San Francisco California Criminal Trial/Litigation
Highly Skilled San Francisco Criminal Trial/Litigation Attorneys
Our federal litigation team represents clients facing criminal charges in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. If you have been indicted, call our San Francisco criminal trial/litigation attorneys at (214) 692-2171 now for a free and confidential case assessment.
If you are facing federal prosecution or under threat of prosecution due to an investigation or arrest, acting now is the best way to protect yourself against life-altering penalties. Most federal crimes carry the potential for substantial fines and prison time. And if federal prosecutors are convinced that they have a case, they will pursue your case through conviction and sentencing.
For individuals facing criminal prosecution in San Francisco, avoiding unjust consequences involves litigation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Taking on federal prosecutors is not easy. But if you do not do everything possible to protect yourself, you will not stand a chance when it comes to avoiding a “guilty” verdict in court. At Oberheiden, P.C., our San Francisco criminal trial/litigation attorneys have centuries of combined experience in federal criminal litigation, and we can use this experience to help you assert your rights and fight for your freedom in court.
Our federal litigation practice involves representing clients facing a broad range of criminal charges. As former federal prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), many of our attorneys have extensive experience on both sides of cases involving:
- Bank fraud, mortgage fraud, and insurance fraud
- Federal drug crimes
- Health care fraud (including Medicare and Medicaid fraud)
- Tax evasion and other tax crimes
- Securities fraud
- Public corruption and bribery
- Conspiracy and attempt
- Other white-collar federal offenses
In order to give yourself the best chance to avoid conviction, we cannot stress enough the importance of engaging defense counsel as soon as possible. Developing and executing a defense that can overcome Assistant United States Attorneys’ prosecution tactics is a strategic process, and it takes time to gather the information necessary to build a comprehensive and trial-ready defense.
How We Use the Federal Criminal Justice Process to Our Clients’ Advantage
1. Grand Jury Proceedings
If you have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in Northern California, knowing how to respond to the subpoena is critical not only to reducing your risk of indictment, but also to avoiding the potential for additional charges due to an improper response. To be absolutely clear, a federal grand jury subpoena is not something you can simply ignore. You must respond, and you must be thoroughly prepared to present your testimony in front of the grand jury.
Many people are surprised to learn that you are not entitled to legal representation during your grand jury testimony. But, you are entitled to legal representation up until the point that you walk through the courtroom door, and you are entitled to request time to leave the courtroom and speak with your attorney about your defense. Our San Francisco criminal trial/litigation attorneys have extensive experience in federal grand jury proceedings, and we can help you do everything possible to avoid a finding of probable cause.
2. Post-Indictment Investigation
If avoiding a grand jury indictment is no longer an option, then your next step is to learn as much about the government’s case as possible. Even at this stage, it is still possible to know surprisingly little about why you are being targeted and what your risk is of facing a conviction in federal district court. When we represent clients post-indictment, our immediate priorities include ensuring that we have a clear and comprehensive understanding of:
- Why our client was singled out for prosecution;
- Whether anyone else is being prosecuted for the same alleged event or set of circumstances;
- The specific factual allegations underlying our client’s charges;
- Which federal agency (or agencies) conducted the initial investigation; and
- Whether any mistakes were made or any violations occurred that could provide our client with a constitutional defense.
3. Pretrial Strategizing
At this stage, we will also begin the process of developing a case strategy designed to achieve a favorable outcome in light of the facts and circumstances at hand. This could mean seeking a favorable plea deal, or it could mean seeking to have your charges dismissed prior to trial. While some people believe that the next step after an indictment is to await their court date, we know from experience that there are numerous potential opportunities to resolve a federal criminal case without going in front of a petit jury in federal court.
4. Pretrial Litigation Practice
In order to pursue a favorable resolution prior to trial, our attorneys utilize a number of litigation techniques that are unique to the pretrial process. From seeking to have the government’s evidence deemed inadmissible to arguing for certain charges to be reduced or dismissed, pretrial litigation offers a number of opportunities to set yourself up for a favorable result.
5. Negotiating with Prosecutors
Concurrently and in tandem with engaging in pretrial litigation practice (including dealing with discovery, filing motions, responding to the government’s motions, and appearing at hearings in court), we also engage in strategic negotiations with prosecutors with the goal of achieving a positive result prior to trial. Federal criminal cases can (and do) settle at any stage of the process. And while, in some cases, it may be in the defendants’ best interests to try to negotiate a plea deal fairly quickly, intermediate results obtained during the pretrial process can provide additional leverage for settlement negotiations.
6. Trial and Sentencing
When Assistant United States Attorneys have mandates to prosecute certain types of crimes and when they are convinced that they can obtain a high-profile conviction, negotiating a plea simply may not be an option. If your best (or only) choice is to go to trial, we will use the information and leverage gained during the pretrial process to fight vigorously for an acquittal of all charges. If and to the extent you are found guilty, our proven San Francisco criminal trial/litigation attorneys will argue for minimal punishment at the sentencing stage of the trial process.
Also, remember that even if you are convicted and sentenced at trial, you may still be able to have your conviction overturned through the appeals process. While engaging in appellate litigation should generally be viewed as a means of last resort, if a conviction appears likely, your trial counsel will need to “preserve” certain issues in court so that you can challenge them on appeal.
Defense Strategies in Federal Criminal Litigation
When facing criminal charges in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, you need to effectively assert a comprehensive and cohesive defense strategy. This is where our federal criminal litigation team excels. Depending on the circumstances and events leading up to, during, and after your arrest, some of the strategies we may be able to utilize on your behalf include:
- Suppressing the Government’s Evidence – There are a number of different reasons why incriminating evidence in the government’s possession may be inadmissible in your criminal trial. During both pretrial and trial litigation, our attorneys can file motions with the court to have irrelevant and improperly obtained evidence kept out of your case.
- Challenging the Government’s Case – Even to the extent that the government has admissible and probative evidence to use against you, you can still challenge the government’s case on a variety of different levels. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has the burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; if it cannot meet this burden, you deserve to be acquitted of the charges against you. From challenging the credibility of the government’s witnesses to poking holes in individual elements of the crimes of which you are being accused, our San Francisco criminal trial/litigation attorneys will use all available methods to prevent the government from meeting its burden of proof.
- Asserting Affirmative Defenses – Depending upon the crime (or crimes) with which you have been charged, we may be able to assert certain affirmative defenses on your behalf as well. An affirmative defense is one which relies not on disputing the fact that you engaged in certain conduct, but instead on arguing that your conduct does not warrant criminal prosecution under the specific circumstances involved.
- Asserting Your Constitutional Rights – In many cases, a key defense strategy will involve asserting one or more of your constitutional rights. For example, if federal agents raided your home or business without probable cause, any evidence obtained during the raid may be inadmissible in your trial. Likewise, if you were interrogated in federal custody without being read your rights, your statements could be inadmissible under the constitutional protection against self-incrimination. Various other constitutional violations can provide partial and complete defenses in federal district court as well.
Learn More about our Firm’s San Francisco Federal Criminal Trial / Litigation Lawyers:
Discuss Your Federal Criminal Case in Confidence
For more information about how our federal litigation attorneys can help you fight your criminal charges in San Francisco, please contact us to schedule a confidential case assessment. To speak with our San Francisco criminal trial/litigation lawyers for free, call (214) 692-2171or get in touch online now.