Criminal Defense

Criminal Cases We Handle in Los Angeles

75+ Years Of Experience Seeking Justice for the Accused

With more than 75 years of combined criminal law experience, our team knows the criminal justice system is tough. Our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, courtroom and negotiation skills to handle all California misdemeanors and felony matters.

We focus exclusively on criminal defense and our main goal is to obtain the best possible results for our clients. If you were arrested or charged with a crime, you could face serious – if not life-changing consequences. We believe everyone should have access to the best possible defense, so contact our Los Angeles office today to see if we are the right team for you.

Free initial in office consultation. Call (213) 481-6811 today!

Our Philosophy

When facing criminal charges, you may be tempted to give up and simply plead guilty or accept a plea bargain. Don't plead guilty even if you think you are guilty until you fully understand what that means.

Talk to one of our knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles criminal lawyers from Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners to discuss your legal situation. We are ready to use our decades of legal experience to go to court and aggressively fight your charges. Call our office to see what we can do for your case.

Criminal Defense Strategies: Fighting Back

Entrapment is a defense to a crime when the government unlawfully induces a person to commit a crime. Conduct merely providing a person the opportunity to perpetuate a crime is not entrapment.

Involuntary Acts suggests the defendant did not intend to commit a crime because his / her unlawful behavior was involuntary (e.g. reflex, sleeping, unconsciousness, intoxication).

Mistake of Fact precludes criminal liability for the crime because the defendant made a key mistake and therefore did not have the mental state (mens rea) required for the crime.

Mistake of Law - Ignorance of the law is generally not a defense. In order for Mistake of Law to constitute a good defense, the mistake must be one that negates the specific intent or other mental state that is an element of the crime.

Factual Impossibility asserts the defendant intended to commit a crime but was unsuccessful because of factual impossibility. The defendant may have intended to commit murder, but cannot be guilty if the gun wasn't loaded.

We Can Help You Prepare Your Defense

After an arrest, you probably feel overwhelmed and hopeless. When you contact our firm, a member of our legal team can help you understand your legal rights and options.

Contact us online or call our office at (213) 481-6811 to request your consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.

Fighting Criminal Charges In Los Angeles County & SoCal

Defense for Felony & Misdemeanor Charges

We zealously represent our clients facing both misdemeanors and felonies. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the punishment. A misdemeanor is a less serious crime punishable by up to no more than a year in county jail and substantial fines. Some misdemeanors involve no jail time at all. A felony is considered a serious crime punishable in state prison by sixteen (16) months or more, including life in prison. A felony conviction carries collateral consequences such as: loss of the right to possess a gun; exclusion from jury service; denial of the right to vote; loss of the right to obtain a professional license; and deportation.

Some of our practice areas include:

Drug Crimes 
From simple drug possession to trafficking and sales, drug crimes carry serious penalties. Our firm represents clients across the greater Los Angeles area facing all types of drug-related offenses including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, methamphetamines, crack, and prescription drugs.

DUI, or driving under the influence, is one of the most commonly charged crimes in California. A conviction can result in county jail, license suspension, hefty fines, increased insurance costs and mandatory counseling or treatment, making it important to involve a skilled DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Federal Crimes 
Often involving federal agencies with considerable resources like the FBI, DEA and IRS, federal crimes require a particular level of defense counsel. At Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners, we are skilled and experienced in handling cases in federal court.

Juvenile Crimes 
When a minor under the age of 18 is accused of a crime, he or she may face legal proceedings in the juvenile court system, which operates differently than state and federal courts. Our firm is experienced in protecting the rights of our youth in these matters.

Sex Crimes 
Of all criminal offenses, those of a sexual nature tend to generate considerable media attention and may have lasting personal and professional consequences for the accused, not the least of which includes lifetime sex registration. In cases involving sex crimes our team stands firm in our commitment to protecting our clients' futures.

Theft Crimes 
From shoplifting to grand theft auto to burglary, theft crime charges can have varying impacts on alleged offenders. The best way to approach such allegations is with a strong defense lawyer who can assert one's constitutional rights.

