Huntington Beach Criminal Lawyer

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Serious Defense for Serious Criminal Charges in Huntington Beach, CA

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Huntington Beach, you are likely going through a lot of stress. Whether you need a violent crime defense, drug crime defense, sex crime defense or are facing a DUI in Huntington Beach, you need a strong and experienced criminal defense attorney to defend yourself to the best of your ability. No matter the size of the case, any conviction carries negative consequences. Without a proper defense, you are significantly more vulnerable to conviction, which leads to punishments such as incarceration, fines, and a criminal record that you must live with. Without a strong criminal defense case, your entire future could be altered.

You need a qualified and compassionate Huntington Beach criminal attorney to help you through this hard process and work toward the best end outcome — with the least amount of damages done to you, your freedoms, and your reputation.

By choosing the Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman, you are choosing an attorney whose goal is to protect you and your best interests as thoroughly as possible. We have over 20 years of criminal defense experience, with a record of success as a certified criminal law specialist. Let our office stand with you and protect you against conviction.

California Criminal Law

California law categorizes a wide array of illegal activities as punishable by incarceration or fines, such as theft, DUI, or assault. When facing criminal charges, your case will be categorized as one of the following:

  • Misdemeanors
    Misdemeanors can carry a punishment of anywhere up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000 or more. They include trespassing, shoplifting, public intoxication, drug possession, and DUI with no injury.
  • Felonies
    A felony is generally more significant or more violent than a misdemeanor. Felonies can carry punishments of a year in prison and fines up to $10,000. They include certain DUI cases, domestic violence, assault, and homicide cases of manslaughter or murder. A felony can also include aggravating factors such as fraud, criminal history, or the presence of a weapon.
  • Infractions
    Infractions are petty crimes and don’t include prison time. Often these are traffic violations and result in fines of around $250. They rarely result in a trial. These are the least serious criminal offenses per California law.
  • Wobblers
    Wobblers refer to crimes that could be in multiple categories. Often, they are misdemeanors that can be elevated to the status of a felony if circumstances were serious enough. Inclusion of weapons, past criminal history, or sex-related crimes can make a misdemeanor become a felony. Wobblers include assaulting someone with a deadly weapon, DUI, domestic violence, domestic abuse, child endangerment, vandalism, grand theft, embezzlement, sex crimes, forgery, or burglary.

It’s important to know where your offense could fall, as it can help you understand the potential sentencing you could face. In any situation, but especially life-altering ones, you want to contact a Huntington Beach criminal lawyer. A skilled defense attorney can vastly improve your chances of fighting conviction, and they can help you work through your options relating to your case.

Huntington Beach, CA Arrest Procedure

In Huntington Beach, California, the process from you being arrested to getting to court is a lengthy one. It’s helpful to know what it looks like to better feel in control of the procedure and what to expect.

  1. Arrest
    After being arrested, the defendant is either released if they post bail or if the prosecutor does not file charges. If these do not happen, the defendant remains in jail until arraignment.
  2. Arraignment
    This is the first time the defendant appears in court. They get familiar with the judge and prosecution. They are also told the charges, their constitutional rights, and their right to a public defender if they are unable to pay an attorney. This is where the defendant enters a plea: no contest, not guilty, or guilty. Not guilty means the defendant claims they did not commit the crime. This could be a strategy to force a trial and ensure the prosecution has proven the crime beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. Guilty is an admission of the crime. From there, the judge enters the conviction. No contest says that the defendant doesn’t disagree with the charge. This is almost the same as a guilty plea, but the plea can’t usually be used against the defendant. This process is made better with a defense attorney who understands the ramifications of the options presented to you and can help you make the best decision possible.
  3. Bail
    Bail is set during the arraignment. The amount is based on the seriousness of the crime and on your level of flight risk. Bail ensures your commitment to a future court date.
  4. Post-Arraignment and Pre-Trial Conference
    During this time, your attorney will navigate meetings to exchange information between the prosecutor, your attorney, the judge, and you. This discussion attempts to find a solution other than continuing to trial. This could include a plea bargain, where the charges would be lowered if you plead guilty. This conference is also a time when a case may be dropped.
  5. Trial
    Going to trial will mean you will face either a jury or a judge. A court trial is in the presence of a judge, and a jury trial is in the presence of a jury. Every defendant has a choice concerning whether they will face a judge or jury. The choice to have your case come before a jury depends on the circumstances and whether you want your guilt decided by your peers based on the evidence. Defendants in this case should turn to the expertise of their defense lawyer. In either case, the defendant is legally innocent until proven guilty, and the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  6. Sentencing
    At the end of the trial, you will receive a verdict. A defendant who is found not guilty, or is acquitted, receives no punishment and is released. They can also never be tried for the same crime again. Not guilty doesn’t equal innocence. It only means there was not enough evidence to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A defendant who is found guilty will have their sentence announced by the judge. Their punishment may be jail time, fines, or community service.
  7. Appeals
    If you’re found guilty and are unhappy with the sentencing you’re receiving, you have the right to appeal the decision. Be sure to check with your attorney if the process is worthwhile. For your case to be accepted in the appeals court, your attorney must bring forward evidence that wasn’t in your first trial or have proof of legal error. There are also deadlines to be aware of when filing appeals, depending on if it is a misdemeanor case or a felony case. An appeals court will likely not review your case if you miss the deadline.

FAQs About Huntington Beach, CA Criminal Laws

How Do You Choose A Good Criminal Defense Attorney in Huntington Beach, CA?

It’s important to find a Huntington Beach criminal defense attorney you feel you can trust. You also want your attorney to be compassionate and ready to fight for you and your best interests. Talking to friends and family can help you get a good attorney, and you can also search online or through the local bar association. Find a defense lawyer with relevant experience to your specific situation, and check previous client testimonials to see the impact an attorney has had.

How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in Huntington Beach, CA?

In California, criminal defense attorneys often charge anywhere from $200 to $750 an hour. These rates are affected by the skill level of the lawyer, their experience, and the complexity of the case.

Is a Criminal Lawyer the Same as a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

These phrases usually refer to the same job — an attorney who builds a criminal defense case to defend a person or entity.

What Questions Should I Ask Before I Hire a Huntington Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer?

You must be confident in the skill and understanding of your Huntington Beach criminal lawyer. A lot hinges on the outcome of criminal charges, and you want to be sure your attorney has the necessary expertise to handle it. Some examples of questions that are helpful include:

  • How experienced are you with similar cases to mine?
  • What is your experience in trials?
  • How many years have you practiced law?
  • What do you anticipate my case’s outcome will be?
  • Can you explain the evidence?
  • How likely am I to win a trial if it comes to that?
  • Could the charges be dropped?
  • What type of sentence would I be looking at?
  • How likely is it that my case goes to trial?
  • What should I expect from a trial?
  • What rights do I have in this procedure?

Preparing Your Defense

If you’ve been charged or expect to be charged with a crime in Huntington Beach, CA, you must find a professional and intensely qualified defense lawyer. Protect yourself and your future by contacting the Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman today for a compassionate and strong defense that gives you your best chance of a positive outcome.

Make The Right call

Schedule A Consultation Now  >
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

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod


case dismissed

Case dismissed

criminal car accident

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod

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