Los Angeles

Criminal Law

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The system is against you. We’ll help you fight it.

Your future is at stake. The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at The Buelna Law Firm know how to help. We have a team of L.A. County’s top attorneys, ready to take on your case—and help you get your life back.

Schedule your FREE consultation

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Never plead guilty

Prosecutors push a plea bargain to get an easy conviction—but it may not be in your best interest. Let us evaluate your case and your best next steps.

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Don’t talk to the police

Everything the police say or ask you is designed to get you to look guilty. You have the right to say you want a lawyer—and then stop talking.

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Get a professional on your side

Get honest, direct legal advice from our attorneys. We always offer a FREE consultation to answer your questions & get you started.

Get a Lawyer You Can Believe In

Put decades of criminal law experience on your side

Each of our criminal law attorneys in Los Angeles has a background in a specific area of law, giving us a highly knowledgeable team that can take on ANY case. Your initial consultation is always FREE. We then put these attorneys to work building a careful, strategic defense. We fight for our clients, and we get you the best result possible.

Our experience:

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California crimes with potential jail time

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California crimes with long jail or prison sentences

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Federal Crimes

California crimes with potential jail time

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Traffic Cases

Tickets, fines & serious traffic offenses

Arrested? 6 reasons to talk to our lawyers.


We beat prosecutors

We know their strategy & their limitations—and how to beat them at their own game.


Knowledge & experience

Each of our attorneys was hand-picked based on their experience, background and area of focus.


History of wins

We have established ourselves as one of the top criminal defense firms in L.A.


We take your side

We listen to our clients and firmly believe in “innocent until proven guilty.”



You have a right to know how your case is proceeding and what the next steps are.
We keep you informed.


Always ready

Free consultation. We offer home, work, hospital & jail visits to meet with you or your loved one.

What to Expect

The criminal legal process
Being arrested is terrifying—and the court process can last for months. We help get our clients out of jail and then guide you through the system with the least stress possible.
Here’s how we help at each stage of the criminal process:

  • Your FREE consultation.
    You can talk to aa attornrey without committing to hiring one. Call for yourself or your loved one who has been arrested. We will answer your questions and give you first steps.
  • Bail or release.
    Bail is normally set at a court hearing shortly after the arrest. We can help you get the bail money you need. We’ll also represent you at the bail hearing to get the amount lowered if possible. In many cases we can get you released with NO bail at all.
  • Your plea.
    Most likely the prosecutor has already approached you with an offer of a “deal” if you plead guilty. In most cases this first offer is not a good one. We usually advise our clients to enter a plea of Not Guilty. There’s always room to negotiate later.
  • Your own investigation.
    The police aren’t the only ones who can do detective work. We will launch an investigation of our own, looking at what evidence the police have, how it was gathered, and how they treated and processed you. In many cases we can identify rights violations that may help your case. In others, we finds holes in their evidence or other ways to defend you.
  • Challenge the evidence.
    We do not have to wait until trial to challenge key evidence being used against you. If the judge rules in our favor, the evidence is blocked before the trial even begins. This leads to a much higher rate of success.
  • Negotiate or Dismiss
    At this point we are in a stronger position to negotiate. We may be able to get you an outcome with no jail or we may even be able to get the judge to dismiss the case. If the case is dismissed, you walk away free.

Many criminal cases never go to trial. We may be able to win your case with NO jury and NO trial.

5 Ways We Get Results

Being charged does not mean being convicted

1.Probation/No Jail

We may be able to get you NO jail time on the condition of completing a probation period.

2.Evidence BLOCKED

If police gathered evidence illegally or they violated your rights, we can ask get the judge to throw the evidence out—even confessions. This could mean your case is dropped or you win.

3.Charges REDUCED

You may not have to face the offense you were originally charged with. We can bargain for lower, less extreme charges with far better outcomes.

