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Speak to Attorney Goodman 714-266-3945
Representing California CERTIFIED SPECIALIST



When you have been arrested, it is vital that you take immediate action to defend your rights and avoid a conviction by retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney. A conviction could not only lead to harsh penalties — such as jail, prison, fines, and probation — but would also force you to live with a criminal record, potentially affecting your future career and educational opportunities.

You owe it to yourself to do everything you can to resolve your criminal defense case efficiently and with minimum damage to your reputation and freedoms. Choose The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman and work with a Certified Criminal Law Specialist: Attorney Jacqueline Goodman. With her track record of success built across decades of legal experience, she stands ready to protect you and your rights, no matter what charges have been filed. Call (714) 266-3945 now.

  • State Bar Certified Specialist
  • CA Criminal Trial Lawyer of the Year
  • Past President of CA Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • National Co-Chair Sex Crimes Defense
  • National Chair of Decarceration

I am committed to providing my clients with the trusted counsel and aggressive defense they deserve. I believe in redemption and helping people get second chances. I devote a significant portion of my practice to criminal justice reform and I have provided pro bono representation in impact litigation to change the laws to benefit every Californian.

No one is perfect, and everyone has flaws. A mistake should not define you, and our Orange County criminal defense attorney is ready to fight to protect your future, no matter the charges. Attorney Jacqueline Goodman is here to get you out of this difficult situation and put you back in the position you were in before your trouble started!

  • 1
    Renowned Success Rate
    When your life depends on it, you need a lawyer known for winning the toughest trials.
  • 2
    Certified Criminal Law Specialist

    Less than 1% of California Attorneys meet the rigorous standards to be certified as a specialist by the State Bar.

  • 3
    Rated 10.0 superb on AVVO
    Our practice is world-class, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Our clients love us, and we have the ratings to prove it.
  • 4
    Named on the wall of recognition at the national constitution center
    Named on the wall of recognition at the National Constitution Center in Washington, D.C., alongside some of the greatest lawyers in the nation.
  • 5
    Admitted to argue cases before the united states supreme court

    "For litigators, there is no greater or more elusive honor than to argue before this Court."  - The American Bar Association

    .007% of lawyers gain admission in the USSC.

Featured On/In

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Proven Qualified Experience & Ethics In Criminal Defense.


Protecting yourself in the face of criminal accusations or charges is serious and, when it comes to your defense, experience counts. Attorney Goodman has tried countless cases and achieved numerous successful outcomes for her clients. She was at the forefront of several high-profile cases, including the murder of an MLB pitcher and the widely known free speech case known as the “Irvine 11.” Browse some of Attorney Goodman’s recent case results to learn more about her exceptional track record.



    Penal Code 273a(b) Child endangerment/cruelty.

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    Child molestation: Felony.

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    PC 1203.2 Committing a new crime or violating any term or condition of probation.

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    Los Angeles Arrest Pre-filing representation on Attempted murder of police officer, assault with a deadly weapon upon a police officer.

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    Contempt of court order by a gang member.

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    Child Sex Abuse case dismissed.

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Attorney Goodman is committed to enhancing criminal law and justice education, as well as remaining active in the legal community. Currently, she serves on the Board for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is one of three Co-Chairs in charge of sex crimes defense education, a position she has held for the past ten years. Additionally, she served as the past president of the California Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and currently continues to create legislation in support of criminal justice reform.

When it comes to your defense, you need an attorney who will do more than just react—you need an attorney who will interact with the law. Attorney Goodman has been featured as a legal authority on television and radio shows nationwide and remains active in shaping our legal system through her leadership in criminal justice reform, criminal defense education, and prestigious legal organizations. Her work has put her face-to-face with state legislators, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California Attorney General; she is prepared to help you with your case.

The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman offers free, confidential case evaluations. Call (714) 266-3945 or submit an online contact form to request yours today.

    "Choose her to represent you in the orange county area"
    - Elizabeth E.
    "I felt like I was getting represented by a superstar attorney. She'll run circles around any DA."
    - Marcus W.
    "If you are looking for someone that is going to put in all of their effort and fight for the outcome you want, choose her."
    - Former Client
    "Honest, hard working, and compassion, would describe, Jacquie."
    - Dorian C.
    "My family and I truly admire and respect this amazing and talented lawyer."
    - Chip E.
    "She was always easy to contact and gave me all the information that came her way."
    - Rosie C.
    "She took the time to understand our concerns an worries."
    - Joe G.
    "Thank you Ms Goodman and team!!"
    - Nick K.

