Criminal Law

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer."

- Sir William Blackstone

Criminal Defense Attorney in San Francisco

Marsanne Weese has over 10 years of experience in handling matters of the justice system, and is highly skilled at helping clients to maintain their freedom. If you have been charged with an offense, then protecting your future, reputation, and your freedom are our first priority.

We can give you legal assistance with any criminal matters, including but not limited to:

If you have been charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence), then you’ll need a defense attorney as soon as possible. We can help you deal with DUI charges by standing at your side every step of the way, and by representing you in court. 

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When you come to us wanting an appeal, we go through all the possible ways to get you off the hook.

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If you have been accused of a violent crime, contact us for a free consultation, and we will do everything in our power to protect you against the prosecution.

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Because of the massive number of variables and conditions involved in a drug case, it is imperative that you seek the counsel of a professional who knows the nuances of the law.

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Vandalism, burglary, graffiti, or trespassing will get you charged with a property-related crime. This will stick on your record unless you file for an expungement.

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Because of the complex nature of theft charges, it is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you can, in order to begin building a solid defense.

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If you have been charged with, or merely accused of, any kind of sex crime, then you NEED AN ATTORNEY.  Why is this so important?  Sex crimes are the exception to “innocent until proven guilty”.

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Whether you have already been arrested or are about to be, you need to get a criminal defense lawyer in your service as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will be treated as a common criminal, with no protection against the state.  On occasion, a judge will arrive at the incorrect conclusion, or a jury will be presented with evidence which has been spun in order to be misleading, resulting in a wrongful conviction.  A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can prevent all of that.

Need assistance with your case?  We would be happy to help!

After an Arrest

After an arrest, the first court appearance is an arraignment. During the arraignment the defendant is usually given a copy of the complaint which states the charges. After the defendant is notified of the charges against him or her, then the defendant will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere. During the arraignment, the defendant is given the initial discovery.

The next court date after the arraignment is generally called a pre-trial conference. Different counties have different names for a pre-trial conference, such as cop/set, set/dispo, etc. A pre-trial conference generally consists of negotiations between the prosecutor and your attorney. However, the pre-trial conference can also consist of various pre-trial motions.

After the pre-trial conference and all of the discovery has been provided to the defendant then the defendant has the option to plea guilty/nolo contendere or requesting a trial.

Legal Definitions

An arraignment is the initial step in the criminal process where the defendant is informed of the charges against him or her and a plea is entered.

Nolo contendere is latin for no contest. A no contest plea is the same as a guilty plea in a criminal case. However, it is common for defendants to plea no contest in criminal cases because they are not admitting guilt for civil liabilty purposes.

A complaint is the document that lists the charges or accusations made by the prosecuting agency against the defendant. The purpose of the complaint is to give the defendant sufficient notice of the accusations brought by the state. Therefore, the complaint should contain the code section of each accusation, words that explain the code section, and whether the code section is an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony.

Discovery is evidence that each party discloses to the other party. In criminal cases the prosecution is required to give the defendant evidence that the prosecution intends to use at trial and any evidence that tends to clear, justify or excuse a defendant from the charges alleged on the complaint. The evidence can consist of police reports, defendant’s criminal record, photographs, video tapes, witness statements, blood test results, etc.

A motion is an application to the court requesting the court to rule in your favor. For example, in a DUI case, a defendant can file a motion requesting the court to suppress the evidence in his or her case based on the police officer making an illegal stop of the defendant’s car.

A trial is where the prosecutor presents evidence to try and prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges alleged on the complaint or information. In a criminal case, the defendant has the option of a bench trial or jury trial. A bench trial is where the evidence is presented to a judge and the judge determines if the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charges alleged on the complaint. A jury trial is where the evidence is presented to twelve citizens. All twelve citizens have to find the defendant guilty or not guilty of the alleged charges.

Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This website is for general information only. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us regarding legal representation.