4.Charges REDUCED

After we challenge the evidence we can ask the judge to dismiss the case entirely. If your case is dismissed, you walk away FREE.


A jury verdict of Not Guilty means you have proved your innocence to the world. It means YOU WIN.

9 Most Common Questions About Criminal Cases

Get your questions answered by the top criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles

  1. Don’t talk to the police. Don’t answer questions. Say only that you want to speak to a lawyer, and won’t talk until then.
  2. Don’t resist or fight. If you are required to take a chemical test, take it. If you are being moved or processed, be polite. Fighting the police does not improve your case and usually makes it worse.
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    Don’t try to outsmart them. Police are trained to trick you and they have years of experience doing it. Don’t lie, taunt or try to outsmart the police. Just use your right to remain silent and wait for a lawyer.

  4. Get a lawyer immediately. Many people wait until weeks into their case to get an attorney. Don’t make this mistake. The sooner you have professional legal advice, the better.

What should I do if a loved one was arrested?


We can help you locate your loved one. If it’s a teenager, they may be in a juvenile center. Adults are held in a variety of jail facilities and we make sure you find them.

Meanwhile, do not answer police questions about the alleged crime, or try to explain what happened—you cannot talk your son, daughter or loved one’s way out of the charges. Instead, call a lawyer and tell them what happened. Your lawyer can help

  • Get in contact with your loved one
  • Find out what exactly happened & what they’re charged with
  • Get bail money if needed
  • Get your loved one OUT of jail
  • Defend their case and help them stay out

Why shouldn’t I talk to the police?


Police will use several tactics to try to get you to make a mistake:

  • They pretend to be friendly or want to help you
  • They say they can offer you a way out
  • They pretend the offense is not as serious as it is
  • They say they already have hard evidence against you and you’re only making it worse
  • They suggest that confessing will get you a lighter sentence, even no jail time
  • They say your friend already turned on you and is saying you did it
  • They say this is your ONLY chance to make a deal, and if you pass it up you’re done

What all of these statements have in common is: all of them are LIES. The police are not trying to help you. The police do not have open-and-shut evidence against you. The police will not take their “one time deal” off the table.

This is because the criminal justice system is an antagonistic system. It’s your enemy. The moment you get arrested, the police stop trying to “protect and serve,” and start trying to convict. That’s their job. They will do anything, including lying, to make that happen.

In this kind of scenario, nothing you say will help you. Every time you say a
word there’s a chance you’ll give them ammunition against you. It may or may not be enough to get you convicted—but if you just stay silent, they don’t have any ammunition at all.

Silence is your Constitutional right. So is the right to a lawyer. They can hold you, they can ask you questions, but they can’t require you to talk.


The police say they already know I did it. What should I do?


You should assume they’re lying.

This is true whether you are totally innocent or even if you were involved in some way. The police might know something, but they don’t have an open-and-shut case against you. If they did, they wouldn’t be talking to you trying to make a deal.

Don’t debate what they know or don’t know, and don’t comment on the parts they have wrong. Just ask for your Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer and stay quiet.


The prosecutor offered me a deal if I plead guilty. Should I take it?


Be very careful.

When the prosecutor offers you a deal, they’re trying to get an easy conviction. Prosecutors are assigned a lot of cases, and they don’t have time for all of them. When they get someone to take “the deal,” that’s one less case they have to fight—or risk losing.

Most of the time these deals are not good ones. There IS such a thing as a good plea deal—and, if it’s appropriate in your case, we can often help you get one. But the first offer from the prosecutor may be no better than what the judge would sentence you to if you just plain confessed.

When a prosecutor offers you a bargain, tell them you need to talk to your lawyer first. They may try to threaten you and say it’s a one-time offer—it’s not. The offer will still be there when we talk to them, and we can often get you a better one.


What penalties do I face?

The exact penalties you face will depend on the specific offense you’re being charged with. And, even for a single offense, the penalties may be different depending on what happened, how it happened, and what your prior criminal record is (if any). When you call us, we can give you an exact answer based on the details of your case.

