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Facing a criminal charge can be one of the most confusing and scary moments of your life. The uncertainty that accompanies allegations of a crime almost always leads to anxiety and unrest. However, the best way to calm your nerves and get a strategic outcome in your case is to hire a dedicated Bay Area criminal defense lawyer. A skilled defense attorney could provide you with an idea of the penalties you will face, develop a defense strategy on your behalf, and work to get you the best outcome available.

At The Nieves Law Firm, our team understands the impacts of a criminal conviction and we work tirelessly to help our clients resolve their case in a way that allows them to go on to lead a joyful and fulfilling life. We work with you to ensure our defense strategy accounts for your goals and plans for the future. If you have been charged with a crime in the Bay Area, we can help. Contact The Nieves Law Firm today to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with a member of our team. En Español

Understanding Where Your Criminal Case is At

To understand the legal representation you need for your case, you first need to understand where you are at in the legal process. Typically, there are three different stages of the criminal process an individual may be in. You can be in the precharging stage, the stage where you are officially charged with a crime (most common stage), or the post-conviction stage. At The Nieves Law Firm, we help people at all three stages of the criminal process.


This is the stage in the criminal defense process where charges have yet to be filed but you have some idea that criminal charges may be filed against you in the future. While sometimes you may not know that you are in this stage, it is important that you understand how a defense attorney could help mitigate the damage and potentially help you avoid having charges filed against you altogether.

Criminal Charges Filed

The next stage in the process is when charges are officially filed against you. At this stage, you will know exactly what the prosecutors are charging you with based on a complaint that has been filed with the court. It is important that you reach out to a criminal defense attorney at this stage in the process. An attorney could assess your charges, determine the potential penalties you are facing, and begin making a defense strategy for your case. A Bay Area lawyer may also have an idea of plea bargains you may be able to secure in your criminal case.


This is the final stage of representation that we offer and occurs after your case comes to a close. At this point in the process, the goal of an attorney would be to help you mitigate the damage done by a prior conviction. For example, a previous criminal charge could have immigration consequences or a negative impact on your job prospects and future. An attorney could help you file a Motion to Vacate or apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation to minimize the effect of the conviction, allowing you to remain a legal US resident or open up opportunities for employment and other personal or professional endeavors. Our successes in post-conviction relief cases are well-documented. In fact, some of our prior post-conviction legal work has been published in legal opinions from judges.

How Crimes are Categorized

In California’s legal justice system, there are three categories of crimes that you can be charged with:

  • Infractions: The least severe offense, infractions are punishable by only a fine. A common example of a crime that can be an infraction is disorderly conduct.
  • Misdemeanors: Although less severe offenses than felonies, misdemeanors still have negative consequences that can impact you. Misdemeanors in California are punishable by up to one year in county jail, a fine, and may also lead to probation.
  • Felonies: More severe than a misdemeanor, felonies are the most serious level of a criminal offense in California. Individuals convicted of a felony may face lengthy prison sentences, lose many rights like the right to possess a firearm, have difficulty finding housing, and have trouble getting a job.

While crimes are often categorized as either a misdemeanor or felony, some crimes can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the case. These are known as “Wobbler” offenses, meaning they can “wobble” up to a felony or “wobble” down to a misdemeanor. Prosecutors have the ability to determine whether or not they want to charge an offense as a felony or misdemeanor.

It is important to note that there are also levels of severity of felony offenses. Some felonies are strike offenses – either serious felonies or serious violent felonies.  Being convicted of a strike offense can create greater risk for lengthier prison sentences and harsher consequences.

Most Common Types of Crimes in the Bay Area

Some of the most common crimes we see at The Nieves Law Firm are:

If you are facing any of the charges listed above or were charged with another offense not listed, contact a criminal defense lawyer on our team to schedule a free consultation in the Bay Area.

Contact a Bay Area Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal charges can be overwhelming, confusing, and devastating. We understand that if you are currently under investigation for a crime or if you have been formally charged, you may be in the most important battle of your life. We’re here to help.

At The Nieves Law Firm, we take the “criminal” out of criminal defense. Our Bay Area criminal defense lawyers have experience defending individuals facing a wide range of criminal charges. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

Our Team

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Meet Our Team

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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