Fountain Valley Criminal Defense Lawyer

Law Offices of Frances Prizzia
Fountain Valley criminal defense attorney

Getting arrested is a stressful, scary experience. Being under that kind of pressure could cause you to act in ways that are not in your best interest. You might try to talk your way out of it, or worse, run away, but that only exacerbates your legal troubles and can worsen things for you.

If you get arrested, the very first thing you should do is ask for your attorney – and call The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia. We are the top law office in Fountain Valley, CA, and we have a long list of successful cases and satisfied clients to prove it.

When you call us to handle your criminal case, you get aggressive, professional, experienced legal representation. We will be by you through every step in the criminal defense process, from arrest to trial to appeal. You don't have to go this alone. There is help available and support for you. Call us first.

Experienced Representation From a Fountain Valley Criminal Defense Attorney

Experienced representation from a criminal defense attorney

When you choose us to be your legal representation, you will get so much more than just a criminal defense lawyer. You will get an advocate, an ally, and a support system. We will help you through the defense process and tackle the criminal charges against you to get the best possible outcome for your case.

Beginning with your free consultation, we will guide you through every stage of the process, helping you understand the various steps so that you can make better-informed decisions regarding your case and your future. The criminal justice system is intricate and not something an inexperienced, untrained person should tackle. We will be at your side, start to finish, as we work tirelessly to get you the best outcome possible.

  • Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation – At your free consultation, one of our seasoned criminal defense lawyers will sit with you and review your case. We'll discuss your options and the next steps to take and answer your questions. At the end of the meeting, you will have a much better idea of where you stand in the case and what you need to do from there.
  • Strategic Defense Planning – A strategic defense is key to the successful outcome of a criminal trial. We will help you construct a successful defense strategy. This will involve conducting our own investigation, talking to witnesses, and reviewing any official documentation, including police reports, that are relevant to the case.
  • Representation in Court Hearings and Trials – We'll be by your side whenever you go before the judge. We'll be there for the hearings, arraignment, and trials. You won't have to stand there alone. When you walk into the courtroom for your criminal trial, we will fight to protect your rights and ensure that you are properly represented.
  • Negotiating Plea Bargains and Reduced Charges – If the prosecution puts any plea bargains on the table, we will be on it. We'll review the terms and make sure that you fully understand them. We will also advise you if the plea bargain presented to you is good for you and if it isn't, we will sit down and negotiate better terms.

Facts About California Criminal Law

California has three classifications of crimes:

  • Infractions: Usually (but not always) issued in a ticket form.
  • Misdemeanors: Usually have up to a year in jail.
  • Felonies: Can have long prison terms, including a life sentence.

Sometimes, when a person is charged with a felony, their defense attorney can get it reduced to a misdemeanor. That can often mean a much lighter sentence.

Another interesting California law fact is that individuals don't bring charges against someone or take them to criminal court for the crime committed against them. They can sue in civil court, but the prosecutor handles the criminal case. It is the prosecutor who will file the charges and prosecute the case.

The Criminal Defense Process

The criminal defense process

In criminal court, there are two opposing parties: the prosecutor who files the charges and the defendant who has been charged. The burden of proof is on the prosecutor to establish the defendant's guilt for the alleged crime. The defendant is responsible for defending their innocence and using evidence to support their stance.

Criminal cases can be long and difficult. There are many steps, in some cases more than others. It takes an experienced attorney to navigate the twists and turns of a criminal case and get their client the best outcome they possibly can. At The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia, we are here for you for every step of your criminal case.

The Arrest – The minute you are arrested, start asking for your attorney, then call us. We will handle your case and fight to protect your rights.

Formal Charges – The formal charges are typically handed down at the arraignment. Once we have the formal charges, we can get to work on your defense.

The Arraignment – At the arraignment, you will find out what you are formally charged with and have the option to enter a guilty or not guilty plea. The judge will also decide whether or not to set bail at this time.

The Preliminary Hearing – At the preliminary hearing, the judge will assess the evidence to determine if there is enough to move forward with a jury trial. This is very common in felony cases.

The Jury Trial – This is the pinnacle of the criminal defense process. The defendant goes to trial before a judge and a 12-person jury. The jury will hear the testimony and review the evidence. Then they will determine if the verdict handed down will be guilty or not guilty. We will vigorously defend you and represent your interests throughout your trial.

Appeals – Appeals can be requested if there is a problem with the earlier trial or if something new has developed. You can't request an appeal simply because you don't like the outcome of your trial. We will prepare your appeal and file it, then represent you when your day in court is here.

Criminal Offenses We Handle in Fountain Valley

At The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia, we realize that not all criminal offenses are handled the same. Every case is different, and every defendant is different. We offer personalized legal representation and no cookie-cutter defense strategies. Everything we do for your case will be customized for that case.