Types of Criminal Charges in California

When being charged with a criminal offense, there are three categories your case can fall into. They are:


Some crimes that are most likely to be charged as misdemeanors include public intoxication, theft, and trespassing. A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to a year in prison. Misdemeanors also often come with a fine between $1,000 to $2,000.


Felonies are used for the most significant criminal charges. A felony can result in life in prison or probation. Crimes under this category can include domestic violence, some cases of DUI or DWI, murder or manslaughter, and assault.


Infractions do not result in prison time. These are often traffic violations or other minor issues. Infractions may result in a fine, and there is usually not a full trial conducted for an infraction. This means there’s no jury or public defender assigned to these cases. Infractions are the least severe of the types of criminal offenses in California.

Wobbler Offenses

Some crimes can fall into multiple categories or a gray area between misdemeanor and felony. In these cases, the defendant can be charged for either a misdemeanor or felony and they are called “wobbler offenses.” Prior convictions or the use of a weapon can have a significant influence on whether the case is determined a felony or misdemeanor.

The following are some examples of wobbler offenses:

  • DUI
  • Child Abuse
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Spousal abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Possession of a controlled substance

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the crimes that may fall into multiple categories.

Understanding which category your offense falls into is important in determining what kind of sentence you may be facing if you are convicted. If you have been charged with a crime, it is crucial to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and your options.

Continue Reading Read Less

Frequently Asked Questions

About California Criminal Law
  • I'm innocent. Do I still need a criminal defense lawyer in Orange County, CA?

    Yes. It doesn't matter if you actually committed a crime; you are subject to the same fines and penalties as everyone else in the event of a conviction. A defense attorney can fight aggressively to make sure that your rights are protected, though.

    If you are facing criminal charges in California, it is important to hire a qualified criminal defense attorney to represent you. The outcome of your case could have serious consequences, and an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the criminal justice system and give you the best chance at a favorable outcome.

  • Do I really need a lawyer if I'm going to plead guilty?

    Yes. A skilled defense attorney is imperative even if you plan on taking a plea bargain. A lawyer can help you decide if the plea bargain is really your best option. Additionally, your lawyer can help you determine whether or not the prosecution has enough evidence to offer you a plea bargain for a specific offense. Without a lawyer, the prosecution might assume that you are going to plead guilty and offer you an unreasonable bargain. An attorney can help you negotiate for an agreement.

  • How does the prosecution determine the charges I will face?

    Typically, the prosecution pursues charges with enough evidence to back them up. In other words, the prosecution will look for a legally sound case. If a case contains some kind of inherent flaw, it probably isn't worth pursuing. Then, prosecuting attorneys decide whether or not there is enough evidence to pursue a conviction. If there isn't, the case will probably be dropped, or another charge will be considered. "Enough" evidence is determined by the quantity of the evidence held against you and the quality. For example, if the prosecuting attorney has a large quantity of questionable evidence, they probably still won't pursue that particular case because of its potential holes. You can only be prosecuted once per alleged offense, so prosecutors have to be careful when deciding when to act.

  • What is a grand jury and how will it affect my case?

    A grand jury is a collection of individuals used to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to take a case to trial. For example: If you were arrested for a drug crime, a grand jury might be used to figure out whether or not the prosecution has a legitimate case against you. The grand jury will base its determination on witness testimony, documents, and other available evidence. At the end of the proceedings, the jury will decide whether or not the case will actually go to trial. If there is not enough evidence to conduct a trial, your case will not move forward. Grand juries are typically reserved for high-level felonies and federal crimes.

  • What happens if the police ask for a statement and I refuse? Will I be arrested for refusing to cooperate?

    You cannot be arrested or charged with a crime for exercising your right to remain silent. The Fifth Amendment allows you to remain silent and avoid giving testimony against yourself. If a police officer tries to intimidate you into waiving your rights, do not believe them and insist on speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible. Judges cannot set a high bail for not cooperating with law enforcement, but some officers try to make you think that you are required to give a statement. In reality, officers may try to scare you into making a statement so that it will be easier to obtain a conviction later.


If You're Facing Criminal Charges In Orange County, Los Angeles or Throughout California
Call (714) 266-3945; for after-hours, you will be redirected to her cellphone
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