Fullerton Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Serious Defense for Serious Criminal Charges

When many people think of criminal defense, they assume that lawyers are working to allow guilty people to avoid the consequences of their actions. The reality is far different and is much more nuanced than this assumption. Criminal defense attorneys ensure everyone has access to a fair trial, as promised in the United States Constitution.

Everyone has the right to have their point of view heard and considered. To achieve this end, criminal defense attorneys work diligently to ensure trials are fair and honest and that everyone’s perspective is properly represented.

If you are facing criminal charges, you know how intimidating and devastating the situation can feel. Many individuals feel hopeless or feel pressured to plead guilty even if they are not. Others assume that no one will believe their side of the story and give up before their trial. These are not your only options. Though criminal charges are very serious, you have a fighting chance to make your voice heard with the help of a Fullerton criminal defense lawyer.

When you need a Fullerton criminal lawyer who will work tirelessly on your case, you can trust the expert attorneys at The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman. We have a strong history of representing clients who face criminal charges, and we can help you to win your case and preserve your freedom.

The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman: Your Fullerton Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you are looking for criminal lawyers in Fullerton, CA, look no further than our team at The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman. Our team of expert attorneys is here to help you through this low time in your life. Our team is nationally renowned, and we have many years of experience working on criminal law cases of all kinds.

Though we are ruthless in our pursuit of justice and fairness, you can expect us to be understanding, patient, and nonjudgmental in our meetings with you. We will not criticize you or judge you for your actions, and we will collaborate with you to understand what happened and how to proceed. You can expect both empathy and honesty when you work with us.

No other Fullerton criminal lawyers can provide the level of expertise and work ethic that we promise at The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman.

What Is a Criminal Case?

It is important to understand what a criminal case is before you enter a criminal trial or pass judgment on anyone facing criminal charges. The offenses in criminal cases can be similar to those in civil cases, but there are stark differences that are important to know.

A criminal case is one in which the state or federal government presses charges against an individual who has broken the law. In this way, the government enforces the law of the land to attempt to protect its citizens and the order of its society. A state prosecutor or prosecution team must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you are guilty of the crime you are charged with. The law states that defendants (those being charged with a crime) are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution’s job is to state the case against you to a jury who will have to decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. Their decision must be unanimous.

Criminal cases are distinct from civil cases. Civil cases occur when one citizen charges another citizen for harming or wronging them in some way. Personal injury cases, for example, are civil cases that occur when one person harms another person through negligence. The charging citizen acts as the prosecution, and the person they are charging is the defendant. The prosecution may drop the charges at any time. In civil cases, there is still a jury. However, they must simply have a majority to come to a decision, rather than needing to be unanimous.

Types of Crime Cases

There are many kinds of criminal cases. For each type of case, there are varying degrees of severity that the court considers. The charges reflect the severity of the offense.

Some common criminal offenses include:

  • Murder, manslaughter, and homicide
  • Sexual crimes such as rape or trafficking
  • Drug crimes
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Abuse

There are many other offenses and charges that fall under the umbrella of criminal charges. If you are facing charges brought forth by the state or federal government, you have a criminal law case and should consult the qualified attorneys at The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman.

Why Do I Need a Fullerton Criminal Defense Attorney?

Some people believe they don’t need a defense attorney because they believe they can fight their case on their own or because they think there is no hope of winning. Neither of these is healthy mindsets for a criminal case.

These cases are difficult, and an attorney is truly necessary. Though you may feel that your innocence is obvious, the prosecution can easily skew the situation in their favor. State prosecutors are highly experienced and can easily make you appear guilty even if you aren’t. Though the prosecution bears the burden of proof that you are guilty, you will need to refute their claims if you want to win the case. If the jury sees that you did not hire an attorney, they might draw negative conclusions about you and be more apt to believe the authority of the prosecuting attorney.

It is also false to believe that there is no hope in your case because there are ways to argue it. If the prosecution has truly airtight evidence, having an attorney may help you to make informed decisions about how to proceed. We may be able to negotiate a deal in your situation if the prosecution truly has an irrefutable argument. No case is hopeless, especially with the expert attorneys at The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman.

