FAQ Here to Defend You, Not Judge You

Our Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:What should I be looking for in a criminal defense attorney?

    A:First and foremost, you should be looking for someone that you feel comfortable with and that you believe understands your case and its unique circumstances. At our office, we pride ourselves on keeping our clients updated on every step of the criminal justice process from the moment we are retained. While we can never guarantee how a case is going to end, we do work hard to make sure that our clients understand the criminal justice process, what to expect in Court, any and all potential ramifications of their charges, and any plea deals that the District Attorney may offer. Finally, when choosing an attorney, it is important to find someone who understands the idiosyncrasies of the county that you have been charged in. While the laws are standard throughout the state, each county’s judicial branch does things a little differently: from how they disseminate discovery to how the Judges rule when sentencing. Having worked as a prosecutor for over 10 years, Charles has worked side by side with a large number of this county’s District Attorneys, investigators, and judges, and knows how they work and think.

  • Q:The other person involved said they wouldn’t press charges. What do I do?

    A:This is a common misconception about the way the criminal justice system works. Unfortunately, it is not up to the “victim” to determine whether or not charges are filed -- that is solely up to the District Attorney assigned to the case. Once the police have been involved in a dispute, they are required to write a report and forward it to the DA. This being said, just because the DA has decided to press charges, does not mean that the “victim” has to cooperate with either them or the police. If this is your situation, there are ways to mitigate the charges and we are more than happy to discuss this with you.

  • Q:If I didn’t do anything wrong, should I talk to the police?


  • Q:My arraignment is coming up in a couple days – can’t I just go there and talk to the District Attorney and try to take care of this myself?

    A:You certainly could, though neither our office nor any other criminal defense firm would suggest you do this. There are several reasons for this. First, despite what one sees on TV or in the movies, an arraignment is not a major hearing in regards to your case. It is, in fact, a remarkably quick process once it is your turn to be called. To oversimplify the process: the District Attorney will say that they are charging you and what they are charging you with, the defendant (or his/her attorney) will plead not guilty and either “waive time” or “not waive time,” the case will be set for another Court hearing, and the DA may hand over initial discovery. If that doesn’t make sense to you, or you don’t understand what “time waived”/“time not waived”/discovery means, that’s understandable, but that’s also why you need an attorney. As far as speaking to the District Attorney yourself, again you could but it isn’t recommended. There is a DA assigned to do arraignments for the day and the likelihood of that person actually being assigned to prosecute your case is extremely slim. Furthermore, any information that you share with them can be used against you in the course of your prosecution. The District Attorney’s job is to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, and they are not there to help you or to mitigate the charges against you, though they may appreciate you making their job easier. It is far better to have an attorney present who has your best interests at heart, has a deep seeded and implicit understanding of the law, and who will make sure that your rights are being respected than it is to attempt to do it yourself.

  • Q:If I decide to retain you, what is the best way to get a hold of you?

    A:The best way to contact us is via phone at 650-401-3661; if we are unavailable to take your call, we have an answering service who will text us your message as soon as you are off the phone. We are open Monday through Thursdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As we work from our home, with Charles commuting for meetings and Court and DMV hearings, we are unable to accommodate drop in appointments. We ask that you please contact us to schedule an appointment. After working full time for over 30 years, Charles is now in semi-retirement. This does not mean that we work any less on your case, it just means that we now take less cases in order to accommodate working part time.

  • Q:I am active/former military/law enforcement. Do you provide a discount?

    A:As Charles is a former police officer and grew up a Marine brat, and Mary’s brother is an active duty First Sergeant in the U.S. Army and has close family members who currently work in law enforcement, we do provide a discount to active or former military members and law enforcement officers. In order to give you a discount, we require proof of either current employment or proof of an honorable/medical discharge. We are happy to discuss that discount with you during your consultation.

  • Q:Are you LGBTQ-friendly?

    A:We are LGBTQ friendly, drag friendly, kink friendly, poly friendly, non-monogamous/monogamish friendly, you name it friendly. We are not here to judge our clients for who they are, how they live, or how they spend their spare time -- we are here to help them navigate the criminal justice system, that simple. Over the years we have had more than one client whose lifestyle (poly, kink, etc.) has resulted in Child Protective Services being contacted, and have successfully represented them at CPS hearings.

  • Q:Are you really a family-run business?

    A:We sure are! Charles’ wife Mary is our office manager, and Ahna is their daughter.

  • Q:Are your pets really from the pound?

    A:If this question seems out of place, then you have not read the review a client left on our Yelp page where he stated he saw us at the Peninsula Humane Society looking for a dog to adopt. This is by far the most referenced review we have received and an overwhelming number of potential clients ask about it when they call, so we thought we’d answer it here. We are strong supporters of the Adopt Don’t Shop movement and supporting local animal rescues is one of the causes that is very near and dear to our hearts. Our three dogs and three cats were adopted from rescue groups and Humane Societies in Tuolumne County. Our livestock is almost entirely comprised of rescue animals and those that we took in before they headed to livestock auctions.

  • Q:Without further ado, here’s a list of our beloved pets in the order they were adopted:

    A:1. Sadie, cat, DSH, Peninsula Humane Society 

What Makes Us Better

6 Qualities that Benefit Your Case
  • Over 30 Years of Experience
  • Thousands of People Helped
  • More Than 125 Jury Trials Handled
  • A Passion for Making a Difference in People's Lives
  • Former Deputy District Attorney & Former Police Inspector
I Look Forward to Representing You

With 125 jury trials handled, we're not afraid to aggressively fight for our clients in or out of the courtroom. 

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