Our team is experienced in a number of different areas of the law.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence

This is a very broad legal field with a lot of complexities simply because of the nature of the crime. It is a crime committed against an intimate partner but can also involve children. The crimes under the domestic violence umbrella range from simple battery to sexual assault to child abuse and worse.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes constitute a significant portion of criminal activities in the United States. Fountain Valley, CA, is no different. The drug crimes seen most often in Orange County are Possession and abuse of prescription drugs or controlled substances.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence

Most people who are stopped for DUI are arrested. Usually, it is a misdemeanor, but it can be a more serious felony if someone was harmed in an alcohol-related accident or if there was a child in the vehicle. Repeat offenders may also be charged with a felony.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes are some of the worst that carry the harshest penalties. Murder, Sexual assault, and armed robbery are all considered violent crimes and can put a person in jail for many years, sometimes even life.

Theft Crimes

Theft crimes

Theft crimes can range from shoplifting to grand theft auto and worse. This broad legal area requires the defendant's legal team to have equally broad knowledge. Having theft crimes on your record can follow you for the rest of your life.

What You Should Do After an Arrest in Fountain Valley

If you are arrested in Fountain Valley, don't run and don't talk. Comply with the officer's directions, but do not answer questions about the crime, and definitely don't try to talk your way out of the arrest.

The only thing you need to say is that you want your lawyer. Be polite and stay calm but remain steadfast in your resolve to not speak and demand your attorney.

Also, pay attention to everything that happens during your arrest. Note when you were read your rights, when or if you were searched, if your property was searched, and what law enforcement told you about. This information could be very important to your criminal defense attorney as they build your defense strategy.

Possible Defenses and Strategies

Possible defense and strategies

Every criminal case is different, but there are enough commonalities for there to be some standard defenses and strategies that your attorney might use. They will tailor the defense to fit your situation, but they aren't going to reinvent the wheel. They will take the standard defense and turn it into your own unique defense.

Some of the typical defenses and strategies include:

Challenging Evidence and Witness Testimonies – When evidence is presented, or a witness testifies, your attorney will find ways to poke holes in the testimony and discredit the evidence. They will do if there is a way to have the evidence or testimony thrown out or ruled as inadmissible.

Constitutional Rights Violations – Your Miranda rights give you some great information, but sometimes those rights are not honored. Sometimes officers don't even read a defendant their rights upon arrest. It could work to your advantage if you were denied your right to remain silent or denied access to your attorney.

Insanity or Mental Health Defenses – This defense typically requires an expert witness and lots of medical documentation, but it can be effective if your defense team can prove that you are or were having issues with your mental health and it affected your judgment.

Alibi and Mistaken Identity Defenses – If you have someone or something that can place you somewhere other than where the crime took place, it could be proven that you had nothing to do with it. This often falls in line with the mistaken identity defense.

Damages You Can Recover From Your Criminal Case in Fountain Valley

If you are the victim of someone who filed a frivolous criminal claim against you, you can file a civil cause of action against them if it resulted in your suffering damages. This is called malicious prosecution, and it is a civil case, although it can be in response to a criminal case.

If your case is successful, you can recover non-economic damages as well as economic damages, including:

  • Attorney fees;
  • Court fees and expenses;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Bail bond cost;
  • Embarrassment;
  • Litigation costs;
  • Loss of reputation;
  • Psychological or medical therapy costs;
  • Humiliation;
  • Lost wages stemming from time spent incarcerated and/or in the trial; and
  • Pain and suffering.

An experienced lawyer can help you recover these damages and more if you are a victim of malicious prosecution.

Schedule an Initial Consultation With Our Fountain Valley Criminal Defense Attorney at The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia

Schedule an initial consultation

If you have been arrested for a crime, you need experienced legal help fast. Our law offices house a legal team of defense attorneys in Southern California. We will work diligently with you to get the best outcome for your case, whether it's getting the case dismissed, pleading your felony down to a misdemeanor, or getting the charges entirely dropped.

We will work with prosecutors to negotiate plea deals and create a strong defense strategy. Most of all, we will help you maintain your dignity and protect your rights.

Call us today for your free case evaluation and see for yourself the experience, knowledge, and skill that all our attorneys offer. Don't go this alone. We have your back.

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Our Newport Beach
5000 Birch Street, Suite 3000
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Why Choose
Frances Prizzia Criminal Defense Lawyers


Client Centered Approach

Our clients are our priority, we listen & have your best interests in mind. Our philosophy is that crime is simply a symptom of a bigger issue that should be addressed.

Reputation by Excellence

"Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by the National Trial Lawyers and Clients' Choice by Avvo.


Over 17+ Years of Criminal Defense Experience on your side.

Innovative & Determined

We think outside the box and never leave a stone unturned.

You're Not Just Another Client

You're in a difficult situation that requires attention. Our boutique legal team walks you through the legal process so you don't feel lost.


We are available 24/7 for emergencies & offer free confidential consultations.
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