Ask S&B Legal Firm

The police will write their report and send it to the District Attorney’s Office (DA’s). The DA’s office represents the state of California and are responsible for officially filing charges against you with the Court. These charges may change from what the police originally filed against you. Once charged with a crime, you will be given a date to appear in front of the court. The first hearing is called an arraignment.

This is the first opportunity for us to meet the prosecutor. Our office will plead you “not guilty”, deny the allegations, and ask for a copy of the police reports. Once we receive these reports, we will have our staff email or mail them to you. In addition, the judge will give us additional hearing dates to return to court and try to work out a settlement with the District Attorney’s Office.


If this is a misdemeanor offense, you will not be required to attend this hearing or subsequent hearings. However, if your presence is needed for any future hearing, then our staff will notify you. If this is a felony matter, then you will be required to be present at every hearing.

After the arraignment, the next hearing will be a readiness conference. This is yet another opportunity for the attorneys to discuss the case. The pretrial process may only last a short while (if we reach a settlement) or can continue for months. The general purpose of a pretrial is to ensure that the prosecution and defense have an opportunity to discuss:


a. The strengths and weaknesses of the case;

b. Intangible factors of the case (such as your character and criminal history); and

c. Plea bargain possibilities.


One of the ways to ensure that the above referenced objectives are satisfied in a fair and just manner is through the discovery process.


“Discovery" refers to the process of obtaining evidence. California's discovery rules run both ways, which means that both the prosecution and the defense are responsible for providing each other with evidence that they intend to use to establish their cases at trial.


There may be motions during this time. The last hearing will be a disposition hearing where typically the plea to the charges changes from “not guilty” to “guilty” if there is a resolution between the prosecution and the defense.

Yes, it can. On cases with misdemeanor charges, our office can remove the warrant without you being present in court. For cases with felony charges, typically you will be required to be in court with us. Contact us so we can discuss how we can help you remove a warrant as soon as possible as it can be a lengthy process.
A part of the bail conditions is that you appear in court at every hearing otherwise the bond can be forfeited, and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. However, when you hire a private attorney, you will not have to be present at every court hearing. That is a benefit to hiring private counsel.
Absolutely not. The 5th amendment allows you to remain silent and your silence cannot be used against you. When the police read you your rights they often ask, “Would you like to speak to me?” and you can respond politely but firmly with, “I wish to remain silent, and I would like to speak to an attorney.”

It depends. There is a 3-prong test to determine whether police officers need to read you your


One is that the questioning or the investigation must be done by the police.


Secondly, the suspect has to be in custody, and what that means is that their freedom of movement has to be restrained to the extent of traditional arrest. Usually that means that the handcuffs are put on, the person is put in a squad car, the person is taken to jail, is taken to a police holding facility, but they’re essentially placed under arrest.


And thirdly, the questioning has to amount to interrogation. It has to be sort of questions that are designed to elicit an incriminating response. So, routine booking questions or questions such as, “What is your name? Your date of birth? Your address?” are often not considered to be interrogative


If you indicate in any manner at any time prior to or during questioning, that you wish to remain silent, the interrogation must stop. If you invoke your right to an attorney, then law enforcement must stop the questioning.


You have a right to consult with an attorney while being questioned.


Know your right not to self-incriminate yourself and remain silent.

It depends on the type of crime you plead guilty to and your status in the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should consult with an immigration attorney about the immigration consequences of your plea, particularly if the offense qualifies as an “aggravated felony,” crime of moral turpitude, controlled substances, firearm offense, or domestic violence.


Immigration consequences are a matter of federal law. Whether an offense qualifies as one of the “aggravated felonies” listed below is determined by federal statues and case law. Certain offenses defined as misdemeanors under State law may be considered “aggravated felonies” under federal law.

Any conviction of a non-citizen for an “aggravated felony” will result in removal/deportation, exclusion, and/or denial of naturalization.

Aggravated felonies (see U.S.C. § 1101(A)(43)) include but not limited to:


  1. Murder; rape; or sexual abuse of a minor;
  2. A crime of violence, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 16;
  3. Trafficking of a controlled substances, firearms, destructive devices or explosive materials;
  4. Money laundering if the amount exceeds $10,000;
  5. An explosive materials offense;
  6. A firearms offense;
  7. A theft offense, including receipt of stolen property, or burglary offense;
  8. Child pornography;
  9. Pimping, pandering, or operating a prostitution business;
  10. Human trafficking;
  11. Fraud or deceit in which the loss of the victim exceeds $10,000;
  12. Commercial bribery counterfeiting forgery or trafficking in vehicles the identification numbers of which have been altered;
  13. Obstruction of justice perjury or subornation of perjury or bribery of a witness, an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses.

Even if the crime you were convicted of is not on the list, it is still important to consult with an immigration attorney. For example, someone with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status who are charged with a DUI and convicted of a DUI, will mean a loss of status.

You typically reach out to a bail bonds company who will guide you through the steps of how to get a loved one out of jail. The bail bonds post the total bail, and you are responsible for paying them back. There is also another option where you can post the total amount and pay it directly to the jail if you are able to afford it.
Typically, no if you go through a bail bonds company. If you paid the full amount of your bail to the jail, then yes you do get your money back after the conclusion of the case assuming you or your attorney appeared at every hearing and the Judge exonerates the bond at the last hearing.
That will depend on the type of charges you are facing, your criminal history, and other factors. Each case is unique so our office would have to discuss the case with you before giving a quote. However, our office does allow payment plans.

No. An attorney cannot guarantee an outcome because we will not know how to formulate a defense without having all the evidence against the defendant. This is usually received after the arraignment and as the case progresses. However, our team will fight for you and explore every legal avenue to see if the charges can be dismissed or reduced.

Typically, it can take anywhere from 3-6 months, but it will depend on how fast hearings are set, the time it takes for us to receive the evidence and review it with the client. It is difficult to ascertain the length it will take, but the client will be kept up to date with every step that is taken.
Absolutely! You will never know the effect a criminal conviction will have on your future. The last thing you want to do is go to court unprepared and without talking to a professional who does this every day and knows the ins and outs of the law. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t at least consult with an attorney.
Contact our office immediately so we can walk you through the steps on what needs to be done to recall a warrant. The Court will not automatically recall the warrant and a hearing will have to take place.
No. Less than 5% of all our cases go to trial. However, the Court typically does give us a trial date, but this can always be changed or completely vacated. Our office would talk to you about the pros and cons of going to trial. Each case is unique, so it is possible trial is not always the best option for you.
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