Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys - Oberheiden, P.C.
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Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick Oberheiden
Orange County Federal Criminal Defense
Team Lead envelope icon Contact Nick
Orange address – by appointment only:
2230 W Chapman Ave. Suite 200
Orange, CA 92868

The federal defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C., have a robust record of favorable outcomes, both in Orange County and nationwide. Call our Orange County criminal defense team at 888-680-1745 for a free and confidential consultation.

We are a federal criminal defense law firm that represents individuals and corporate clients in a wide range of federal matters in Orange County, California, and beyond.

Composing our team are trial-tested defense lawyers and highly experienced former federal prosecutors. Our winning Orange County federal defense attorneys are proud to have achieved positive results for most of our clients. In the vast majority of cases, we have had avoidance or dismissal of criminal charges.

Whatever your case may be, we are ready to help. We will be involved from preliminary federal law enforcement investigations or grand jury proceedings to pretrial negotiation, trial litigation, and appeal.

Most federal criminal charges come with the threat of substantial fines or long-term imprisonment. It is not unusual for the Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Orange County to pursue multiple counts of multiple charges at the same time.

Many of our clients, most of whom are white-collar professionals, successful business people, or corporate entities, potentially face millions of dollars in fines and decades behind bars. In many cases, we have helped them avoid charges entirely..

If you are at risk for federal criminal prosecution, you need a highly-skilled, and aggressive defense team on your side. Let us fight to protect you at every turn.

A Decisive and Proven Federal Defense Team for All Stages of Criminal Cases in Orange County

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We are willing and able to become involved in a client’s case at any stage of the process. As a general rule, the sooner we intervene, the better. That’s why we encourage you to contact our seasoned Orange County criminal lawyer as soon as you learn of a federal investigation, suspicion, or criminal charge.

1. Investigation

A criminal case may begin with an indictment or the filing of charges, but there’s usually an investigation long before that. It’s during the investigation that we have our best time to defend you. Depending upon the nature of the alleged offense, these investigations might involve the:

  • Department of Justice (DOJ),
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS),
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG), and any number of other federal agencies.

If your investigation is currently civil, meaning it has not yet entered the criminal justice system, you want to keep it that way. This limits the penalties on the table, and most importantly, federal imprisonment. However, if your investigation is already at the criminal stage, or if it has the potential to become a criminal matter, you must tailor your defense strategy accordingly.

While we can begin later if possible, we typically begin assisting our clients during the investigative process. Our Orange County federal criminal defense attorneys are proud to say that the vast majority of these clients never ended up having to face civil or criminal charges.

2. Grand Jury

A grand jury is not quite like an ordinary criminal trial jury. For one thing, the grand jury’s purpose is different. Grand juries convene to offer an opinion to federal prosecutors. Does the government have enough evidence (“probable cause”) to justify bringing charges against a defendant? If so, the grand jury will issue an indictment. Prosecutors will then usually proceed with formal criminal charges.

Grand juries sometimes convene in secret. In other cases, you might be called to testify or offer evidence as a potential defendant or as a witness in another case. If you receive a grand jury subpoena, you need an attorney to evaluate the subpoena to determine what you must do to comply. An attorney can also tell if you have any grounds to challenge the subpoena in whole or in part.

It’s critical to have an experienced Orange County criminal attorney when submitting documents or providing testimony to a grand jury. You do not want, nor have to provide any self-incriminating documents or any information subject to attorney-client privilege. You must make sure you are as prepared as possible to present yourself effectively in front of the grand jury. These proceedings are serious. Handling them correctly can make an enormous difference in the series of events to follow.

3. Pretrial

If you have been charged with a federal crime in Orange County, your defense attorneys’ efforts will quickly turn to two things:

(1) Complying with the court’s pretrial schedule and preparing challenges to the prosecution’s evidence and motions at every turn; and

(2) Aggressively seeking options to resolve your case before the trial.

Pretrial is a significant part of federal criminal litigation. It’s the stage at which most charges are resolved by plea bargains or by convincing the U.S. Attorney’s Office to drop charges entirely. Some law firms focus on trial preparation upon receipt of an indictment. We, however, understand that there are many chances to secure leverage and negotiate favorable outcomes during the pretrial process. Our skilled Orange County federal defense attorneys never take going to trial for granted.

4. Trial

If going to trial is your best option, your defense strategy must focus on preventing the prosecution from meeting its burden of proof. This can be done in a number of ways:

  • Seeking to have evidence ruled inadmissible (that is, “suppressed”) at trial
  • Cross-examining the government’s expert witnesses
  • Challenging the government’s fact patterns
  • Challenging the veracity of the government’s evidence or the sufficiency of its overall case (e.g., has it failed to address a key element of the charge or charges against you?)
  • Presenting affirmative defenses that insulate you from criminal culpability

5. Sentencing

If you are found guilty on any charge at trial, your case will proceed to a sentencing hearing. A guilty verdict might seem like the end of the world. You want to avoid it at all costs, and in the overwhelming majority of our cases, we have. Even after a guilty judgment, there is opportunity to argue for minimal or substantially reduced sentencing. Working with an experienced criminal defense team in Orange County will give you the best chance to protect yourself from excessive or unduly harsh sentencing.