Potential Penalties for Criminal Charges in California

If a person is charged with a crime in Fullerton, their punishment will be unique to their situation. Most crimes have a range of minimum and maximum sentences that a judge can use as sentencing parameters.

We understand that this variable can be stressful during a criminal case. Our team is ready to help walk you through all pertinent information about your case, including what kind of punishment you could expect if the jury finds you guilty. With us on your side, you’ll always be prepared.

The punishments for a criminal case depend on the type of offense that was committed. Offenses can be broken down into three categories.


A misdemeanor charge is the least severe criminal offense category. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include:

  • Shoplifting and petty theft
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Indecent exposure
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Violating a restraining order

Many others are not included on this list. Misdemeanor charges, though the least severe of the criminal offenses, still come with significant punishments. A standard misdemeanor could land you up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Aggravated misdemeanors are punishable with up to one year in prison and fines that may exceed $1,000.

Many misdemeanor offenses do not require jail time at all, but most require that you pay a fine.


Felony charges are significantly more serious than misdemeanors. These offenses encompass what the government deems to be the worst crimes that could be committed in our society. The punishment for these offenses, therefore, is more severe than it is for misdemeanor offenses. Because of the range of crimes that fall under the felony umbrella, it is more difficult to say what a sentence might look like.

Those who commit felonies often face prison time, most likely in state prison. This is distinct from misdemeanor jail sentences as state prisons are much more high security and strict. The amount of time a person spends in prison depends on their offense and any aggravating factors. In some situations, felony parole is an alternative to prison time, but not all felony offenses are eligible for this caveat.

Felony charges may also come with a fine, depending on the type of damage that was done.


Wobbler offenses encompass any offense that could be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. The best example of a wobbler offense is a DUI. A DUI is often charged as a misdemeanor. However, if someone is severely hurt or killed, or if the offender has had three or more prior DUI convictions, the offense is considered a felony.

Other examples of wobbler offenses include:

  • Grand theft
  • Forgery
  • Sexual battery and statutory rape
  • Stalking
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Assault with a deadly weapon

If you are facing a wobbler offense charge, your attorney can help you to determine which type of offense your situation falls under. In some situations, your attorney may argue your charges down from a felony to a misdemeanor, which can help minimize your sentence if you are convicted.

Your Constitutional Rights After a Criminal Arrest in Fullerton, CA

For many people, being arrested on criminal charges is a new experience. The situation is inherently frightening, and many people make crucial mistakes during their arrest that affect their entire case.

Understanding your rights following an arrest is essential to helping you to remain calm and preserve your case. Many of these should be recited to you by the arresting police officer. Basic rights include:

  • The right to remain silent. You do not have to speak to anyone or give over any information about what happened. You may be questioned by police, but the law states that you do not have to answer. If you choose to remain silent until your attorney is present, any information the police got out of you without your attorney is not admissible in a court of law.
  • The right to an attorney. An attorney can help you to say and do the correct things to preserve your freedom. If you cannot afford an attorney, a public defender will be assigned to you by the state.

If you waive your rights, all the information you disclose can be used against you by the prosecution in court. Be very careful if you speak to officers — it is almost always best to refuse to talk until your attorney is present.

For the arrest to be admissible in court, it also must have been legal. If the officer had no probable cause to arrest you, the court cannot use any evidence that the officer obtained during the illegal arrest. For example, if a police officer makes an illegal traffic stop and finds that you are under the influence of alcohol, the breathalyzer test results and other key information found at the time of arrest cannot be used in court. This is because the traffic stop and arrest were illegal. In this case, the prosecution would likely not have a case against you, and the charges could be dropped.

If you are arrested for criminal activity, be very aware of what happens to you as it could be key information for your defense. If you can, film what happens on your phone so there is concrete evidence for your attorney to use.

How to Appeal Criminal Convictions

In some situations, you may be able to appeal your conviction before the court. However, it is important to note that you may only do this if you believe a key error was made by the judge or by the court. You may not add additional evidence or witness testimony during an appeal.

Your attorney can help you to appeal your conviction if the circumstances are correct. This is done through the appellate court clerk in the county where the trial took place.

FAQs About Fullerton, CA Criminal Laws

What Do Fullerton Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?

