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San Francisco Criminal Defense

If you are facing federal criminal charges in San Francisco, you are facing the potential for substantial fines and imprisonment. Don’t go down without a fight. Call our proven and trusted San Francisco criminal defense lawyers at (888) 519-4897 to put centuries of combined federal experience on your side.

The criminal justice process presents extreme risks for business owners and executives, licensed professionals, public officials, and other high-profile and high-net-worth individuals. In addition to the obvious consequences of a conviction, simply being charged can lead to personal, professional, and reputational harm.

At Oberheiden, P.C., we provide strategic and aggressive defense representation for clients facing serious federal charges in San Francisco, CA. We approach every case with the goal of securing a favorable outcome as quickly and discreetly as possible. In doing so, we rely on our attorneys’ centuries of combined experience in high-stakes federal matters.

Unlike other firms, we focus exclusively on federal practice. Also unlike other firms, we do not ask our clients to entrust their futures to junior associates or paralegals. At Oberheiden, P.C., all aspects of every case are handled by our team of senior attorneys. It is this approach that ensures all clients receive the very best defense representation we can offer.

If you are facing a federal investigation or federal charges in San Francisco, you need to work with a law firm that can turn the tables in your favor. The U.S. Attorney’s Office pursues convictions with endless resources. If you are being targeted for a top law enforcement priority such as opioid fraud, health care fraud, or public corruption, they will prosecute your case through trial. But, regardless of the circumstances involved, you have defenses available. And our San Francisco criminal defense lawyers can assert these defenses effectively on your behalf.

Strategic Defense Representation for Federal Criminal Matters in San Francisco, CA

Our federal criminal defense practice consists of representing clients in all stages of the criminal justice process – from investigations and grand jury proceedings through indictments and appeals. We represent individuals facing a broad range of white-collar and drug-related charges, and we handle investigations involving all federal agencies and cases pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

1. Investigation

Most federal investigations targeting white-collar and drug-related offenses involve the Department of Justice (DOJ), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and/or Office of Inspector General (OIG). Each of these agencies has its own mandates and priorities, and each takes its own unique approach to gathering the evidence necessary to support criminal charges.

If you are currently under investigation in San Francisco, our highly skilled San Francisco criminal defense lawyers will focus your defense strategy on avoiding criminal charges. In a typical case, this involves:

  • Promptly intervening in the DOJ, DEA, FBI, IRS, or OIG investigation;
  • Collecting the information necessary to identify the source and nature of the investigation;
  • Determining the specific allegations against you and the charges that are being pursued;
  • Challenging the government’s tactics and identifying holes in the government’s case; and
  • Asserting a litany of defenses in order to convince the U.S. Attorney’s Office that prosecution is unwarranted.

2. Grand Jury

If an investigation results in the government obtaining enough evidence to support criminal charges, Assistant United States Attorneys overseeing the investigation will seek an indictment in federal district court. The grand jury process is highly unique, and fending off an indictment requires a comprehensive understanding of the process as well as a strategic approach to responding to your grand jury subpoena and presenting your testimony in court.

Upon being served with a grand jury subpoena, it is critical to seek legal representation immediately. From determining whether you have grounds to challenge the subpoena to preparing to testify, there are several steps you need to begin taking right away. Our San Francisco criminal defense lawyers have handled more than 1,000 grand jury subpoenas, and we can use this experience to your advantage.

3. Pretrial

If the grand jury determines that federal prosecutors have “probable cause” to pursue criminal charges, you will be indicted and your case will be set for trial. At this stage, our attorneys will undertake a number of steps designed to simultaneously achieve two different purposes: (i) to secure the leverage necessary to negotiate a favorable plea deal or dismissal; and (ii) to position your case for trial if a favorable deal is not on the table. These steps include:

  • Using the discovery process strategically to expose your strengths and the prosecution’s weaknesses;
  • Filing motions to suppress incriminating evidence that is legally inadmissible;
  • Seeking to reduce the number of charges and counts that the U.S. Attorney’s Office can pursue at trial; and
  • Using our experience to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate opportunities for favorable pretrial resolution.

4. Trial

Once the stage is set and once it has become clear that your best (or only) option is to fight for your freedom in court, then we will focus 100% of efforts on securing a “not guilty” verdict at trial. During your trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, we will utilize a variety of aggressive courtroom strategies in order to challenge the government’s evidence, discredit the government’s witnesses, and assert constitutional and affirmative defenses designed to prevent the U.S. Attorney’s Office from meeting its burden of proof.

5. Sentencing

In federal district court, sentencing is a separate proceeding from the trial on the merits. Following a conviction, there are a number of steps that need to be taken in order to minimize the risk of a life-altering sentence. We have significant experience representing clients at the sentencing stage of federal litigation, including negotiating plea deals that keep our clients out of prison.

6. Appeal

Following trial, you will need to engage legal counsel to quickly assess your options for filing an appeal. Our federal criminal defense practice includes representing clients on appeal, and we represent both new and existing clients before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If necessary, we can also seek to challenge your conviction in the United States Supreme Court.

Learn More about Your Case

Understanding your rights and options during a federal criminal case is not easy. During your free initial case assessment, our San Francisco criminal defense attorneys will explain what you need to know in order to begin making informed decisions about your defense. To learn more about your case, we also encourage you to read:

  • What Are Conditions for Pretrial Release? – If you are detained pending trial, our attorneys can utilize a variety of strategies to help you secure a pretrial release. Learn more about what you need to know.
  • Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Defense – If you have been served with a grand jury subpoena, knowing how to respond effectively can mean the difference between resuming your normal life and facing a criminal indictment.
  • What Are My Options after Being Federally Indicted? – Following an indictment, everything you say and do has the potential to impact the outcome of your criminal case. Learn what you need to know in order to protect yourself during the pretrial process.
  • What Is the Burden of Proof in Federal Criminal Cases? – In order to obtain a conviction, the U.S. Attorney’s Office must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Find out what this means and what our attorneys can do to prevent the government from meeting the burden of proof.
  • How to Prepare for a Criminal Trial – If your case is on a path toward trial, you need to make sure you will be fully prepared for your first day in court. Here are some tips to follow and mistakes to avoid.
  • How Can I Prepare for My Sentencing Hearing? – Learn about some of the specific strategies we use to protect our clients during sentencing.

FAQs: Defending against Criminal Charges in San Francisco, CA

Q: Why am I being prosecuted in federal court?

Federal authorities prosecute individuals who are accused of serious criminal offenses. While many of these offenses constitute crimes under state and federal law, if your case involves a top federal law enforcement priority or activities or transactions that span across state borders, the U.S. Attorney’s Office may decide to prosecute your case federally.

Q: Are state and federal criminal cases different?

Yes. Defending yourself in state court and defending yourself in federal court are two very different propositions. If you are under investigation by federal authorities or facing criminal charges under federal law, it will be imperative for you to hire a defense team with extensive federal experience.

Q: Does your firm handle cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California?

Yes. We focus exclusively on representing clients in federal matters. And with multiple office locations in California, we handle cases in all federal district courts statewide.


Speak with our San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C.

To discuss your case in confidence, contact us now to schedule a confidential case assessment with an attorney on our federal defense team. From San Francisco, call (888) 519-4897 or send us a message online. If we are not available immediately, our dedicated San Francisco criminal defense lawyers will respond as soon as possible.

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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