The National Trial Lawyers - Badge
Top Lawyer 2017 - Badge

San Mateo County Criminal Defense Lawyers

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving the San Francisco Bay Area

If someone is charged with a crime, they may feel anger, fear, and confusion. There are many steps between an arrest or charge and a conviction, however, and an effective defense often can help a defendant keep their record clean. Therefore, if you are charged with a crime, it is essential to retain an attorney who can devise an aggressive strategy that protects your rights. The San Mateo County criminal defense lawyers at Jackson Law are adept at navigating the California criminal courts and can set forth persuasive arguments on your behalf to assist you in avoiding a conviction. We represent criminal defendants throughout the Bay Area, including in San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties.

Criminal Defense Overview

Our experienced attorneys fight felony and misdemeanor charges of all varieties. There are several tactics that we can use to help a client defeat a charge, such as introducing evidence that counters the State’s evidence and places a reasonable doubt in the jurors’ minds as to the defendant’s guilt. Additionally, we may be able to suppress evidence that was obtained during an illegal search and seizure. Depending on the nature of the crime, we may be able to argue that a client’s actions were justified by self-defense or another legal doctrine. The precise defenses available will depend on the facts surrounding your arrest.


You can be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol content exceeds .08%, or if the investigating officer finds that you were driving while impaired by alcohol. Regardless of the basis of your DUI charge, the State must show that the police had a reasonable suspicion that you were engaged in criminal activity prior to pulling you over. Otherwise, your stop and arrest may constitute an unreasonable search and seizure, and any evidence obtained during the stop may be inadmissible. A DUI conviction can result in significant fines, the loss of your license, and possibly jail time in some cases. Thus, if you are charged with a DUI, it is critical to retain a seasoned San Mateo County criminal defense attorney to assist you in devising a strategy.

Drug Crimes

Under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, controlled dangerous substances are classified into schedules, with Schedule 1 drugs, such as heroin and other opiates, being the most dangerous. You can be charged with a drug crime if you possess a controlled dangerous substance for which you do not have a prescription, regardless of whether or not you intend to sell the drug. You can also be charged with a crime for selling or manufacturing drugs. The severity of the charge will depend on both the type and the quantity of the drug that you are charged with possessing, selling, or manufacturing. There may be numerous defenses available to drug charges, including entrapment and illegal searches and seizures. In some cases, a defendant may be eligible to attend a pre-trial diversion program as an alternative to jail time.

Sex Crimes

In California, a conviction of a sex crime may come with significant penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The convicted individual may be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his or her life. Being charged with a sex crime can threaten your liberties and devastate your career and relationships, but there often are defenses that a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo County can set forth to avoid a conviction. Many sex crime charges arise out of circumstantial evidence, and there is often a battle of credibility between the accuser and the defendant. In some cases, a defendant may be able to prove that they were wrongfully accused, or that the act was consensual.

Theft Crimes

In California, there are numerous theft crimes with which a person can be charged, such as robbery, embezzlement, petty theft, and grand theft. In many theft cases, the State must prove the defendant’s intent. Therefore, if you can show that you did not knowingly take the property or intend to deprive the rightful owner of the property, you may be able to convince a jury that you are not guilty. Alternatively, if you can establish that the owner of the property consented to your taking the property, you should be able to avoid a conviction. We can advise you of the full extent of your available defenses if you are charged with a theft crime.

Assault and Battery

People often refer to assault and battery as a single crime, but under California law, they are two distinct criminal acts. Assault is an attempted use of violence or force against a person, while battery is a willful touching of a person in a harmful or offensive manner. The penalties for assault and battery vary depending on the severity of the charges. A San Mateo County criminal defense lawyer can defend against these charges if you were acting in defense of yourself or another person, or if you were not acting willfully, among other arguments.

Domestic Violence

It is a crime to harm or threaten to harm a family member or a person with whom you are involved in an intimate relationship. There are numerous crimes that are considered domestic violence when committed against a family member or intimate partner, such as battery, stalking, terroristic threats, or a violation of a protective order. Domestic violence convictions can not only restrict your liberties but also affect custody and divorce proceedings. In fact, in some cases, a person will falsely accuse someone of committing domestic violence to gain leverage in a family law case.


A person commits homicide when he or she ends the life of another person. There are numerous homicide crimes with which a person may be charged, ranging from vehicular manslaughter to capital murder. Although homicide crimes are arguably the most serious crimes in the legal system, this does not mean that they are indefensible. If a person accused of homicide can show that his or her life was in danger, for example, the acts out of which the homicide charge arose may have been justified. A trusted criminal defense lawyer in San Mateo County can advise you on the full range of your available defenses.

Identity Theft

In California, the crime of identity theft is defined as willfully obtaining another individual’s personal and identifying information and using the information for an illegal purpose without the person’s consent. Identity theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. It is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to three years’ imprisonment. Common defenses to identity theft include arguing that the alleged offender lacked criminal intent or did not use the information that he or she obtained for any unlawful purpose.

Probation Violations

If a person on probation commits a violation of any term of his or her probation, he or she may face prison or jail time. A person charged with a probation violation has the right to be represented by an attorney during the hearing and the right to call witnesses to testify on his or her behalf. Additionally, the State must disclose any evidence that it intends to introduce against the defendant. A criminal defense attorney in San Mateo County can help present evidence of any extenuating circumstances that may have caused the alleged violation.

Restraining Orders

In addition to representing individuals charged with crimes, we help victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes seek restraining orders. Restraining orders are issued to protect people from harm and often prohibit the person subject to the order from contacting the victim in any way. In addition to restraining orders arising out of criminal acts, we assist people seeking civil harassment restraining orders, which prevent a person from being harassed either in person or through electronic or telephonic communications.

Expungement and Record Sealing

Under the California Penal Code, people convicted of misdemeanors or felonies may be eligible for expungements in certain situations. First, expungements are only available to people who were sentenced to probation. An expungement will not be granted if a person is currently charged with a crime, or if a person is on probation or serving a sentence for a crime. A person requesting an expungement must also prove that he or she completed the terms of his or her probation successfully. In cases in which a person was charged with a crime but never convicted, he or she may be eligible to have his or her arrest record sealed. This will prevent the record from showing up in any criminal background check conducted by anyone other than the police.

Redwood City Office

San Mateo County has two courthouses. The main courthouse is located in Redwood City, and a satellite branch is located in South San Francisco. Our offices are conveniently situated in Redwood City, close to the main courthouse. This helps make our representation of clients as efficient and smooth as possible.

Discuss Your Case with a Criminal Defense Attorney in San Mateo County

If you have been charged with a crime, regardless of its severity, you should engage a tenacious attorney to set forth a defense on your behalf. The criminal defense attorneys at Jackson Law can gather evidence and build arguments in your defense. Our office is located in Redwood City, and we represent people throughout the Bay Area, including in San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties. You can contact us at 650-587-8556 or through the online form to set up a meeting to discuss your case.

Contact Us

Fill out the contact form or call us at 650-587-8556 or 866-985-4850 
to schedule your consultation.

Leave Us a Message

We Accept the Following Payment Solutions