However, as a general rule, you can expect penalties in Los Angeles to look something like this:

  • Misdemeanors generally carry fines and the possibility of jail time. The jail sentence depends on the crime. Most misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of no more than 1 year in jail, and many are much less. In some cases we can negotiate NO jail time for you.
  • Felonies usually carry larger fines and time in state prison. Prison sentences are often 16 months, 2 years or 3 years, but they can be much longer depending on the offense (including life sentences). Some nonviolent felonies can now be served in county jail instead of state prison.
  • Sex crimes may be felonies or misdemeanors but almost always carry sex offender status as well. This means you must register as a convicted sex offender and neighbors, as well as employers, will be aware of this status.
  • Federal crimes under federal U.S. law. The penalties are often much more severe than the equivalent crime under state law. Several years or more in prison, along with fines ranging from tens of thousands to millions depending on the offense, are not unusual.
  • Traffic offenses may carry only a ticket and a fine, but may also count as criminal offenses and even carry jail time. Additionally, you can lose your license if you rack up too many traffic offenses, even non-serious ones. Some serious traffic offenses can cost you your license immediately.

Our attorneys can tell you exactly what penalties you face and the best way to fight them.


What if the police didn’t read me my rights? What about illegal searches?

The rules around warrants, searches and your “Miranda rights” are complex. It’s true, however, that you can win your case, or get evidence thrown out, if your rights were violated.
  • Police need a valid reason to stop you, pull you over in your car, or otherwise detain you.
  • They also need a more specific, solid suspicion of a crime in order to arrest you.
  • If you haven’t been arrested yet, they can’t search you (or your home, car, etc.) without a warrant. But they can notice things in plain view, and they can also search if you invite or allow them to. Never agree to a search voluntarily.
  • Once police arrest you, they can search your car (if you were pulled over) and search your person. They no longer need a warrant to do so.
  • When police arrest you, they DO NOT have to read you your rights. But they do need to tell you your rights before they start to interrogate you. If they don’t, the statements you give may not be admissible.
  • Anything you said before being arrested is admissible whether you had your rights read to you or not.
    Seem complicated? It is. Many defendants have their rights violated and don’t even realize it. Your lawyer will examine each step of the arrest process to see if police violated your rights.

Seem complicated? It is. Many defendants have their rights violated and don’t even realize it. Your lawyer will examine each step of the arrest process to see if police violated your rights.


Can’t I get a free lawyer? Why should I hire one?

If you have low income, you are eligible for a free attorney known as a public defender. These are good lawyers, but they’re overworked—far more so than the prosecutors on the other side. Most public defenders have a hard time spending more than 15 minutes on a client’s case before coming to meet with that client. Often, they will only meet with you minutes before a court hearing. They simply cannot provide you with the level of defense a dedicated Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer will provide.
Even public defenders will tell you: unless you absolutely have to, don’t go with the free attorney. Hire a private professional.

Can you win my case?


No lawyer can promise a win. What we can promise is:

  • Unparalleled attention during every step of your case
  • Dedicated legal representation backed by decades of experience
  • Using hard-won lessons from past cases to make your defense as solid as possible
  • Fighting aggressively on your behalf
  • Refusing to accept anything less than the absolute best possible outcome for your case

The criminal justice system is a tough place. Everything is stacked against you, and we don’t believe anyone should face that alone. Winning cases is what we do. Give us a call.

Talk to a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer for Free

Don’t leave your future up to chance. Get a professional who will fight for you. The Buelna Law Firm offers access to leading Los Angeles defense attorneys—and a 100% FREE consultation. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 213-444-7286 and get your FREE consultation today.

Contact Buelna Law Today

Let our attorneys help you maximize the compensation you deserve to turn your life back around. We have someone available to discuss your situation at all times of the day. Contact us today if you want to tell us about your accident.