Criminal Defense Attorneys

Have you been arrested or are you under investigation for criminal allegations?

Facing a criminal charge is a scary experience. There are so many consequences attached to a criminal charge, ranging from your having a permanent criminal record to you having to spend some time in jail.

A criminal record will complicate your life in many inconvenient ways. It could affect your access to prime employment, good rental housing, education, and access to loans or grants.

Other consequences that conviction for a criminal charge may bring include:

  • Probation
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment
  • Costly fines, court costs, or restitution
  • Suspension of drivers’ license
  • Inability to get a professional license for jobs in fields like teaching, law, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, or other licensed fields.
  • Negative impact on immigration status, including denied application for an immigration visa, green card, or citizenship, and possible deportation.

Nobody wants a criminal record. Unfortunately, life happens and sometimes, things get out of control or present us with situations that are hard to deal with. You may be facing criminal charges due to a costly mistake you made, or even because you acted just to defend yourself. That’s why it’s so important to have a skilled defense attorney by your side to make sure that you get the best results for your case.

Having a skilled and experienced Oakland criminal defense attorney in your corner can be the difference between going to jail and being let off with a warning. We will fight for your rights and be with your every step of the way.

Attorney Leen Nachawati is an experienced and highly skilled defense attorney. As a former prosecutor, she knows the system and is highly respected by opposing attorneys and judges you may encounter. This gives you a huge advantage in getting the best result for your case. She has what it takes to help you build the legal defense you need. If you or your loved one requires a criminal defense attorney, reach out to Rabaa & Nachawati today to schedule a free initial phone consultation.

Reach out to us today at (248) 834-3430.

Anonymous | Possession of a Controlled Substance Felony

I got charged with two felonies because I got mixed with the wrong crowd. Leen not only helped me get through the case while being able to keep my record clean, but she held my hand every step of the way and showed how much she truly cared about me. She told me that one of her goals is to make sure that this situation is my rock bottom, and thanks to her help my life has greatly improved because of her guidance and I have been able to stay away from some groups that had affected me so negatively.

What to Expect When Facing Criminal Charges

For you to be facing criminal charges, then you most likely will have been arrested. If you have been arrested, then it means that the police have enough reason to believe that you committed a criminal offense. What is the process when you are facing criminal charges?

During the arrest, the arresting officer must let you know why you are being arrested and read you your rights (the Miranda Rights). You have the right to request an attorney and you can remain silent, refusing to answer questions unless your attorney of choice is present.

At Rabaa & Nachawati, we will not only be present for you, but we will also review your arrest. We will go through the process with a fine comb to ensure that none of your rights were violated during the arrest. We will also find out whether any of your property was searched and seized and if this was done lawfully.

Other actions we will take on your behalf include:

  • Determining whether the warrant(s) used for either the search or the arrest or both were valid.
  • Get you out of jail as fast as possible through the bail and bonds system: we can two this in two ways. One is by getting you released on your own recognizance or posting bail for you.
  • Explore all options available to prevent you from going to jail.
  • Ensure that you do not lose your property through asset forfeiture.

Your First Appearance in Court

This is called an arraignment and it could be quite scary especially if it is your first time. You will be required to appear briefly before a judge who will advise you of your constitutional rights and give you a copy of the charges against you. He or she will also ask whether you will like to be referred to the public defender. You can either say yes or decline if you have hired a criminal defense attorney.

You will also be required to enter a plea. When you hire us, we will have thrashed this out during our consultation, thus your plea will be whatever we conclude will be in your best interest. You can enter either a guilty, no contest, or not guilty plea. After this, the court will set a date for either a pretrial conference or a probable cause conference, depending on whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge.

The Pre-Trial Conference and Probable Cause Conference

The pre-trial conference is an avenue to settle the case without taking it to trial. It is also the time that your attorney will receive discovery, which is the evidence that the prosecution has. At the conference, all the parties involved in the case will come together to see if it can be resolved without going to trial. If it can’t be resolved, the case will proceed to trial.

As a defendant in a criminal case, you have the right to a trial by jury and you are presumed innocent unless the prosecutor proves that you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

One of the questions you will have to answer is whether you want to enter into a plea bargain. If you do so, you will be required to give up your right to a trial by jury; you will then either plead guilty or no contest to at least one of the charges. The option of ‘not guilty’ will be taken off the table.

We will counsel you on whether it is in your best interests to do this or not. A plea bargain is not always a good thing as it involves an admission of guilt. However, depending on the charges filed against you, it may sometimes be the best line of action for you. Your lawyer will help you decide an avenue that will pose the best outcome for you.`

After this, your case will be referred to the probation department for a ‘presentence report’ and continued for your sentencing on another day. Depending on the charges you are facing, it is possible that you can be sentenced on the same day that you plead guilty. This will be up to the judge to decide.

Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination is a court hearing where the prosecution must prove to the judge that there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed, and probable cause that you were the one who committed that crime. At this point, the prosecution will present evidence through exhibits and witness testimony. Your attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and make arguments to the judge on how the prosecution has failed to meet its burden.

If the judge finds that the prosecution did not meet its burden and did not prove what it must, the judge will dismiss the case. The standard of proof that the prosecution must meet at the preliminary examination is “preponderance of the evidence”, which is less than what they have to prove at trial.

If the judge finds that the prosecution did meet its burden, your case will be “bound over” to Circuit Court, where you will be assigned a new judge and will be re-arraigned on the charges. You will then have another pretrial conference in the Circuit Court and will have the option of pleading to the charges, lesser charges if offered or taking the matter to trial.


As earlier stated, the ‘burden of proof’ is on the prosecutor. He or she must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The members of the jury must agree to either convict or acquit you. They must agree unanimously that you are guilty. If even one juror is not convinced that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, it will be declared a hung jury, and you will be acquitted. At that point, the prosecutor can either have another trial in front of a new jury or will not choose to pursue the case further.

Contact Rabaa & Nachawati for a Free Phone Consult Today

Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation. Your initial consultation will be free, and of course, confidential.