6. Appeal

Finally, regardless of your sentence, if you were found guilty in federal criminal court, you have the right to file an appeal. However, grounds for an appeal are limited. It is important that your trial counsel always has an eye toward appeal, makes sure to preserve all potential appellate arguments prior to your verdict being rendered. This is a crucial part of criminal litigation strategy at the federal level, and it is an area where experience really counts. In addition to representing individual and corporate defendants at trial, our experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyers maintain an active appellate practice that involves representing, not only our own clients but also clients who were represented by others during their trial.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden



Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney


Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Learn More About Your Case

The federal criminal justice system is extraordinarily complex. Certainly, you are not expected to understand the whole system or know its every facet. But learning some of the basic facts and legal principles will help you make informed decisions throughout your case. For more information about defending against federal criminal charges in Orange County in Southern California, we encourage you to read these resources from our website here at Oberheiden, P.C.:

  • What Are the Conditions for Pretrial Release? – Find out what you need to know if you have been detained pending trial.
  • Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Defense – Learn about effective and important considerations for responding to a grand jury subpoena.
  • What Are My Options After Being Federally Indicted? – You have been indicted. What now? Find out what to expect during the remainder of your federal case in this helpful guide, written by an experienced federal defense lawyer from Oberheiden, P.C.
  • What Is the Burden of Proof in Federal Criminal Cases? – What does it mean to prove someone’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”? Thoughts on how the jury will determine your guilt if your case goes to verdict in federal district court, from the federal defense lawyers of Oberheiden, P.C.
  • How to Prepare for a Criminal Trial – What can you do to help make sure the U.S. Attorney’s Office cannot meet its burden of proof? Read about steps to take and mistakes to avoid.
  • How Can I Prepare for My Sentencing Hearing? – Not only is your sentence determined separately from your guilt or innocence, but it is actually determined in a separate legal proceeding. Learn about four ways you can help protect yourself while you await your sentencing hearing, shared by the federal defense attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C.

Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers

FAQs: Facing a Federal Investigation or Federal Criminal Charges in Orange County

Q: What should I do if I have received a subpoena or target letter?

A: If you have received a subpoena or target letter from a federal agency, such as the DOJ, DEA, FBI, IRS, or OIG, you should consider yourself the subject of an active federal investigation. You need to be extremely careful about your next steps. Criminal investigations can expand in scope rapidly, so you should contact the best criminal defense attorney in Orange County to discuss your rights and obligations, right away.

Q: If I have been indicted, do I have any chance of avoiding a criminal conviction at trial?

A: Yes, absolutely. We have been able to get charges dropped for many of our clients, even after a grand jury indictment. We have also obtained acquittals during trial on behalf of many clients. Even if there is no way to avoid some form of sentencing, there is still a meaningful opportunity to negotiate a plea deal that could significantly minimize the consequences of your indictment.

Q: How do I know if my investigation or charges are civil or criminal in nature?

A: In many cases, it is surprisingly difficult to tell whether an investigation or federal charge is civil or criminal in nature. Our Orange County federal defense lawyers can use their extensive experience and insights to determine what is at stake in your case. In many instances, we even get in direct contact with the investigating agencies and/or U.S. District Attorney’s Office / Department of Justice to get the information we need.

Q: Do you provide criminal representation during an investigation in Orange County, California, even if there are no charges yet?

A: Yes. Our criminal defense attorneys are available to travel throughout Orange County, CA, to represent our clients whenever and wherever needed.

Q: What can I expect during a free case assessment?

A: You will be scheduling a complete, one-on-one consultation with an experienced federal defense attorney. Your attorney will help you understand what is needed to avoid critical mistakes. Then as a team, you and your attorney will develop a strategic action plan for moving forward.

Contact a Proven Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden, P.C.

Many federal crimes can lead to imprisonment, a criminal record, and crippling fines. Do you need a federal criminal defense lawyer in Orange County? We encourage you to contact us to schedule your free case assessment. To discuss your case in confidence, call our Orange County federal defense lawyers at 888-680-1745 or send us your contact information online now.

Additional Pages for Orange County, California

All website terms, conditions, and disclaimers apply to this information and are hereby fully incorporated. Specifically, this information has been prepared (1) for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice; (2) This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions; (3) Merely reading this information does not create an attorney-client relationship; (4) Attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C., are not licensed in all states but are only licensed to practice in the states mentioned in their respective biographies. Nothing contained in here is meant to constitute the unauthorized practice of law or a suggestion of physical presence in the state; (5) Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes in the future.
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