Criminal Defense

The Law Offices of Huston | McCaffrey are geared for criminal defense and have years of experience in representing clients from simple traffic violations to serious felonies (such as attempted murder).  We have provided rigorous defense representation to a wide range of clients throughout California. Our legal team includes a former prosecutor who understands the ins and outs of how prosecutors think and put together their cases.

Due to the depth of our experience with actual felony and misdemeanor jury trials Huston | McCaffrey has a contract with the San Diego County Office of Assigned Council. Under this agreement, our office provides legal defense for indigent defendants that have a conflict with the office of the Public Defender and Alternate Public Defender.

We are available 24 hours a day for emergencies at (619) 800-1166). All consultations are completely confidential and protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Preparing Strong Defenses on Behalf of Our Clients Our first effort is to prevent charges from being filed. With that in mind, we advise, of course, that all our clients obey the law and use a designated driver or call a taxi if they plan to go out and have a few drinks. However, because people sometimes do make mistakes we also suggest the following:

1.  Do not drive a vehicle that is not road worthy. If an officer sees a car at two thirty in the morning leaving a bar parking lot, he or she might be tempted to pull that car over and investigate the driver for driving under the influence (DUI). To do so, the officer must first have what is called probable cause before that vehicle may be stopped. Oftentimes, this means that the officer must see the driver violate a traffic law before the driver may be stopped.

However, we often see cases where the driver is obeying all laws, but is pulled over and is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs because there is something wrong with the car itself. Typically, this is an expired registration, burned out taillight, or the vehicle isn’t registered.

That is why it is important for both safety reasons, and to keep from being pulled over by the police, to make sure that: all your lights are working on your vehicle (including the license plate light), that you have license plates on the front and back bumpers of the vehicle, that you don’t have cracks on your windshield, hang anything from your mirror or visor, and that you do not have illegal tint on your windows. To do otherwise, is dangerous to yourself, and others that share the road, and also provides law enforcement with the legal probable cause to pull you over and investigate your for any other crime, including DUI.

2. Just about everyone knows that defendants have the right to remain silent and have the right to an attorney.  And yet more than 90% of our clients make incriminating statement to law enforcement that result in their conviction, even after they are told of their right to be silent. Had they made no statement these clients would never have been prosecuted.

Law enforcement has years of experience and are well educated to elicit statements from people they suspect of committing crimes. It is legal for them to lie to suspects and otherwise misrepresent facts and evidence to get people to admit to crimes. They will pretend to be your friend and understand your unique situation, perhaps even give you reasons why your actions were justified. They will make promises or just simply ask questions that are “just to help them understand” the facts to be a better detective for future cases. These are all examples of their sophisticated attempts to get you to incriminate yourself.

That is why if you ever suspect, even for a minute, that you might be accused, or that you are being investigated, for a crime that has been committed, you should immediately exercise your rights and make no statements to the police. Politely inform the police that you are happy to cooperate, but that you want to speak with your attorney first and that until that time you will not make any statements. Then do not discuss the matter at all until you have actually spoken to your attorney.

In a DUI investigation, you do not have to answer any question posed by law enforcement regarding your activities before you were pulled over; this includes if you have been drinking before you were pulled over (the standard answer is two beers). You are not obligated to perform any roadside field sobriety tests. However, you are required, and you will face penalties if you refuse, to perform either a breath test or a blood test to measure the alcohol level in your blood, if asked by law enforcement.

If all people drove street legal vehicles and made no comments to law enforcement, many criminal charges would never be filed. But even when there is an arrest, there is much that can still be done.

By providing relevant information regarding our clients and the situation being investigated, we are frequently able to favorably influence a prosecutor's charging decisions. If at all possible we attempt to discuss the case with law enforcement before charges are even submitted to the prosecutor. In this way, it is possible to resolve matters in a way that criminal charges are never charged.

If a client is charged, we work tirelessly and aggressively on his or her defense. This includes reaching an agreement with bail bondsmen and law enforcement so that you are not arrested, without notice at work or pulled out of bed and arrested in the middle of the night. One of our trial strategies is to get our clients release on their own recognizance or on bail so that they can work with us for their own defense.

At Huston | McCaffrey, LLP we vigorously prepare our client's case for a jury trial while simultaneously attempting to negotiate a settlement most favorable to our client. We will investigate government witnesses, challenge the government's allegations, work to exclude potentially damaging evidence, build affirmative defenses, and deal with the media when necessary. The office also has access to investigative and expert resources necessary to aggressively challenge the actions and inactions of law enforcement, prosecutorial and judicial powers.

Above all, we work with our clients to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Criminal defense must be taken as a team approach. The lawyers have the skill and legal acumen to attack to defend the accused, but the facts of the case and intimate knowledge of the parties involved rests in the defendants and both attorney and client must work together for the most favorable results. With this in mind, our goal is to inform our clients of their options and to position them as favorably as possible, even pre-indictment or arrest. We want them to be an integral part of their cases, and make sure their needs and concerns are addressed at every stage of the process.

Every case is unique and brings its own challenges and set of facts that will determine the outcome. At Huston | McCaffrey, LLP we are skilled at working with our clients and using the facts and situations of each case to achieve the best results. To learn more about criminal defense, your options, and for a free one hour initial consultation, contact us right away at (619) 800-1166 or email us.



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