Defense attorneys are in charge of maintaining your innocence in court. We do this by infusing the prosecution’s argument with reasonable doubt. Remember, the jury can only convict you if they believe you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense’s job is to provide an alternative perspective that will hopefully cause the jury to doubt that you are guilty. We do this through evidence and witness testimony.

Do I Need to Hire a Fullerton Criminal Defense Attorney If I Plan on Pleading Guilty?

Yes. Though you may plead guilty, you can still strike a deal with the prosecution if you have an attorney on your side. This is one of the advantages of pleading guilty. Your criminal defense attorney will negotiate a sentence with the prosecution in the hopes of minimizing the punishment. If you do not have a criminal defense attorney, the prosecution is unlikely to give you any sort of deal, and you will likely face the maximum punishment.

What Crimes Are Considered Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence occurs in many ways, but all offenses fall under four distinct categories. These include:

  • Physical abuse. This encompasses actions such as hitting, punching, kicking, and slapping.
  • Emotional abuse. Offenses like threats, lying, and intentionally frightening fall into this domestic violence category.
  • Psychological abuse. This category includes name calling, public embarrassment, gaslighting, and manipulation.
  • Financial abuse. These crimes include withholding shared money and controlling all spending.

Many domestic violence cases are considered wobblers.

Is There a Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor Charge?

Felony charges are more serious and include strict consequences, while misdemeanors are considered less serious. Felonies can keep a person from getting a job, finding housing, and voting. Though misdemeanor offenses have consequences, they are often not as severe and may be eligible for expungement after a certain amount of time.

Misdemeanor offenders are incarcerated in county jail, while felony offenders face time in state prison. The latter is much stricter and may take you away from your hometown.

What Can I Expect From My Fullerton, CA Criminal Defense Attorney?

You can expect your criminal defense attorney to be your primary advocate. Our job is to make sure the court hears your perspective. You can expect your attorney to be nonjudgmental, to listen to your story, and to be clear and honest with you. If you do not feel you can trust your attorney or if they fail to listen to you properly, you should keep looking. These cases are serious, and you need proper legal representation.

Contact The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman

Our team understands that life is not black and white. Though many would like to believe there are “good” and “bad” people in the world, many situations have a lot of gray areas. This is why we work so hard to make sure every voice is heard in the judicial system. Everyone deserves the right to share what happened to them and to fight for their freedom. The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman is here to help make this a reality for you. For more information or a consultation on your criminal case, contact The Law Office of Jaqueline Goodman online today.

Make The Right call

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While charges such as DUI and drug possession are common across the country, it's difficult to find a criminal defense attorney who has thorough experience with serious crimes such as manslaughter or human trafficking. When the stakes are so high, you need the experienced, expert criminal defense services of Attorney Jacqueline Goodman.

She combats your charges head-on by utilizing a variety of strategies and working tirelessly to come to a favorable result. If it can be proved that a search was made illegally or you were arrested improperly, your case could be dismissed, for example. Each case is unique, so she uses a unique approach to evaluate and perfect each one. With her help, you could avoid the heavy fines and prison time of a criminal conviction.

Put your trust in a proven criminal defense lawyer

Attorney Jacqueline Goodman has more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense. As the President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the standalone vice chair of the Sex Offenses division of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, she has been at the forefront of criminal law in California and across the nation.
Initial consultations are free at The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman in Orange County because everyone deserves a chance to defend themselves. Call (714) 879-5770 now.

facing criminal charges?

Attorney Goodman handles a wide variety of criminal cases and accused crimes. Don’t see your charges below? Contact us for a consultation.

dedicated to criminal defense
for over 20+ years

  • If you need a lawyer,
    she is the one you want.

    “Her knowledge and professionalism are what helped me get through a difficult time.”
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  • A huge difference in my life!

    “ Huge difference in my life, and just wanted to say thank you for putting your cape on and protecting me when I needed it.”
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  • Highly recommend!

    “There are no words to describe what it means to have a lawyer save you from your mistakes and give you a chance to change.”
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Real clients. real cases.
Winning Results.

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.

case dismissed

Case dismissed

criminal car accident

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case dismissed

Case dismissed

criminal car accident

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case dismissed

Case dismissed

criminal car accident

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case dismissed

Case dismissed

criminal car accident

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