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.

If you need 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. Individuals accused of DUI could face penalties, such as these:

  • Heavy fines
  • County Jail/Prison
  • Suspension of Driver’s license
  • Increased car insurance payments

Depending on the specifics of your case, we may be able to help reduce or drop the charges by challenging the presented evidence against you. We may even be able to prove that you were unlawfully pulled over by police, which could result in a case dismissal.

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Since violent crimes endanger the lives of others, they are prosecuted more harshly than other criminal offenses. When you are accused of a violent crime, do not incriminate yourself by talking with anyone other than a criminal defense attorney. Once you have been advised by an attorney, you may choose to issue statements to police or other parties involved. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you, so it is imperative to obtain legal counsel first. Since you will be under a great amount of stress, you may say something which can easily be taken out of context, or misinterpreted, and then made to look like you were making an admission of guilt.

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.

Possession, possession with the intent to deal, manufacturing, possession of paraphernalia, delivery, dealing, trafficking… these are all heavily prosecuted drug crimes by the state of California. Depending on the amount of the illegal substance you are caught with, what kind of substance it is, and what the officer believes you are doing or plan to do with it, are all factors in determining the punishment. And if you try to burn/flush/consume/toss the drugs, then that can be counted as destruction of evidence, which carries its own punishment.

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.

Vandalism, burglary, graffiti, or trespassing will get you charged with a property-related crime. With the exception of burglary, or anything involving a weapon, most property crimes are classified as misdemeanors. However, this will stick on your record unless you file for an expungement, which will require a working knowledge of the law surrounding the crime. Thus, it is best to obtain an attorney from the start, in order to attempt to get the charges dropped or reduced.

Theft charges can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of property stolen, where/who it was stolen from, and if there was a weapon or some form of intimidation involved in the act. Whether you will face jail or prison will be determined by the conditions of the incident, any prior criminal record you may have, and who/where you stole from.

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.

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”.  The court of public opinion will judge you and find you guilty long before any evidence is presented.  All it takes is 1 person with a vendetta to ruin your life.  This will likely cost you your job, your friends, and relationships.  It is not uncommon for accusations to be made out of anger, guilt, shame, or monetary desire.  And your reputation will be dragged through the mud in the process of clearing your name.

Accusations of rape, molestation, ‘sexting’, solicitation of minors, prostitution, paying for prostitution, indecent exposure, child pornography, and lewd conduct are all examples of sex crimes you can get charged with.  Any one of these, particularly when involving a weapon and/or a child, has the ability to destroy your life.  And sadly, people get falsely accused of these all the time. Or, the situation gets blown out of proportion, and the defendant gets a far harsher punishment than what would have been appropriate for what actually happened.

If you are facing any kind of sex crime, get an attorney who has a solid track record, is experienced, and will treat you like a person, not a statistic.

then we can help to protect you in the courtroom.

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.

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