Driving Offenses 
Though sometimes considered minor offenses, driving offenses can have serious consequences. Some driving offenses, like leaving the scene of a fatal accident, are felonies that may leave a defendant facing state prison time. We handle all types of driving offenses for drivers across Los Angeles.

Violent Crimes 
Assault, robbery, manslaughter, murder – violent crimes are some of the most serious offenses a person may be accused of committing. They require the immediate involvement of a competent criminal lawyer who can help a defendant avoid maximum penalties.

White Collar Crimes 
Crimes involving finances and business often fall under the category of white collar crimes. These may be charged on a state or federal level and are often highly technical in nature due to complex financial transactions and the involvement of computers. We are skilled in handling cases of this kind, from embezzlement to wire fraud and everything in between.

You can also find helpful information on our website regarding criminal investigations, appeals, expungements (clearing your criminal record) and more. Our team can provide criminal defense counsel at any stage of a case, even before formal charges have been filed, all the way through post-conviction relief. We serve Los Angeles and the surrounding areas in Southern California with pride and an unparalleled commitment to our clients' rights and interests.


The apprehension of an individual suspected of committing a crime who is transported to a local police station and charged with a crime.

Booking refers to the process of formally documenting the arrest and the gathering of relevant information about the suspect who the police believe he or she committed a crime. Several actions take during the Booking process:

  • Identification -True name, address and date of birth is recorded;
  • Photographs – A mugshot is taken to record the suspect’s appearance at the time of arrest;
  • Fingerprinting – The suspect’s fingerprints are taken;
  • Recording of Charges – The specific charges against the suspect are documented;
  • Property Inventory – The suspect’s personal belongings may be collected and stored as evidence.

If bail is set by the police department, then someone must post bail with a Bail Bondsman or the court directly in order to have the defendant released after the arrest. The police may decide to release the defendant OR (Own Recognizance), meaning you do not have to post bail in order to be released. If the defendant does not post bail or is not released then will be transported to the court 48 hours after the arrest, not counting weekend or holidays.

This is the suspect’s (defendant) first court appearance in court after formally being charged with a crime. This is the point where the defendant learns what the charges are against him or her. The prosecutor will turn over the “Discovery” (police report and other evidence) to the defendant’s lawyer. The defendant or his or her lawyer is asked to enter a plea of “guilty,” “no contest,” or “guilty.” Most cases proceed to the next stage with a “not guilty” plea. It is at this stage that a defendant or the lawyer may argue for reduction of the bail or seek an OR (Own Recognizance) release, without posting bail.

The next step for a defendant charged with a felony is a preliminary hearing. This is a legal proceeding that is conducted to determine if there is enough evidence to hold the defendant for trial. The main purpose of a preliminary hearing is to establish probable cause. Probable cause means that there is enough evidence to reasonably believe that a crime has been committed and the defendant is likely the one who committed it. During the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor presents evidence, such as witness testimony, documents, video footage, and physical evidence to establish probable cause. After reviewing the evidence and considering the arguments on both sides, the judge will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to subject the defendant to trial. If the judge determines there is insufficient evidence, the charges may be dismissed, but the prosecution may have the opportunity to refile the charges later.

In misdemeanor cases, there is no preliminary hearing. Instead, there are several pre-trial court appearances where the prosecution provides the defense attorney with evidence they intend to use against the defendant. This evidence may include police reports, witness statements, 911 calls, police body-worn camera videos, and other relevant materials. Both the defense and the prosecution can file pretrial motions to address legal issues or seek rulings. For instance, the defense may file a motion to suppress evidence if they believe it was obtained illegally. During these court appearances, the prosecution may engage in negotiations for a plea agreement. These negotiations involve discussions about potential reductions in charges, alternative sentencing, or other favorable outcomes for the defendant.

A criminal trial refers to the formal examination of a case in a court of law where evidence is presented in court under the supervision of a judge, arguments are made and a verdict is recorded by a jury or a judge (Bench Trial). It is a legal process designed to determine if a defendant in a criminal case is guilty or not guilty. During the trial, the prosecution, representing the government, presents evidence and arguments to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense, on the other hand, presents evidence and arguments to challenge the prosecution’s case and establish reasonable doubt, ultimately leading to the defendant being found not guilty. If the defendant is found guilty, the trial may proceed to the sentencing phase, where the judge determines the appropriate punishment. If the defendant is found not guilty then he can walk out of court as a free man. If the jury does not reach a unanimous verdict, the judge may declare a mistrial and the prosecution may retry the case with a different jury.

The sentencing phase of a criminal trial occurs after a defendant is found guilty or pleads “guilty” or “no contest.” During this phase, the court determines the appropriate punishment for the convicted individual. The goal is to consider various factors and circumstances surrounding the offense and the defendant in order to reach a fair and proportionate sentence. Both the prosecutor and the defense can present witnesses and evidence to support mitigating or aggravating factors. The judge has discretion to choose from various sentencing options, depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the crime. These options may include jail or state prison, formal or informal probation, house arrest, community labor (such as Cal Trans) or community service, restitution, fines or a combination of these. The judge will also take into account several factors when determining the sentence such as the defendant’s prior criminal record, the severity of the offense, the impact  of the crime on the victim and community, as well as the defendant’s character, remorse, and potential for rehabilitation.

A convicted defendant has the right to appeal their conviction or sentence through their defense attorney, formally requesting a higher court (appellate court) to review the case. The purpose of an appeal is to identify specific errors or mistakes that occurred during the criminal trial. It's essential to note that an appeal relies solely on the court transcripts and does not consider new witnesses or evidence. An appeal is not a new trial; rather, it reevaluates whether the lower court followed the law correctly.

If the Court of Appeal determines that the trial proceedings were conducted appropriately and no legal errors were made, the lower court's judgment will be affirmed, resulting in no changes to the conviction or sentence. However, if the Court of Appeal finds a legal error that significantly harmed the defendant, the conviction may be reversed, and the case will be remanded back to the original court. In such cases, it is possible that a new trial will be ordered.  Criminal appeals are challenging to win, and the likelihood of success is generally low.

At Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners, our primary objective is to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. We are not here to pass judgment or provide you with false hope. Our approach is to pursue the most favorable results through various means, such as skillful negotiations that may lead to the dropping of your charges without going to trial, reduction of the charges, a strong defense at trial, or a plea bargain. We will carefully evaluate the unique facts of your case, including your legal defenses, and provide you with sound legal advice tailored to your individual needs and circumstances.  Contact us Today!

Client Reviews

  • God Bless you Stephen, wish you all the successes in life.

    “Stephen is a great contact and extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I am glad that I was his client in the past. Top lawyer, top man. God Bless you Stephen, wish you all the successes in life.”

  • Don't hesitate to contact them!

    “I was referred to this group of Attorneys. I was started with a low cost made arrangements. My case had to do with assault allegations. The case was dismissed they helped me not to loose my daughter to the system.”

  • Defendant charged with possession of a loaded firearm at the airport.
  • Defendant charged with felony theft charges (with prior theft conviction).
  • Defendant charged with felony Battery.
  • Defendant Charged with Felony Battery.
  • Arrested for Felony rape of a minor
Here's Why We're The Right Firm For You
  • Comprehensive Defense Strategies

    We focus on the facts of the case to create a strategic defense. We work tirelessly for our clients, prepare for trial, and work toward securing the best possible outcome – whether that be a dismissal, reduction in charges, or alternative sentencing.

  • Step-by-Step Guidance

    We provide step-by-step guidance throughout each phase of the process. The criminal justice system can be a confusing and frightening place, which is why we support our clients every step of the way. We provide the confidence you need to move forward.

  • 75+ Years of Combined Criminal Law Experience

    At Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners, our defense attorneys have the ability and experience to handle even the most complex criminal cases. From misdemeanors to serious felonies, no case is too small or large for us to handle.

  • Communication And Personal Attention

    We make ourselves available at all times, responding promptly to our clients' calls. Initial in-office consultations are free and include an in-depth discussion of your situation. Throughout all points of your case, your lawyer will keep you informed.

Contact our firm TO BEGIN YOUR CASE

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